The Outer Worlds got a pretty good reception on release, which is great news for Microsoft being the first game from Obsidian after acquiring the studio. But you can only read so much into what the critics, social media and stats say. To truly know whether people liked a game, you have to ask: how much of a psychopath were you, really?
Xbox users who bought Outer Worlds, or those subscribed to Xbox Game Pass or Xbox Game Pass Ultimate, have begun receiving emails from Microsoft asking them how The Outer Worlds can be “an even better gaming experience”. The emails are from the engage.xbox.com account, and the whole survey goes into fairly granular detail about Outer Worlds‘ characters, setting, mechanics, companions, and the different aspects that appealed.
Some of the interview questions are a bit frustrating. There’s a section that specifically asks what influenced your decision to buy Outer Worlds – that includes through Game Pass, if you didn’t buy the game outright – and whether it’s because you like RPGs, previous Obsidian games, games in space, its diversity of characters, or just because the game had good reviews before launch. Every option, however, needs its unique value, so you can’t jointly give a 9/10 because you like RPGs and previous Obsidian games, which seems really, really silly.
Xbox wants to know if you want Outer Worlds DLC too:
You’re also quizzed on whether you’ve played games like Stardew Valley and Bloodborne, and if you say Outer Worlds has less interesting weapons, characterisation, or overall diversity, Xbox wants to know what games you think are the best in that field.
It’ll be interesting to see what Microsoft and Obsidian makes of the results. Having gone through it all, it’s a bit flawed. The survey occasionally flips from a “extremely agree” to “extremely disagree” type scenario to rating things from 1 to 10, only to later flip the order of importance in the numbers. Some of the survey pages won’t let you fix up results, and having to set unique values for some of the responses – c’mon Microsoft, surely you would know some gamers love Obsidian, love RPGs, love diversity in their characters and would want to rate all of those things highly – is gonna return some bad data.
But getting openly polled about it is a fun way to wake up in the morning. And I guess it leaves the door open to Outer Worlds DLC not being a thing – although there was a straight question about whether fans want a Outer Worlds sequel, which I happily smashed “Yes” to. Hopefully Microsoft gets the message loud and clear on that one.