Square Enix Tries Being Cool And Embraces Fan-Conversion Of Original Deus Ex

from the machina-me-happy dept

Deus Ex is a video game series built around the theme of human-augmentation and its effects on people’s underlying humanity. It is published by Square Enix, a company built around the theme of trying to piss off fans at every possible turn. Whether it was the nuking of a fan-translation that had already been three years in the works, the company’s loving embrace of stupid DRM, or cease-and-desist-ing an entirely harmless Final Fantasy fan-film out of existence, it’s always appeared that Square Enix might just be some kind of corporate monster that can only sustain itself on the tears of its biggest fans.

But maybe they had their heart augmented or something? I don’t know, but this story about Square Enix not only allowing a major fan-made total conversion to the original Deus Ex game to exist, but actually going out of its way to endorse it, is a rather profound about-face for the company. The conversion is entitled Revision, and it’s pretty damned impressive.

Revision, which went live on Steam a few hours ago, is more than just a set of new textures, but holy cow, it has that. It’s not only a visual upgrade, either. Revision has a bunch of different mods, such as Human Renovation, which fixed glitches, re-balanced augmentations, modified the AI of various NPCs, and a whole bunch more. Fans have been slowly improving and tweaking Deus Ex for a number of years, but if you’ve been afraid to download a bunch of random mods, Revision is your catch all solution.

I haven’t played it yet, but I sure as hell will. Having said that, the visual and gameplay updates are of a quality that you’d expect from a group of fans with a great deal of love for the game. This is normally when Square would step in and dash the sandcastle just for fun, but it’s gone a different route, going so far as to issue a press release at the time that Revision went live on Steam.

Today Square Enix and Eidos-Montréal continue to celebrate the 15th anniversary of the release of the original Deus Ex® by authorizing a fan-created mod for the first Deus Ex game originally released in 2000. Called ‘Revision’, the mod by Caustic Creative overhauls the environments and soundtrack of the original Deus Ex and is available to download for free today on Steam®.

Huh. Deus Ex is all about conspiracy theories at its heart, so maybe there is some nefarious purpose behind Square doing this? All kidding aside, it’s nice to see once-controlling companies embrace their fans and those fans’ labors of love this way. After all, what’s the harm? At worst, this will drive players of the new games to go buy the old ones and give them a spin. Everyone wins.

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Companies: square enix

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Comments on “Square Enix Tries Being Cool And Embraces Fan-Conversion Of Original Deus Ex”

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14 Comments
Shmerl says:

It's Steam only (almost)

Unfortunately they assume everyone is using Steam which is annoying. DRM-free GOG version of Deus Ex requires extra steps:

Hey folks…since there are some people who own cd/gog version of Deus Ex and don’t intend to buy it again (me included..and no money is not the issue here) …well guess what…no steam version needed. 😀

Use the standalone installer (from ModDB page) and ignore steam at the end. Then download Kentie’s launcher http://kentie.net/article/dxguide/index.htm, extract it into your Deus Ex/System. Make a copy of the Deusex.exe and rename it to Revision.exe
Now run the Revision.exe..configure it how you see fit…and finally in Data Directories make sure to check everything..you can uncheck BioMod and/or Shifter if you don’t want to play with them…and that’s it. have fun. In case you have no music in game…check if you have a Deus Ex folder in your Documents. If you do delete it and try to run the game again.

You are being watched (profile) says:

Why it's being allowed

1) The people making Revision approached Square BEFORE even putting it on Steam to ensure there would be no backlash. (this, more than anything, is probably what did it)

2) You have to own a copy of the original Deus Ex. (honestly not to big a deal; if you’re getting Revision, you probably love Deus Ex anyways)

3) Revision is generating zero profit. (this helps too I suppose)

ltlw0lf (profile) says:

Re: Why it's being allowed

The people making Revision approached Square BEFORE even putting it on Steam to ensure there would be no backlash. (this, more than anything, is probably what did it)

There are quite a few examples of modders coming up to developers and asking for permission before putting on Steam, only to have the developers threaten with lawyers. In many ways, it was because of this stupidity that people stopped asking the developers for permission and just released the mods to the public, hoping that the backlash wouldn’t be too bad (before the DMCA, there wasn’t much a company could do to stop a mod, only try to find the modder and sue them.)

And to make matters worse, the developers tend to change policies quicker than the revolutions of most pulsars, where a developer (e.g. Majong) is really happy with a mod (craftbukkit), so much so that they eventually bring it into their fold, offering developers to it, only to DMCA it out of existence shortly after being acquired by Microsoft.

You have to own a copy of the original Deus Ex. (honestly not to big a deal; if you’re getting Revision, you probably love Deus Ex anyways)

I am not aware of any mod that has not required the original game. There may be some, but I am not aware of any. The whole point of a mod is to add functionality, fix bugs, etc., in the game.

Revision is generating zero profit. (this helps too I suppose)

Probably. Though I don’t understand what the heartache is with people generating money on these things. You got your money selling the original game…someone comes along and adds functionality to the game, and people buy it, and if a lot of people are interested, they buy more of your game.

But this “zero profit” even hurts, since quite a few of the modders would love to generate mods where they can pay off the costs associated with the development of the mod, and then give the profit to charity. Mods aren’t that expensive to create, so the costs are quite low, and they probably won’t be asking the same DLC prices the “official mods” get.

That One Guy (profile) says:

Re: Re: Why it's being allowed

Probably. Though I don’t understand what the heartache is with people generating money on these things. You got your money selling the original game…someone comes along and adds functionality to the game, and people buy it, and if a lot of people are interested, they buy more of your game.

It’s thanks to the Mine!/Permission culture idiocy, where everything needs to be owned, and no-one is allowed to profit off of something but the owner.

Doesn’t matter if it costs the original creator nothing, doesn’t matter if it actually benefits them, someone else is doing something involving their stuff, and that means it needs to be killed, because only the ‘original’ creation matters and has value, anything based or built upon it does not matter, and has no value.

TDR says:

I remember reading a while back that SE’s president said that the only reason one should make games is to make money. If he did say that, that might explain a lot of SE’s recent history and the multiple idiotic moves within it. If a company is led by someone who only values money, then they’re bound to do a lot of consumer-unfriendly things due to greed.

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