Outriders Launches To A Day Of Server Problems, Like Every Other Online Game

Outriders Launches To A Day Of Server Problems, Like Every Other Online Game
Screenshot: People Can Fly / Square Enix

If you play video games in the 21st century, you’re no stranger to this: A popular game launches that demands an internet connection. Interested players buy it, can’t access the servers, and can’t play the thing they paid for. The latest offender is Outriders, a class-based loot shooter from developer People Can Fly.

Outriders launched yesterday to a sputter of sorts across platforms. Some players were unable to get past the initial load, stuck on a perpetual “Signed in!” screen. (The key there was simply to practice patience, life’s rarest virtue.) Some couldn’t even get to that initial frozen screen, while others ended up getting kicked from the game in the middle of missions.

Last night, I teamed up with Kotaku’s Zack Zweizen to test out the co-op. We’re both playing on PlayStation 5, and both of us have relatively stable internet service. It took us 24 minutes to party up. After about an hour of play, I got booted from our session at the start of a mission. It took us another 11 minutes to party up again.

We’re not alone. Social media channels are rife with users sharing similar experiences. (My personal favourite? A Reddit post headlined, “Are the servers on Enoch too?”) Kotaku’s John Walker tweeted that the Xbox servers went down when he was at the end of a mission and then wouldn’t let him back into the game at all.

These connectivity hiccups have persisted into the game’s second day, something People Can Fly acknowledged in a tweet. As of this writing, the Outriders server status website lists multiplayer as “operational” and core components as having a “major outage.” (Hmm…) Earlier today, core components were marked as “operational,” while the multiplayer service showed up as “partially operational.”

Hopefully this page, the Outriders status checker, will be empty some day soon (Screenshot: People Can Fly / Kotaku)Hopefully this page, the Outriders status checker, will be empty some day soon (Screenshot: People Can Fly / Kotaku)

“We’re aware that a small percentage of players are encountering certain issues and our teams are proactively gathering information and working on updates and fixes,” representatives for Square Enix told me yesterday via email.

That an online-only launch has gone awry isn’t exactly surprising. We’ve seen it with Fall Guys, The Division, Destiny, and Hitman 3 (kind of). What’s curious here is that People Can Fly has held fast to the line that Outriders is not a service game — like Destiny or Avengers or The Division — and is rather one that you can pick up and play as “a complete experience out of the box.” Though Outriders shines as a cooperative game, it’s also designed to be played entirely through as a single-player experience, and yet, you need an internet connection to play.

“We have a lot of things in the backend so you have to be connected to the internet to be able to play,” People Can Fly’s Bartosz Kmita told IGN.

This is, needless to say, a total bummer. Obviously you need servers to allow for multiplayer connections, and obviously it’s impossible to predict exactly how many players will swarm those servers on day one. (People Can Fly said that more than 2 million players tried out the game’s free demo. Those numbers were revealed before Square Enix, Outriders’ publisher, announced that the game would be available on Game Pass at launch.) But I feel like the game’s intention of being single-player means you should be able to just load it up and play. Friends are nice, but they’re ultimately unnecessary for Outriders to work. Don’t get me wrong. I’m loving the game and am having such a blast so far. I just wish I could reliably play it.

Update: 4:00 p.m. ET: People Can Fly took the Outriders servers offline.

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  • I sure am glad my singleplayer campaig requires online connection! This is a wonderful feature.

    This shit is the reason im not buying the game after i found out about the online connection. I’ve had enough of these issues, lagging enemies and more across The Division 1/2 and Destiny 1/2.
    I dont need to repeat them on a game i (and im sure a significant portion of buyers) will play almost entirely single player.

    If they remove the online connection requirement I’ll buy it. If pirates crack it instead ill pirate it, and it will be 100% the fault of these developers if that sale is lost.

    • I feel the same way about so many MMO’s where I’d pay for a singleplayer offline mod with bots as party members. Offline WoW with smart party members and a Gambit type system? Sign me up!

    • Good grief, if you are going to break the law and be an edgy and sarcastic gamer rebel at least have the balls to take responsibility for your own actions. Yes the online thing is annoying now, but in days it will not even remotely be a concerned to a large amount of community.

      • Lol.
        I didn’t say anything remotely edgy or even sarcastic.

        I do like to buy games that are well made and want to support developers of the .
        I don’t care about making excuses for pirating as I don’t need any justification for it. But in a case where I’d do it ​specifically due to developer decisions I like to point it out.

        Because in this case they have no actual need for this online only. There have been similar games that worked through this issue by having online and offline accounts. so cheats would get caught if using them online and regular single players could just play offline happily.

        All the other issues will still exist I mentioned. The lagging or teleporting enemies if having any connection issues, any internet outage or interruption straight up not letting you play. And that’s just all on your own end, let alone the semi often server issues you’ll get.

        There is no point being a kissass for a big developer.

        • This game IS well made. It is almost like they looked at all the things people love about live service games and all the things they hate, and went out of their way to crush all the negatives, there is much to praise, and indeed the always online thing is annoying but in no should that negate all the things they did achieve. But here you are acting like the thing they stumbled on is proof of some grand failure.

          it has nothing to do for being a kissass for a developer but being mature and respectful enough to appreciate to triumphs and give create where its due.

          Its not a perfect game but its the first game in years that both fulfils the live service model (in some respects) while also being a full package at launch, with ZERO microtrasactions.

          • the developers are not going to give you a free copy of the game if you keep sucking their dick.
            is it really such a difficult concept for you to understand that thearbiter117 has identified an issue with that game that understandably makes it not worth their money and therefore they wish to abstain from spending any money on it? yep, soooo edgy.
            pirating it is irrelevant. youre welcome to spend your money on a product you admit you are not entirely happy with if it makes you sleep better at night because at least you were “respectful” to a company that couldnt care less about you.

    • Same with Hitman. It’s actually worse for Hitman because there isn’t even any multiplayer components.

      Destiny and Division I would absolutely play offline by myself for the story. But I don’t want to be playing live services. I don’t care about playing with anyone else unless it’s splitscreen or specifically my friends.
      It isn’t always internet connection either. I can connect most times, I just don’t want to play because there’s always the threat of servers shutting down and I can’t finish it

  • Atleast you can get in the game lol. I got the epic game store version which just hard crashes to desktop everytime you boot it up with no error logs. I would take server problems over not even being able to start the game anytime of the day.

  • Its a shame because once you are in its actually rather fun. The game play like 9, the inventory and loot system s like a 9.98, sadly the story, acting, overall art design is like a 6 and sometimes it feels like that is being generous. I read some review can it a pulp game, they werent wrong, but like with pulp movies they still manage to shamelessly entertain.

    • I actually preferred the story/plot/some of the acting to the gameplay. It’s not as tight and responsive as other stuff I’ve been playing, but the story does a lot of things better or at least differently. Even though yes, it is pulpy!

      They handle the cryo-sleep pretty well. Getting tossed near-naked and confused actually comes with a great reason. The codex entries for everyone on landing had me buying into that we were going to stick with early colonization for quite a while. I read all that shit and got attached to characters who then either died or had their shit wrecked and it felt good to actually feel something from that. That doesn’t happen often.

      And I’m so glad that your character – despite the occasional dialogue option – is their own character. Warts and all. They’ve picked a tone and run with it, which is refreshing compared to all the ‘blank slate, self-insertion, resulting in a nothing character’ bullshit that we usually see in this kind of game, like Destiny or The Division. I haven’t played the full release because it’s not worth the money to me, but in the demo I really liked the missions where your character makes decisions that I never would have, given the choice. Like just straight-up shooting the Hounds lackey who caps Mr Chang, after an interrogation. The interaction with Eva being a hostage, “IDGAF, this isn’t a rescue,” was also different to how I’d have played it, which makes the character their own character not just some mindless, blank avatar stand-in. Even if it is an asshole, with codex lore-hints about how this behaviour and attitude might stem from the influence of being Altered. Possible plot impact later!

      If the game ever goes offline-solo or drops dramatically in price, I’ll be pretty keen to pick it up and explore the rest of that story. The endgame gear-grind, not so much.

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