Cracks Showing In Epic Store's PR War As Developers Have To Plead With Public To Not Harass Them

from the the-developer's-front dept

We've been discussing the new PC gaming platform wars that kicked off with Epic releasing their own Epic Store to rival Valve's Steam and attempting to power it with game exclusives built on a more generous split with publishers. There has obviously been a lot to talk about in this new rivalry, from Steam's response, to Epic's flubbing of its store's main purpose, to the effect Epic's exclusivity deals are hampering the use of crowdfunding to get more games made. But one of the most interesting aspects of this whole ordeal is how clearly Epic's leadership has attempted to frame this all as a PR war above all else. Essentially, Epic is combating the public's natural distaste for exclusivity deals by pointing the finger back at Steam, stating that none of this would be an issue and the exclusive deals could go away tomorrow if Steam mirrored Epic's revenue splits. The argument is that what Epic is really after is a better gaming industry that makes more and better games, something that should benefit the very fans now complaining about the company's tactics.

So, how's that PR battle plan working? Not terribly well, judging by some of the peripherals. For instance, when part of the announcement for a game publisher releasing exclusively on Epic includes the company begging gamers not to hurl vitriol at it in response, that's an indication the gaming public hasn't been swayed.

One of the easiest bits of news to miss on Monday’s Gamescom Opening Night Live show was tucked away in an ad for the Epic Games Store. A simple sizzle reel that showcased a number of games exclusive to the controversial digital PC game storefront included an upcoming indie that previously wasn’t in Epic’s roster: Oddworld Soulstorm. Shortly after, Oddworld creator Lorne Lanning posted a message via the Oddworld Twitter account.

If that all reads to you as a thinly veiled attempt to plead with the public not to harass the Oddworld folks over the exclusivity deal, that's because that's exactly what it is. And, as you may have guessed, it didn't work. In fact, not only did the anger at the exclusive Epic Store release come through anyway, Glumberland, the company behind the game, was taken to task for attempting to head off the storm with the above message.

It proved to be a futile effort, as post from Ben Wasser—one of Glumberland’s two members—detailed the deluge of harassment he received for choosing to sell his game in the way that he wished. Among the usual complaints was a new one: Wasser was rude for calling the mob of harassers toxic and entitled, and that the glibness of his initial post was disrespectful.

A couple of things are worth noting here. First, most of the harassment thrown at gamemakers over their business practices is way, way out of hand. It's the kind of toxic overreaction and entitlement that gives gamers everywhere a bad name. Second, there is no real indication as to whether this is a vocal minority or majority, only that it is indeed vocal.

Still, we're at a place in all of this where publishers are proactively sending out these messages to reason with that vocal group and to attempt to head off the shitstorm of backlash over exclusive deals with the Epic Store. Whatever that is, it is most certainly not an indication that Epic is winning the PR war it chose to start.

Filed Under: distribution channels, epic game store, platforms, silos, soulstorm, stores, video games
Companies: epic, oddworld


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  1. identicon
    Anonymous Coward, 21 Aug 2019 @ 8:17pm

    You’ve got the developers wrong. Way wrong. Glumberland is developing Ooblets, which was the main target of a harassment campaign. Oddworld Inhabitants is publishing and developing Soulstorm, but this all is still a dire state of affairs brought on by a bunch of toxic manchildren. Here’s hoping that, sometime in the future, Gamers™ can grow the fuck up.

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  2. icon
    That One Guy (profile), 21 Aug 2019 @ 8:29pm

    'Open and honest', not a difficult concept to grasp

    A simple sizzle reel that showcased a number of games exclusive to the controversial digital PC game storefront included an upcoming indie that previously wasn’t in Epic’s roster: Oddworld Soulstorm. Shortly after, Oddworld creator Lorne Lanning posted a message via the Oddworld Twitter account.

    How is it that devs are still being this stupid? Yes they tried to head criticism off at the pass, but that was only after signing the deal with Epic and people found out from someone else.

    You want to reduce the amount of people angry at you for selling out to Epic? Stop treating them like idiots and only telling them after the fact. If you really need the extra money to get the game 'right' then talk to your fans before going to Epic, discuss the issue with them and offer them the chance to throw the needed money your way.

    The fact that devs keep doing this, only telling people when they absolutely have to means they know that what they're doing is going to piss people off, so they really need to take some time(five gorram minutes should be enough) to think of potential alternatives and/or consider ways to handle it that don't involve after-the-fact 'please don't be mad with us' CYOA.

    Whatever that is, it is most certainly not an indication that Epic is winning the PR war it chose to start.

    On the contrary, as Jim Sterling pointed out in a recent vid Epic likely loves having devs ripped to pieces by the more toxic members of the gaming community, as it keeps the focus on them and away from the very real and valid reasons people don't want to use the Epic store and/or are angry that yet another game dev has sold out. Not only that but they get to play 'the good guys' by talking about how they totally support the devs that they bought out and what a shame they're being treated so badly by people who don't need to be taken seriously due to how they're acting.

    For Epic the more toxic and vitriolic some people are the better, to the point that the scum acting like that might as well be getting a paycheck from the company given how they are basically working for it and playing right into it's hands.

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  3. icon
    Phoenix84 (profile), 21 Aug 2019 @ 8:29pm

    The gaming community as a whole seems to be getting more and more toxic as time passes.

    It's truly awful, and pervasive.

    I'm so glad I mostly play single player games, as it's already getting to me, and I know multiplayer is way worse.

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  4. This comment has been flagged by the community. Click here to show it
    identicon
    Stavros U. Staggard, 21 Aug 2019 @ 8:30pm

    Say, speaking of toxic overreaction...

    Been some time since I reminded of this comment, made by the very Timothy Geigner, aka "Dark Helmet", now aka "Gary" and "Scary Devil Monastery", a paid writer for Techdirt, totally unprovoked, not part of ongoing, solely to make toxic hate:

    "There are white people, and then there are ignorant motherfuckers like you...."

    http://www.techdirt.com/articles/20110621/16071614792/misconceptions-free-abound-why-d o-brains-stop-zero.shtml#c1869

    When I raised objection, only netted me more hate, was laughed off by "the Techdirt community".

    Above you recognize that toxic forums don't improve the rep of "gamers"! Think that might apply generally?

    SO, Timmy (and Masnick, minions, and fanboys): You're years older now: ready to admit that you were wrong? Or will you keep going out of your way to make deliberately vile comments that have made Techdirt a crusty tiny cesspit?

    And continue to censor the comments of everyone who disagrees?

    Because what you're doing is obviously working so well!

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  5. icon
    That One Guy (profile), 21 Aug 2019 @ 8:39pm

    Re:

    While there are certainly those that are acting like world-class assholes towards game devs, and they really need to knock that off, Ooblets is a practically a master-class on what not to do.

    Between their condescending and dismissive announcement and the positively repulsive way they interacted with people in their community they basically walked up, slapped their fans with a filth-encrusted hand, and then arrogantly asked '... and what are you going to do about it you pathetic losers?'

    If any dev has earned at least some of the vitriol those who sign with Epic are getting it would be them. While neither they no anyone else deserves the crap like threats and harassment, with how they acted there is nothing surprising at all with why people would be seriously pissed at them.

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  6. identicon
    Anonymous Coward, 21 Aug 2019 @ 8:40pm

    Re: Say, speaking of toxic overreaction...

    Are you willing to apologize for the over-a-decade worth of trolling you've done on this site? If not, demanding an apology for a single comment is ballsy.

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  7. identicon
    Anonymous Coward, 21 Aug 2019 @ 8:41pm

    Re:

    Toxic overreaction is holding onto a... seven? Eight year old grudge?

    Also companies can be legally referred to as "patent trolls" now, blue. And Malibu Media is getting sued by its investors, a win for copyright there!

    This week has been a double decker nothingburger for you, hasn't it?

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  8. identicon
    Anonymous Coward, 21 Aug 2019 @ 8:43pm

    I don't get upset about games, but I do disagree with exclusive releases like this. It basically says to fans, "we're not making enough money off of you."

    That said, harassing a game company is as mature as spewing vitriol while pretending being concerned about "ethics in game journalism."

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  9. icon
    That One Guy (profile), 21 Aug 2019 @ 8:47pm

    'Let me remind everyone how obsessed I am!'

    Oh Blue, of all your mental impairments the need to remind people how obsessed your are with the site by bringing up a now eight year old joke that you are either too stupid to understand despite it being explained to you time and time again, and/or too dishonest to admit that you got wrong, has got to be one of the funnier ones.

    Truly, you are the site's number one fan(atic), always good for a guilt-free laugh and stress-testing the site's report function.

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  10. identicon
    Anonymous Coward, 21 Aug 2019 @ 8:49pm

    Re: Say, speaking of toxic overreaction...

    I'm confused, what's incorrect about calling you ignorant?

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  11. identicon
    Anonymous Coward, 21 Aug 2019 @ 8:51pm

    Re: 'Open and honest', not a difficult concept to grasp

    Of course, Jim gleefully ignores how he and other “consumer advocates” have helped foster this culture of toxic and childish entitlement over his years of making his “Jimquisition” videos under his petulant persona. Jim, YongYea, TheQuartering, and others constantly play to their audience, telling them that they’re right to be angry at everything big and small.

    The only one who was the Goddamn adult in the room was John “TotalBiscuit” Bain. He gave these companies what for, but never descended into the trite vitriol of others. I’m really sad that he’s gone now. If more people who played games and gaming YouTubers and “consumer advocates” had learned from the example that he set, then maybe the gaming community wouldn’t be the toxic shitstain that it is right now.

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  12. icon
    Gary (profile), 21 Aug 2019 @ 8:53pm

    Re: Say, speaking of toxic Trolling...

    now aka "Gary"

    Hey Blue Balls - Take your meds and stop shilling for the Nazi's. Let's remind everyone how you keep pushing your bullshit about the Jew Conspiracy and your White Power propaganda.

    So what have you done, other than spew toxic hate?

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  13. identicon
    Anonymous Coward, 21 Aug 2019 @ 9:04pm

    Re: Re:

    Yeah, no. The Ooblets devs wrote their blog post about Epic exclusivity for their Patrons on Patreon and other community members, who were used to the tongue-in-cheek manner in which they wrote their updates. From what I’ve seen and read, most of the community was fine with their decision. It was only when the Gamers™ caught wind of the blog post, with a lot of help from “consumer advocate” signal boosters like Jim Sterling, that the hate campaign started. The devs were by and large responding to Gamers™ who were probably never interested in the game which joined their Discord server en masse to stir shit up after catching wind of their exclusivity announcement.

    In response to the hate mob, Ben Wasser has this to say:

    “While some of what I’ve said was definitely bad for PR, I stand behind it. A portion of the gaming community is indeed horrendously toxic, entitled, immature, irrationally-angry, and prone to joining hate mobs over any inconsequential issue they can cook up. That was proven again through this entire experience. It was never my intention to alienate or antagonize anyone in our community who does not fit that description, and I hope that you can see my tone and pointed comments were not directed at you.”

    To quote a commenter on the first Kotaku article I linked (and I strongly urge you to read both of the articles that I’ve linked), this is a perfectly reasonable comment from him because I know part of the gaming community acts like that, and I’m not offended by his description because I know he’s not talking about me.

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  14. identicon
    Anonymous Coward, 21 Aug 2019 @ 9:54pm

    That's a big fat no

    Epic's plan has nothing to do with getting more funds for devs, it's all about growing for the sake of growing the epic game store. Something here at tech dirt has railed certain companies for doing.

    The epic train wreck isn't going away. Especially, when epic slips that they only want exclusives, and a walled garden instead a healthy multi store ecosystem. Epic will deny games unless they get their exclusivity. So cut the bs epic support.

    Maybe gamers would give epic more slack if the store had useful features of at least Discord (with its 90/10 split). But no, the egs lacks a shopping cart, security, vr support, Linux support, reviews, forums, community, preloading games, a working dlc system, competent customer service, a working purchase system, a family purchase system, gifting, hosting, dev binaries, etc. And people wonder why valve charges as much as they do. Valve does 1000x more for devs than epic.

    Devs making a piss poor choice for selling steam pre-orders, then pulling a bait & switch deserve the flak they get. Toxic actions by devs will earn toxic responses, and increase piracy.

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  15. icon
    That One Guy (profile), 21 Aug 2019 @ 10:05pm

    'Anyone who was ACTUALLY a fan wouldn't be upset.'

    The devs were by and large responding to Gamers who were probably never interested in the game which joined their Discord server en masse to stir shit up after catching wind of their exclusivity announcement.

    Joining with the devs in running with that particular conspiracy theory/method to ignore people I see, have fun with that.

    A couple of gems from YongYea's intitial vid on the subject:

    (For context to those unfamiliar with the debacle, perplamps is the husband, Nonplayercat is the wife of the husband/wife dev team)

    Perplamps: 'I think when a lot of the kids here get older and have to get jobs, they're idea of what selling out is will change'

    **

    Nonplayercat: 'I don't understand what people use shopping carts for on video game storefronts'

    **

    In response to a this comment...

    1-UP Chef RIP ETIKA: 'yea but you've gotta realize, you aren't just talking directly to the 4chan/redditors. That's a post to EVERYONE whois/was intersted in the project. I get the pre-frustration, but like, c'mon ma. Killed my enthusiasm for the game to see the blog being so condescenging to all your fans'

    You got this...

    Perplamps: the frothing anger over literally, a free game launcher you don't like, is proof that the tone matched the target of that tone, adn that target is not the audence of Ooblets who is honestly above that stuff

    **

    In response to a question about kickstarter...

    perplamps: honestly the biggest reason we didn't do a kickstarter is we didn't want to deal with entitled baby gamers holding even more power over us

    **

    Zync @seemaq: I mean, look at how the devs are responding, They clearly couldn't care less if you buy their game or support them now that they have their epic cash

    Perplamps@Zync: man I wish we didn't take an epic deal so we would HAVE to care what all the entitled toxic gamers think

    **

    LittleTub @perplamps: I think there's a disconnect between how you intended the post to be recieved and how it actually came across

    perplamps @ LittleTub: No, I think the toxic entitled gamers took it as directed at them

    **

    Giorno Garuda @ perplamps: Also, per your blogpost, you stated "I don't expect much of our uniquely-lovely community to fit into this weird anti-Epic contingent." Not trying to strawman here, but does this mean you pretty much think that people who are against the EGS practices should not fit in this community?

    Perplamps @Giorno Garuda: I think you definitely wouldn't like Ooblets in general

    **

    LittleTub @perplamps: I feel like equating communicating business decisions from dev to consumer, and in-game character dialogue, feels really weird lmao

    perplamps@LittleTub: the content of our game reflects us in theh same way us not bending over backward to baby gamers does

    Now then, tell me again how the devs were just joking around and weren't condescending, dismissing jackasses who mocked their fans and dismissed anyone who didn't agree with them as not real members of the community?

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  16. icon
    That One Guy (profile), 21 Aug 2019 @ 10:18pm

    Re: That's a big fat no

    The epic train wreck isn't going away. Especially, when epic slips that they only want exclusives, and a walled garden instead a healthy multi store ecosystem. Epic will deny games unless they get their exclusivity. So cut the bs epic support.

    That was a pretty damning revelation, yes. Refuse an Epic exclusive offer but still want to sell on their platform anyway? Nope, if they aren't the only source for your game on PC they aren't interested. So much for the empty claims of just wanting a healthy, pro-dev and pro-customer market.

    Devs making a piss poor choice for selling steam pre-orders, then pulling a bait & switch deserve the flak they get. Toxic actions by devs will earn toxic responses, and increase piracy.

    Yes and no. If devs want to treat their fans like crap then they don't get to play the victim card if the fans return the favor, but that doesn't excuse any and all responses, and some that I've seen go well over the line, and are both counter-productive and uncalled for.

    If someone tells you to fuck off by all means feel free to return the favor, but threatening bodily harm or continually harassing them is not a valid, productive or proportional response.

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  17. identicon
    Anonymous Coward, 21 Aug 2019 @ 10:43pm

    Re: Re: That's a big fat no

    I 100% agree with you on the threats. People calling the devs shit heads is something I can get behind.

    The oooblets turned into a meme at one point. Epic fans were pointing at it, and calling people rightfully annoyed with the situation "toxic trolls" because epic doesn't support the patreon supporter's local currency(hence the guy was not going to be able to purchase the game.) Epic fans were also sending out threats to people that didn't like the exclusive.

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  18. identicon
    Anonymous Coward, 21 Aug 2019 @ 11:08pm

    Re: Say, speaking of toxic overreaction...here comes blueballs

    Hey bro I’ll apologise the second you stop being an ignorant motherfucker. Until then eat my asshole bro.

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  19. identicon
    Anonymous Coward, 22 Aug 2019 @ 12:29am

    Re: Re: Re: That's a big fat no

    You got duped by screenshots that were faked and out of context. Gamers did whatever they could to spread misinformation and further their false narrative that the Ooblets devs were being assholes to community members with legitimate concerns.

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  20. icon
    Lalo Martins (profile), 22 Aug 2019 @ 1:01am

    vocal minority

    there is no real indication as to whether this is a vocal minority or majority, only that it is indeed vocal.

    IMO there's plenty of indication: sales. The developers who released exclusives seem to be quite happy, and the one developer whose numbers I know, well, those were really good numbers for the studio size and for an Early Access.

    So yeah. Definitely a vocal minority. It's more or less the same people who scream ‘go woke go broke’ and then don't know how to react when the movie makes a billion. 🤷

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  21. icon
    PaulT (profile), 22 Aug 2019 @ 1:04am

    Re: Say, speaking of toxic overreaction...

    You know, anyone who wasn't an ignorant motherfucker would have forgotten about that by now. Thanks for proving that the original assertion was correct.

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  22. identicon
    Anonymous Coward, 22 Aug 2019 @ 2:27am

    Re: Re: Re:

    They may have intended for their blog post to be tongue-in-cheek but the problem with the internet (and the written word) it is hard to read intent and they should really have made it more obvious it was tongue-in-cheek especially as it was directed to the public and not just a private part of their community.

    It also didn't help that they used trolling language ("it's just another launcher") to dismiss people who have legitimate complaints with what Epic are doing and dismissed anyone who had concerns as Toxic Gamers and not part of their community.

    Then when things got out of hand (also people didn't invade there Discord server the blog post told them to go their which may not have been a great idea as small niche communities don't deal well with an influx of people even when they aren't angry) they doubled down and to make matters worse Sweeney jumped in and fanned the flames (I really find it hard to believe he didn't know what he was doing).

    The other problem with the Epic mess is that there isn't any way to actually raise your concerns - you cannot vote with your wallet as Epic have already paid them for their expected first year sales (and no doubt if the games don't sell on Steam/GOG later on this will be used as proof that they were right to take the money making a self-fulfilling prophecy).

    Whilst the game press appear to be 100% on Epic's side (really don't know what Valve did to anger them all?) and right from the start they dismissed any complaints about Epic and demeaned gamers as 'Entitled' for wanting choice on where they can buy games or even just modern features in their stores, hell Kotaku even managed to blame Valve for the Ooblets mess even though they weren't even involved (as I don't think the game ever even announced it was coming to steam) and of course they now get to dismiss any future complaints as the entitled rants of toxic gamers...

    Also not sure where Jim Sterling comes into this, like the rest of the press he's been on Epic's side so unless he's changed his tune he'd have been on the Ooblet devs side.

    That said none of this condones the harassment and death threats the Ooblet devs got over this and if anything they just made things worse as anyone with legitimate complaints of Epic and criticism of how the devs handled this just get lumped in with the Toxic Gamers.

    Also this isn't really unique to gaming, if anything it's a toxic humanity problem and similar things happen when people get invested in something - Movie/TV/Book fans can be just as toxic and sports fans are even worse. It's not even an internet/social media thing (that just makes it easier to see) as sports fans have been toxic for decades before the internet existed, whilst history has shown it's easy to get communities riled up (witch trials, lynching etc...)

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  23. icon
    Zof (profile), 22 Aug 2019 @ 3:08am

    Re:

    Any response at all to unethical corporate cash grabs is labelled some childish bunch of codewords now. It wouldn't have mattered how the fans reacted. They would have been shamed in this cheap pathetic way.

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  24. icon
    Zof (profile), 22 Aug 2019 @ 3:09am

    Maybe they could just stop lying to gamers

    It's funny, I can point at the other 99.99 percent of games that have no problems. Maybe they could just do what those games do and stop acting like loser developers.

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  25. identicon
    Anonymous Coward, 22 Aug 2019 @ 3:54am

    Re: Re:

    “childish bunch of codewords”

    Is that what you’re calling your conspiring garbage mie bro?

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  26. identicon
    Anonymous Coward, 22 Aug 2019 @ 3:58am

    Re: Re: 'Open and honest', not a difficult concept to grasp

    "toxic"? Know how I know you have a mental illness?

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  27. icon
    That One Guy (profile), 22 Aug 2019 @ 4:03am

    Re: Re: Re: Re:

    Also not sure where Jim Sterling comes into this, like the rest of the press he's been on Epic's side so unless he's changed his tune he'd have been on the Ooblet devs side.

    Gonna have to disagree with you there, as the gist I've gotten from him is that he sees Epic as a potential competitor to Steam, which is good, but doesn't much care for the methods they've been using(just rewatched the latest Jimquisition and it is anything but kind towards Epic), and as for devs acting like jackasses towards their customers I don't see him giving that a pass at all, though he will rightly defend them against idiots who cross the line when going after them, both because no-one deserves that sort of harassment and threats and because it's completely counter-productive and plays right into Epic's hands.

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  28. icon
    That One Guy (profile), 22 Aug 2019 @ 4:26am

    Re: Re: 'Open and honest', not a difficult concept to grasp

    Of course, Jim gleefully ignores how he and other “consumer advocates” have helped foster this culture of toxic and childish entitlement over his years of making his “Jimquisition” videos under his petulant persona.

    Ah yes, truly the most 'petulant' of people, getting upset over the multitude of sins of the gaming industry...

    Jim, YongYea, TheQuartering, and others constantly play to their audience, telling them that they’re right to be angry at everything big and small.

    Oh absolutely, how dare people get upset when they're lied to, treated like crap and exploited! Don't they know there's much bigger things to get worked up about like global warming? Frequent crunch time, gambling in the form of loot boxes, dishonest trailers or presentations, companies that boast of records profits and then fire hundreds, pushing out rushed products at full-price with pinky-promises that they'll fix it at some point in the future... who could possibly get upset over such trifles?

    While there are certainly people who go overboard if you don't think there aren't serious issues well worth getting upset over I can only say your standards are in serious need of re-calibration.

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  29. icon
    That One Guy (profile), 22 Aug 2019 @ 4:33am

    Re: Re: Re: Re: That's a big fat no

    Just because some screenshots were faked does not mean all of them were, and while it's possible that the ones I've seen via a semi-recent YongYea video were all faked the odds seem rather low, and of those the devs weren't acting very mature.

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  30. icon
    Stephen T. Stone (profile), 22 Aug 2019 @ 4:40am

    ready to admit that you were wrong?

    We would…if you weren’t still such an ignorant motherfucker.

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  31. identicon
    Bruce C., 22 Aug 2019 @ 4:50am

    Re: Re: Re: Re: Re:

    For that matter, I touted the competitive benefits of having Epic when they first started this, but suggested that they could benefit consumers as well by offering a blanket 10% off list price while still giving a better dev cut than steam and a better take for the store than the 10-15% being advertised.

    Since then, some devs are alleging that they are ONLY being offered exclusivity deals: If they want to be on the Epic store, a non-exclusive deal isn't available to them.

    The final straw is that just because the dev/publisher gets a better cut of the sale, doesn't mean that the money is invested in new games or in rewarding the people who actually worked on the project. So why should consumers care about the parts that don't affect them, when the exclusivity definitely does affect them.

    The only sites I see that really offer any consumer benefit are GOG which offers DRM-free (except for cases where you have to login to a game server for multi-player), and Humble Bundle, where, if you buy the bundles, you can direct a portion your money to the charity of your choice.

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  32. identicon
    Anonymous Coward, 22 Aug 2019 @ 4:59am

    So many game companies know that the Epic game store isn't a good image. So they try to hide it.

    Mechwarrior 5 Mercs recently had a kickstarter to generate funds for the game. They said it was going to be released on Steam and GOG at the launch date.

    But it was revealed by an internal whistleblower a few months later that this was never the plan. The deal was locked in with the Epic game store to be a one year exclusive on their platform while they made the Steam and GOG claims.

    It's a wheel of toxicity but Epic and game devs deploying on Epic are adding to the PR issues and blame others for their problems.

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  33. identicon
    epic pepic, 22 Aug 2019 @ 5:43am

    nothing is new under the sun

    Epic is pulling a fast one with consumers. They will get everything as an exclusive with great deals for devs then some time in the future when they have all the games and there is no more other stores they will pull a swifty and get more revenue, more than steam ever has charged, just because this is their game. Any one who supports this sham should be in jail forever and the epic managers and owners should be shot in the head.

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  34. icon
    PaulT (profile), 22 Aug 2019 @ 6:07am

    Re:

    "They said it was going to be released on Steam and GOG at the launch date.

    But it was revealed by an internal whistleblower a few months later that this was never the plan."

    So, they committed outright fraud. I hope someone's taking up the case.

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  35. identicon
    TFG, 22 Aug 2019 @ 6:14am

    I have a very simple rule: I won't buy from the Epic store.

    This may change in the future if Epic stops playing the hoarding game and becomes an actual storefront. But for now, nobody there gets my money.

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  36. icon
    wereisjessicahyde (profile), 22 Aug 2019 @ 6:21am

    Re: Say, speaking of toxic overreaction...

    Have you thought about taking up a hobby?

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  37. identicon
    PDN, 22 Aug 2019 @ 6:51am

    Re: Re: 'Open and honest', not a difficult concept to grasp

    Of course, Jim gleefully ignores how he and other “consumer advocates” have helped foster this culture of toxic and childish entitlement over his years of making his “Jimquisition” videos under his petulant persona. … The only one who was the Goddamn adult in the room was John “TotalBiscuit” Bain. He gave these companies what for, but never descended into the trite vitriol of others. I’m really sad that he’s gone now. If more people who played games and gaming YouTubers and “consumer advocates” had learned from the example that he set, then maybe the gaming community wouldn’t be the toxic shitstain that it is right now.

    Considering Bain's actions during GaⓂ️ergate and his subsequent tiptoeing around it, I would say he contributed much more to the "toxic behavior under the guise of consumer advocacy"-phenomena than Sterling ever did, regardless of whether or not that was intentional.

    If you look at how Sterlings views and opinions have evolved over time, as well as the fact that he often expresses his mindfulness of how masses of people can be influenced (eg. his latest video on the Epic store), I would say he handles his audience and influence more responsibly than Bain did.

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  38. identicon
    Anonymous Coward, 22 Aug 2019 @ 7:02am

    Re: Re:

    Judge will be like "Well you still get the game right? Also they are offering refunds if you hate it sooooo what's the damage?"

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  39. identicon
    SirWired, 22 Aug 2019 @ 7:07am

    Explain to me, in small words, why *any* of this matters?

    Why on earth does it make one damn bit of difference which store(s) which games are available from? Seems like an utterly ridiculous thing to get so worked up about.

    I can certainly sympathize with a developer that says "Store X pays us more, we won't be selling in Store Y unless they match."

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  40. icon
    crade (profile), 22 Aug 2019 @ 7:15am

    Re: vocal minority

    We don't have any indication because Epic is paying the developers off so that they will be happy regardless of sales.

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  41. icon
    PaulT (profile), 22 Aug 2019 @ 7:26am

    Re: Re: Re:

    I would hope that it takes more than a refund offer to defend against charges of fraudulently acquiring investors, but I hope someone stands up against this kind of behaviour. It doesn't matter how trivial the feature is, if you're knowingly misleading people so that they invest in your project, you deserve some comeback.

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  42. identicon
    Anonymous Coward, 22 Aug 2019 @ 7:48am

    Re:

    The gaming community is not getting more toxic. It is getting larger and the same proportion of toxic and non-toxic gamers now appear to be creating more toxicity. The internet amplifies the voices of the toxic few by helping to spread their venom. It is exactly the same with every other ugly aspect of humanity everywhere else on the internet.

    Humans are, at an alarming rate, trash. Given an opportunity to act like an asshole many will jump in with both feet because consequences are few and far between. Our urges are not a solvable problem; It is who we are. The rest of us just need to find a way to apply consequences to such behavior on the internet like that which exists on the sidewalk and the problem will shift back to the dark recesses where it lived prior to the advent of instant global anonymous speech.

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  43. This comment has been flagged by the community. Click here to show it
    identicon
    Anonymous Coward, 22 Aug 2019 @ 7:53am

    Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: That's a big fat no

    “Screenshots were faked in order to paint these developers with a bad brush, but I choose to believe what makes me feel good and like I’m correct.”

    Right on! Move those goalposts, That One Gamer! Anything to keep believing you’re in the right on this one and the narrative you’ve been fed by gaming YouTubers posing as consumer advocates, the game industry’s version of Fox News pundits who have to keep you angry and telling you that you’re right all the time or else they’ll lose viewers, is the correct one.

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  44. icon
    Samuel Abram (profile), 22 Aug 2019 @ 7:59am

    Re: Re: Re: Re: That's a big fat no

    Though I believe the Screenshots of the discord were fake, this is not fake, and neither is this. While it is true that The Ooblets developers have been victims of doctored screenshots presented in a defamatory manner, there is plenty of truth among the fiction that the Ooblets devs cavalierly mocked people who had concerns and Tim Sweeney fanning the flames.

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  45. icon
    Samuel Abram (profile), 22 Aug 2019 @ 8:05am

    Re: Explain to me, in small words, why *any* of this matters?

    (Read this)[https://indie-hive.com/ooblets-and-epic-exclusivity/]. It’s not just people who use Steam, but also people who use DRM-free storefronts such as GOG and itch.io, both of which require no launchers.

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  46. icon
    Samuel Abram (profile), 22 Aug 2019 @ 8:07am

    Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: That's a big fat no

    You know you misquoted him in a manner similar to those doctored screenshots, right?

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  47. icon
    nasch (profile), 22 Aug 2019 @ 8:08am

    Re: That's a big fat no

    But no, the egs lacks a shopping cart, security, vr support, Linux support, reviews, forums, community, preloading games, a working dlc system, competent customer service, a working purchase system, a family purchase system, gifting, hosting, dev binaries, etc.

    If this is true, gamers have nothing to worry about. The Epic store won't be around for long.

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  48. icon
    nasch (profile), 22 Aug 2019 @ 8:11am

    Re: nothing is new under the sun

    the epic managers and owners should be shot in the head.

    Right on cue, horrible toxic gamer shows up...

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  49. icon
    Dark Helmet (profile), 22 Aug 2019 @ 8:16am

    Re: Say, speaking of toxic overreaction...

    As I"ve said to you in the past, this is a quote from Barack Obama's book. It came in a long list of quotes I was responding to you with, because of your inane nonsense. I might as well have said, "A rose by any other name is still a rose."

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  50. identicon
    Anonymous Coward, 22 Aug 2019 @ 8:17am

    Re: Re: Re: 'Open and honest', not a difficult concept to grasp

    I think there are issues worth getting upset over. But personality-driven gaming YouTube channels have had a hand in bringing out the worst in the gaming community by endlessly focusing on the outrages of the day for the sake of views and engagement. Just like news on TV, negativity sells and there’s no profit in it for them to point out the myriad success stories in the games industry or telling their audience that they’re wrong.

    While he’s not part of the same sphere as Jim and the others, Crowbcat puts out videos that are more often than not take on a cynical tone. When he decided to take one positive look at a VR game he played and enjoyed, people called him a shill and got angry to the point where he felt he had to take that video down and replace it with a more neutral one. That’s the kind of audience that has been bred by gaming culture and gaming YouTubers.

    It would be nice if folks like Jim could own up to their hand in, over the course of their years of accentuating the negative and rallying gamers around the idea that they’re in the right all the time, creating an atmosphere in which people feel like they’re justified in slinging garbage like this at developers.

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  51. identicon
    Anonymous Coward, 22 Aug 2019 @ 8:20am

    Re: Re: Explain to me, in small words, why *any* of this matters

    If you don't like how a product is being sold, don't buy it. If enough people agree with your sentiments, the seller will change their behavior or go out of business.

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

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    identicon
    Anonymous Coward, 22 Aug 2019 @ 8:22am

    Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: That's a big fat no

    Just because some stuff was paraphrased does not mean that that’s not what he actually believes, and while it's possible that the text I've seen via a semi-recent That One Guy comment was all coming from a place of intellectual honesty, the odds seem rather low, and of those the comments weren't very mature.

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  53. icon
    Samuel Abram (profile), 22 Aug 2019 @ 8:30am

    Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: That's a big fat no

    Are you Karnak? Can you read minds? If the answer is “no”, quote him directly. Otherwise, I can do stuff like this:

    Yes, I am a racist and a pedophile.

    -the anonymous coward to whom I am replying.

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  54. icon
    Samuel Abram (profile), 22 Aug 2019 @ 8:36am

    If you don't like how a product is being sold, don't buy it.

    I’m, what do you think I’m doing? Also, it’s not like Kickstarter backers have a choice; they already paid for the game expecting it on other storefronts only for Epic yo unnecessarily delay the game even further.

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  55. icon
    PaulT (profile), 22 Aug 2019 @ 8:37am

    Re: Explain to me, in small words, why *any* of this matters?

    "Why on earth does it make one damn bit of difference which store(s) which games are available from?"

    1. Because people prefer to use the store they want to use, not galavant all over town to get the products they want? Especially if they don't wish to use a particular store due to reasons not related to the product.

    2. Because there's additional costs with some stores in the form of DRM and launchers. Many of these are performance hogs and security risks, and people don't want to open up more of that because they're blocked from using the ones they already have.

    3. Because, by all accounts, there's no actual benefit to using Epic's store for the consumer, which is why they're pulling this crap in the first place to try and force people to use them.

    "I can certainly sympathize with a developer that says "Store X pays us more, we won't be selling in Store Y unless they match.""

    Except that's not happening. When tied to Epic, the developers are told they cannot sell anywhere else, no matter what the deal is.

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  56. icon
    PaulT (profile), 22 Aug 2019 @ 8:38am

    Re: Re: Re: Explain to me, in small words, why *any* of this mat

    "If you don't like how a product is being sold, don't buy it"

    How does that help the people who already bought the product, but then had the deal changed under them?

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  57. icon
    Samuel Abram (profile), 22 Aug 2019 @ 8:55am

    Re: Mechwarrior 5 Mercs

    I searched on Kickstarter for this project but to no avail. Do you have a link?

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  58. identicon
    Anonymous Coward, 22 Aug 2019 @ 8:56am

    Re: Re: Re: Re:

    The journalists that make up games press (and many of the comments on articles the games press makes about Epic’s store, such as ones on Kotaku and Polygon) have been much more reasonable about everything involving Epic’s store than Jim Sterling and the rest of the gaggle of YouTube “consumer advocates” and the choirs they preach to. The games press at Kotaku and elsewhere don’t have the luxury of being able to skim the top Reddit posts of the day to make a buzzword-laden video that rakes in the views from irritable manchildren who’ve fallen into parasocial relationships. Folks like Grayson and Rivera operate on an ethical journalistic standard and can’t just hurl invectives and fan the flames of outrage; they have to be the adults in the room and the voices of reason where everyone else won’t. Kotaku is the New York Times while Jim Sterling and company are Fox News.

    Speaking of ethics in games journalism, the whole GamerGate shitshow proved that there is a particularly virulent strain of toxicity within gaming culture and gaming communities. It’s a culture that presents cynicism as wisdom, and apathy as a virtue, and the self-righteous mob as the best way to get justice. It goes far beyond what you see in communities surrounding other forms of media. Your whataboutism regarding movies, TV, books and sports ring hollow in the face of the nonstop outrage machine that is gaming culture and the personalities that have, whether they like it or not, helped to shape it.

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  59. This comment has been flagged by the community. Click here to show it
    identicon
    Anonymous Coward, 22 Aug 2019 @ 9:09am

    Re: Explain to me, in small words, why *any* of this matters?

    It matters because entitled gamers have turned this into a second GamerGate. Only instead of “ethics in games journalism” being used as a smokescreen for its real purpose of manbabies wanting to harass women out of the industry, it’s now about “ethics in PC game store practices” being used as a stage for people to showcase their immaturity by getting irrationally angry over having to click a different icon to play their games because that icon isn’t the logo of the store they formed an unhealthy emotional attachment to over the years. Also, a heaping dose of xenophobic fearmongering over the Chinese company Tencent’s involvement.

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  60. identicon
    Anonymous Coward, 22 Aug 2019 @ 9:33am

    Re: Explain to me, in small words, why *any* of this matters?

    Small words:
    Epic Store is actually bad for using. Epic Games is probably lying about why they're doing this. Fuck forced exclusivity.

    Longer words, for those able to read:
    The Epic Games store is a garbage fire to use. They do not have a shopping cart, for example.

    I despise exclusivity. The only time I give it a pass is when the game relies on the hardware itself - even then, I prefer when cross-platform options become a thing. I have a lot more leeway to give for the difficulties in porting between a console platform and a PC, for example.

    However, Epic Games is forcing exclusivity on the PC platform. There's no technical limitation here - it's purely to force people to buy from their storefront. I believe nothing that Epic says about this being good for developers because of the cut. All of that is fluff and nonsense - they only want to make money for themselves.

    If Epic were trying to actually compete by providing a good storefront and a good service to consumers, then by all means. This tactic of theirs? Nope. Fuck right off, Epic Games. I will not buy from them. It's the same thing I did with EA's Origin - force exclusivity on a shitty product? Dropped immediately.

    Compete in service and compete on price, or GTFO.

    That said, I don't go after the devs. I reserve all my distaste for Epic. It's their garbage fire of a store, and it's their garbage fire of a tactic.

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  61. identicon
    TFG, 22 Aug 2019 @ 9:35am

    Re: Re: Explain to me, in small words, why *any* of this matters

    The gamer community has a bunch of toxic individuals, but fucking watch who you paint with that massive brush.

    Don't lump me in with the GamerGate fucks. My hate is for Epic and their buying tactic, and Tim Sweeney's smug lying ass.

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  62. identicon
    Anonymous Coward, 22 Aug 2019 @ 9:41am

    Re: Re: Re: Re: Explain to me, in small words, why *any* of this

    If someone purchased a product and after the agreement was made, the seller arbitrarily and capriciously changed the terms of the deal, then there are ways within the legal system to address any damages that may have occurred.

    How were you personally damaged by having "the deal changed"?

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  63. identicon
    Anonymous Coward, 22 Aug 2019 @ 9:45am

    Re: Re: Re: Explain to me, in small words, why *any* of this mat

    Let's see:

    • multiple f-bombs
    • smug lying ass
    • hate for Epic

    Hmmmm........

    Sounds rather toxic to me.

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  64. identicon
    TFG, 22 Aug 2019 @ 9:48am

    Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Explain to me, in small words, why *any* of

    Kickstarter backers have had the storefront rug pulled out from under them. Please advise, in detail, the legal method of redress for this.

    Socially, it's also just a bad look to advertise and list on a storefront, then turn around and bam nope, it's not there anymore. It's not illegal, but it's shitty. You know what the method of redress for acting shitty but legally is? Getting called out.

    As the article says, gamer harassment of developers is going way too fucking far. At the same time, Epic Games is deserving of being called out for fucking it all up with their shitty tactics. The grand majority of this is all legal, but that doesn't mean nobody is allowed to complain.

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  65. identicon
    Anonymous Coward, 22 Aug 2019 @ 9:50am

    The other problem with the Epic mess is that there isn't any way to actually raise your concerns - you cannot vote with your wallet as Epic have already paid them for their expected first year sales (and no doubt if the games don't sell on Steam/GOG later on this will be used as proof that they were right to take the money making a self-fulfilling prophecy).
    I'm not sure what the point of this statement is, but it's inaccurate, if not misleading.

    Gamers can, and absolutely should, vote with their wallet.

    Think of Epic as "pre-order"ing games from publishers (rarely do they make deal with developers, a non-pedantic comparison I wish people and articles would clearly state). If the deals fall through, then Epic's holding a massive amount of debt. They are expecting a return of their investment.

    Gamers, unfortunately, are idiots. Harsh, but true. Nothing about their behavior shows any signs of acting responsible, correcting situations, or fixing problems because their own personal greed of "must have next game" is completely out of control.

    EA is a prime example. Despite decades of this publisher screwing over gamers literally every damn year, EA games are still purchased.

    Gamers are just too damn stupid to learn from history, literal examples of $170 loot box greed for a stupid axe, and their own idiocy of defending the "It's my money" argument.

    Maybe this is the problem. Perhaps they should stop saying "It's my money" and start saying "It was my money. Now it belongs to Epic, EA, Activision, or 2K (to name a few), who will use it to screw me over on the next release."

    But good luck with that. I haven't purchased an EA title in over 7 years and, sadly, this hasn't done a damn thing to EA.

    Now imagine if everyone did the same.

    Absolutely, positively "vote with your wallet" and stop being a stupid gamer.

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  66. identicon
    Anonymous Coward, 22 Aug 2019 @ 9:54am

    Re:

    Kick starter purchasers bought something sight unseen with the promise that will get some consideration that other buyers will not receive such as an autographed copy.

    Given that many kick starter projects never develop or ship a product, it seems to me that the kick starter buyers assumed a risk of not getting exactly what they hoped for.

    Maybe you could help me out since I just don't see the problem here.

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  67. identicon
    TFG, 22 Aug 2019 @ 9:56am

    Re: Re: Re: Re: Explain to me, in small words, why *any* of this

    These are wonderful signifiers of toxicity you have there. I have some different ones:

    "Targets individuals who had nothing to do with the process."
    "Extreme and disproportionate actions (death threats, personal harassment of devs, doxxing, etc.)"
    "Anger based on what someone is, rather than what they've done"

    For example, GamerGate fucks are toxic, due to their targeted harassment of a woman just for being a woman. I will call them fucks, because that is what they are deserving of.

    I'm calling Tim Sweeney a smug lying ass because I believe he is lying when he says this is all about making things better for the developers (his motivation is more likely to be money for Epic, and therefore Tim), his communications are incredibly smug in my reading, and that makes him an ass.

    Now, if you want to consider me part of the problem, that's your prerogative, but I'd seriously suggest you not be distracted with me and instead focus on actual, real toxicity.

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  68. identicon
    nae such, 22 Aug 2019 @ 9:57am

    Re: Re: Mechwarrior 5 Mercs

    not sure how far afield you went in searching for it on kickstarter, of which there appears to be no trace. there does appear to be evidence of references in the preoder faq that there were to be steam keys that apparently quietly disappeared.

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  69. identicon
    Anonymous Coward, 22 Aug 2019 @ 9:59am

    Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Explain to me, in small words, why *any*

    SO they assumed a risk, but there was any damage to the buyer, it was minimal if even measurable.

    It's kinda like if I plopped down money on a new C8 Corvette in the color of Gamer Green. Later when I take possession of my new ride, it is not EXACTLY the color that I though it would be. Man, somebody is going to get sued till it hurts!!!!!!!!

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  70. identicon
    Anonymous Coward, 22 Aug 2019 @ 10:00am

    Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Explain to me, in small words, why *any* of

    So......

    You're toxic but not as toxic as some of the other nutjobs.

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  71. icon
    Samuel Abram (profile), 22 Aug 2019 @ 10:18am

    Re: Re:

    So you’re defending Kickstarter project managers fraudulently swindling people who gave them money. Stay classy.

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  72. identicon
    TFG, 22 Aug 2019 @ 10:18am

    Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Explain to me, in small words, why *

    Quoting you:
    If someone purchased a product and after the agreement was made, the seller arbitrarily and capriciously changed the terms of the deal, then there are ways within the legal system to address any damages that may have occurred.

    But Kickstarter backers are up shit creek because they assumed a risk, despite the Kickstarter stating there would be access on these specific stores. Which is it? Is there a form of legal address, or is there not a form of legal address?

    Please advise.

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  73. icon
    Samuel Abram (profile), 22 Aug 2019 @ 10:28am

    Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Explain to me, in small words, why *

    The fact that you’re comparing people having DRM-free options either delayed or denied to people getting a car in a different color shows you need to work on your metaphors.

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  74. identicon
    TFG, 22 Aug 2019 @ 10:48am

    Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Explain to me, in small words, why *any*

    No.

    Your definition of toxicity is overbroad and relies on bad signifiers. I provided you some better ones.

    While it is your right to hold this opinion, you remain incorrect.

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  75. identicon
    Anonymous Coward, 22 Aug 2019 @ 11:13am

    Re: Re: Explain to me, in small words, why *any* of this matters

    Notice how the common thread in these two "gamergates" is not misogyny, manbabies, entitlement, or toxicity, but is in fact ethics? That's from your post just now. What they have in common is ethics. You've effectively just admitted that the gamergaters were in fact fighting for ethics, as your gamergaters 2.0 are now, and put the lie to your own argument.

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  76. identicon
    Anonymous Coward, 22 Aug 2019 @ 12:19pm

    Re: Re: Re: Re: Re:

    "Kotaku is the New York Times "

    Look, I get that the GamerGate crowd is full of nasty people. But the idea that a gaming tabloid opened under the Gawker umbrella is an equivalent to possibly the most respected news source in America is ludicrous.

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  77. icon
    PaulT (profile), 22 Aug 2019 @ 12:23pm

    Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Explain to me, in small words, why *any* of

    In the case of Kickstarter, the request was not money to buy a copy, it was money to fund the project to begin with, and a copy at the end. Whether or not you get a copy, your money has already been used to develop a product you would not have funded had the truth been told. That is outright fraud.

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  78. icon
    PaulT (profile), 22 Aug 2019 @ 12:24pm

    Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Explain to me, in small words, why *

    Yes if you pay for a product that’s advertised as X but you get Y, you have grounds to sue. What’s the problem?

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  79. identicon
    bob, 22 Aug 2019 @ 1:00pm

    Re: Re:

    It's true the buyers took a risk and it turns out that risk didn't pay off. However the devs/project owner originally said they would do one thing, received money under the assumption it will happen, then changed what was delivered. At least they offered a refund.

    And while the action of not delivering what was promised is a risk, the devs still look crappy for reneging on their original promise.

    They don't deserve death threats or harassment but it is absolutely fine to call them out on bad behaviors. For example changing the deliverable after funding was already secured.

    They made a move that looks good for the short-term. However now they have shown that they are not to be trusted in the future when they promise features in a kickstarter project. So they sacrificed long-term potential gains and fans for a short-term funding source with a company that is also not to be trusted. Maybe it was the right move maybe it wasn't.

    As a consumer not able to see their finances I'm going to lean towards it being a bad move. Also I will not purchase their game. If they release something in the future I will wait for the game to be published before I even think of spending money on their company. Because of how they acted here.

    Case in point, I haven't knowingly purchased an EA game for 20 years because of how bad that company acts. I only say knowingly because it's possible that EA is somehow a parent company over the smaller studio and I didnt find that fact out until after i purchased the game.

    So while the game moving to epic isn't illegal, it is still something that I don't want to see become a trend among all developing and publishing companies. Because it is definitely anti-consumer and will stunt the growth of other companies because gamers distrust them based on the actions of this studio and no doubt others in the future.

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  80. identicon
    Anonymous Coward, 22 Aug 2019 @ 2:32pm

    Re: Re: Re:

    When one has no argument, it is common to accuse one's opponent of saying something that was not said at all. At no point in time did I defend anyone.

    Thus far, you have been unable to demonstrate damages that you incurred and have chosen to ignore the fact that all 50 states, as well as other incorporations, have laws that enables people who were damaged in a fraudulent transaction to address the issue in the courts.

    An honest question -- do you have any inkling why a huge chuck of the so called gamer public is viewed as being childish?

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  81. icon
    bhull242 (profile), 22 Aug 2019 @ 3:41pm

    Re: Re: Re: Re: Re:

    Dude, Jim Sterling isn’t exactly a nice guy, but he was initially supportive of Epic Games’ store. He does have a problem with them when, rather than competing on features or prices of games or just hoarding their own IP, Epic decided to present a lackluster launcher lacking many important features like user boards, achievements, and even a freaking shopping cart and deciding to board games made by other developers and publishers through exclusivity deals, which is not only anti-consumer but also a stupid idea given how it goes against a major principle held by most PC gamers.

    Also, neither Gamergate nor ethics in games journalism have anything to do with this topic, and you haven’t even given any evidence of a connection between Gamergate and either specific personalities (particularly Jim Sterling) or the topic of this article. I certainly don’t see how Jim Sterling enters into this; he has mostly avoided discussing Gamergate or the specific instance that started it, and the one time he did, it was to criticize how Gamergaters were treating Anita Sarkeesian and Zoe Quinn.

    And I think it’s particularly important to note that this pattern of harassment isn’t unique to gamers, nor are all gamers this toxic. It’s more of an Internet thing rather than a gamer thing. This is one of those cases where a “whataboutism” is actually a valid point, as the argument is that gamers in particular are toxic.

    It’s also rich to hold out Polygon and Kotaku as the golden standard of games journalism. It has been pointed out that they have been known to do exactly what you accuse YouTube consumer advocates of doing.

    As for “entitlement”, it’s not entitled to criticize a company for something you don’t like, like exclusivity deals.

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  82. icon
    bhull242 (profile), 22 Aug 2019 @ 3:52pm

    Re: Re: Re: Re: 'Open and honest', not a difficult concept to gr

    Y’know, for someone who loves to criticize Jim Sterling and YongYea and the like for “fanning the flames”, you have yet to provide any examples of them doing so. They are always criticizing those who harass others and warning their viewers not to do so. YongYea in particular generally takes a calm tone in his videos, and Jim Sterling was initially supportive of Epic Games’ store and has put out a number of positive videos, including one commending Scott Cawthon’s success with FNAF. They also often point out problems they find after having the chance to check out what the community has already said about the subject. You’re inverting cause and effect.

    And for the record, there’s nothing inherently wrong with being cynical about large companies in any industry or about politicians. This very site often provides articles with a cynical tone.

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  83. icon
    bhull242 (profile), 22 Aug 2019 @ 4:02pm

    Re: Re: Re: Re: That's a big fat no

    Dude, those same YouTubers you’re so fond of criticizing immediately called out the screenshots that were doctored, as well as explaining how they were doctored and what the original context was. Here’s the thing: not every screenshot was doctored; in particular, the post that started it all is still up, and it shows poor handling of a very delicate issue. And no matter how you slice it, there are clear instances where the devs were being assholes to community members with legitimate concerns, even if not every screenshot put forth as evidence of that is genuine.

    And it’s not “moving the goalposts” to point out that you only gave evidence refuting some of the other side’s evidence.

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  84. icon
    bhull242 (profile), 22 Aug 2019 @ 4:09pm

    Re: Maybe they could just stop lying to gamers

    For once, I’m in complete agreement with you. It is possible to have an Epic-exclusive deal without upsetting most gamers too much; it’s mostly the lying, lack of transparency, and tone that creates problems.

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  85. icon
    Samuel Abram (profile), 22 Aug 2019 @ 4:17pm

    Re: Re: Maybe they could just stop lying to gamers

    For once, I’m in complete agreement with you. It is possible to have an Epic-exclusive deal without upsetting most gamers too much;

    I can't speak for "gamers", but the Epic Exclusive with Supergiant Games' Hades in Early Access didn't bother me very much, because

    1. Supergiant Games announced Hades was an EGS exclusive at the moment the game was announced; it wasn't like it was promised on Steam and GOG and then Snatched away.

    2. It was in Early Access. It still will be on Steam in Early Access, but at a much more complete state than when it launched on EGS. So Steam users are getting a better deal!

    So I'm okay with it. I'll get the game on GOG or itch.io when it comes out, whichever comes first.

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  86. icon
    bhull242 (profile), 22 Aug 2019 @ 4:22pm

    Oh, Tim…

    You were so close to writing a decent article on this subject, but then you had to ruin it by showing just how little effort you actually put into your research.

    The developer behind Oddworld: Soulstorm isn’t Glumberland; it’s Oddworld Inhabitants. Glumberland is the developer behind Ooblets, a completely different game that is now Epic-exclusive. And unlike Oddworld Inhabitants, they did not do a good job informing the community about it in a polite, reasonable manner.

    See, it’s this kind of mistake that makes me wonder if you’re even trying.

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  87. identicon
    bob, 22 Aug 2019 @ 6:16pm

    Re: Oh, Tim…

    Maybe Tim is doing it begrudgingly because no-one else wants to write about it at Techdirt?

    I would hate for that to be the reason but I can't see any other reason to have so many mistakes in each Epic related article. Unless he is overworked or something.

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  88. identicon
    Anonymous Coward, 22 Aug 2019 @ 7:37pm

    Re: Re: Re: Re: Re:

    So apathy is a virtue... and the self-righteous mob is the best way to get justice? But if the mob is apathetic why would they bother? How is that not inherently a contradiction?

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  89. identicon
    Anonymous Coward, 22 Aug 2019 @ 7:44pm

    Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Explain to me, in small words, w

    At some point it became the in thing to portray any dissatisfaction with what you paid for as a "First World Problem", especially if what you paid for is considered a non-essential good or service. "Your avocado toast had melanin compounds inside? Well, you shouldn't be eating avocado toast anyway, you entitled brat."

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  90. icon
    Samuel Abram (profile), 22 Aug 2019 @ 8:02pm

    Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re:

    Maybe he meant antipathy is a virtue?

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  91. icon
    bhull242 (profile), 22 Aug 2019 @ 8:23pm

    Re: Re: Re: Maybe they could just stop lying to gamers

    Exactly. You can have an Epic-exclusive deal without upsetting the apple cart too much.

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  92. icon
    bhull242 (profile), 22 Aug 2019 @ 8:31pm

    Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Explain to me, in small words, w

    Technically, there’s a difference between buying product X but getting Y vs. investing in X but getting Y. In this case, we’re talking about the latter. Would that still be grounds to sue?

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  93. icon
    bhull242 (profile), 22 Aug 2019 @ 8:37pm

    Re: Re: Re: Explain to me, in small words, why *any* of this mat

    Actually, last I checked both cases include accusations of toxicity, harassment, and death threats. On different scales for completely different reasons, sure, and I don’t think there’s much connecting the two, but there is more connective tissue between Gamergate and the outrage against Epic Games Store than just ethics.

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  94. icon
    bhull242 (profile), 22 Aug 2019 @ 8:53pm

    Re: Explain to me, in small words, why *any* of this matters?

    Some stores, like itch.io and GOG, offer games DRM-free, which is important to a lot of people. EGS, on the other hand, has all games with DRM built-in.

    Then there’s the fact that downloading a new launcher isn’t nothing; it requires additional memory on your hard drive.

    Additionally, EGS as a service is very lacking. No shopping cart, no achievements, no forums, no friends lists, no review system… It’s a mess of a store. It’s also much more limited in what currencies can be used. If EGS had half the features that Steam does, I guarantee that fewer people would be raising a stink over these exclusivity deals.

    Then, of course, it goes against the whole openness of the PC that has historically been in place. Remember when Microsoft tried to lock everyone into using their storefront?

    Finally, a major issue isn’t even directly related to whether Epic-exclusivity is a major problem for consumers or not; it’s about the way that a number of the developers are handling telling everyone. Several had promised Steam releases, some during the Kickstarter fundraiser; several hid the deal until people learned it through other means or the game was close to release; and some were completely dismissive of any concerns gamers had over the issue. It’s a case of “You’re not helping.”

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  95. icon
    That One Guy (profile), 22 Aug 2019 @ 8:58pm

    Ah good old blaming the victim...

    Given that many kick starter projects never develop or ship a product, it seems to me that the kick starter buyers assumed a risk of not getting exactly what they hoped for.

    Apples to great danes. It's one thing for a project to fall through, another entirely to post a kickstarter and take people's money under set terms('Give us money and you will get X on platform Y once we make it') only to change the terms after the fact, especially if you know or strongly suspect that people wouldn't have given you money under the new terms(which, given the dishonest tactics of only telling people after the deal is made that multiple devs have used is probably a pretty good assumption).

    Maybe you could help me out since I just don't see the problem here.

    Here's one: If that's how you're going to categorize the problem, dumping it all on the backers rather than the two-timing devs, you're also making the argument that people shouldn't back games(or anything relaly) via crowdfunding because the terms might change down the line, which I'm sure the indie devs(current and future) will just love as suddenly only the incredibly gullible or foolish are willing to give them money to make a game.

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  96. icon
    bhull242 (profile), 22 Aug 2019 @ 9:07pm

    Re: Re: Re: Re:

    Even assuming that there is some recourse available, that doesn’t mean we can’t also complain about the situation.

    Also, you just said that Kickstarter backers “assumed a risk”, which means that courts may not provide any recourse as you suggest. And BTW, having “assumed a risk” by investing in something that doesn’t pan out as you hoped doesn’t mean you can’t complain about it.

    Those are poor reasons to be dismissive of the complaints from Kickstarter backers and other gamers about Epic-exclusivity deals.

    When you say all that and then say, “I just don’t see the problem here,” it sure does sound like you were defending the Kickstarter project managers.

    As for your question, it’s because of the actions of a minority of gamers who are bad actors and PR spin by publishers and developers who can’t take criticism.

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  97. icon
    bhull242 (profile), 22 Aug 2019 @ 9:22pm

    Re: Re: Re:

    I dunno. I think Zof isn’t wrong on this one.

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  98. icon
    bhull242 (profile), 22 Aug 2019 @ 9:33pm

    Re: Say, speaking of toxic overreaction...

    You’re still mad about that, Blue? Seriously? (And BTW, thanks for linking to a comment that clearly explains why everyone is calling you “Blue”. I would have been very confused otherwise.)

    Look, I could see why you think Dark Helmet was out of line, but honestly, it was 8 years ago. And you haven’t exactly given anyone reason to treat you nicely in the years since, so it’s a bit rich to be expecting an apology here and now.

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  99. icon
    bhull242 (profile), 22 Aug 2019 @ 9:47pm

    Re: Re: Say, speaking of toxic overreaction...

    Also, as mentioned, it was part of a long series of quotes from Obama’s book that he was using to troll you for the many inane comments you made in just that one comment section. That was explained to you then, when you asked about it.

    And the fact that you apparently never noticed that something was up with Dark Helmet’s responses until then, and still don’t seem to realize that it was a joke and not actually referring to you, only shows that you are, in fact, an “ignorant motherfucker”, so to speak. And a willfully ignorant one at that.

    And, apparently, this is not the first time you’ve brought this up. What is your deal? Out of all the (IMO deserved) vitriol you’ve gotten, out of all the times you were made fun of, why do you still cling on to this one time someone supposedly refered to you with a swear word as an insult, despite the fact that it was part of a long-running joke that has been explained to you time and time again? Let it go, bro.

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  100. icon
    PaulT (profile), 23 Aug 2019 @ 12:18am

    Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Explain to me, in small word

    Yes. I you were told "invest and you are guaranteed X", but get Y as a result of your investment, you should be able to sue. It's classic bait and switch.

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  101. icon
    PaulT (profile), 23 Aug 2019 @ 12:22am

    Re: Re:

    "Given that many kick starter projects never develop or ship a product, it seems to me that the kick starter buyers assumed a risk of not getting exactly what they hoped for."

    They assumed the risk of the project never going to completion. But, if the project does ship, they are entitled to it being the product they invested in, not something else that the project leader decided they would rather make instead of what was promised.

    One is a risk, the other is simple fraud.

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  102. This comment has been flagged by the community. Click here to show it
    identicon
    nasch stupid idiot, 23 Aug 2019 @ 1:50am

    Re: Re: nothing is new under the sun

    you are retarded bullshit crap bot. go away and never come back again. im not a friggin toxic gamer but a very responsible measured gamer from heaven and you are from hell poofta.

    im gonna think about not shooting you in the head.

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  103. icon
    Samuel Abram (profile), 23 Aug 2019 @ 4:53am

    Re: Re: Re: nothing is new under the sun

    U Mad, bro?

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  104. identicon
    Anonymous Coward, 23 Aug 2019 @ 9:04am

    Re: Re: Re: Re: Re:

    bhull, you certainly raise good points. I do not believe that people who feel as though they have been wronged in some way do not have the right to complain.

    Ater reflecting on what I wrote in multiple posts, I failed to make my thoughts on the subject clear and, as a result, I do apologize.

    When people do complain about being wronged, it is my own personal desire that they would do so in a civil fashion. some of those here have complained in a civil manner while others chose to complain in a juvenile way.

    Perhaps it is a failing on my part, but I also believe that civil discourse nets one more progress than course language and proclaiming that nothing can be done. If one understands that little to no resource is available when entering into an investment, purchase, or the like, then vitriol becomes self defeating and harms the complainer more than any other party to the conversation.

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  105. identicon
    Anonymous Coward, 23 Aug 2019 @ 9:29am

    Re: Ah good old blaming the victim...

    If someone changed the terms and conditions after the fact, then the buyer has recourse even if it is bringing action in small claims court.

    Not once did I say that no one should use crown funding and I suspect that you both know and understand that. I have invested in IPO's that didn't pan out and I have invested in IPO's that did. In all cases, I tried my best to do proper due diligence and satisfy myself that I wasn't taking on risk that exceeded my comfort level. Part of that due diligence always involves evaluating the people that will be dealing with. If looking at the people involved isn't possible for a variety of reasons, then you have to admit that you are simple throwing the dice and hoping that you hit your point.

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  106. identicon
    Anonymous Coward, 23 Aug 2019 @ 9:32am

    Re: Re: Re:

    You are entirely correct and there are ways of addressing fraud:

    1) File a suit in a court of competent jurisdiction if the damages are sufficient.
    2) Go to small claims court.
    3) Write a letter to your state's AG.
    4) etc.

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  107. identicon
    Anonymous Coward, 23 Aug 2019 @ 10:56am

    Re: Re: Re: nothing is new under the sun

    im not a friggin toxic gamer

    Your words suggest otherwise.

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  108. icon
    nasch (profile), 23 Aug 2019 @ 12:28pm

    Re: Re: Re: nothing is new under the sun

    im not a friggin toxic gamer but a very responsible measured gamer from heaven and you are from **** poofta.

    im gonna think about not shooting you in the head.

    This is parody, right? Please tell me this is not real.

    It's real, isn't it?

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  109. icon
    That One Guy (profile), 23 Aug 2019 @ 10:27pm

    Re: Re: Ah good old blaming the victim...

    If someone changed the terms and conditions after the fact, then the buyer has recourse even if it is bringing action in small claims court.

    To which the devs would merely need to use your own argument, point out that the backers(not 'buyers') assumed a risk and backing the project didn't ensure that they would get the product and/or in the specific format at that time and said backer would be left with nothing but the legal fees for going to court.

    Not once did I say that no one should use crown funding and I suspect that you both know and understand that.

    Outright? No. In practice? Yeah, you kinda did.

    'Due dilegence' in cases like these would have been useless, because all it would have shown was that at the time the supporters backed the project it was stated that it would be released on their current platform, rather than on one they didn't support(for whatever reason). The person/company in question developing the game would have been the same either way, so looking into that would have been useless.

    Given multiple companies now have claimed that their games would come out on one platform(Steam) only to sell out and sign exclusivity deals with Epic well into the process the only way to avoid the risk of that happening is to not back any games.

    Your own arguments shoot themselves in the foot. On one hand you say if a backer has been wronged then they can get recourse by taking it to court, but almost in the next breath you say they should have known that backing a project is a risk and if it falls through that's on them for not doing enough 'due diligence'(which, as I pointed out above, wouldn't have accomplished anything in these cases), which would absolutely be used against them if they did take it to court.

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]


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