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Pillars of Eternity – Partnership FAQ for Backers


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#61
BAdler

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We are currently talking about the package design. Once we have the final details we will let everyone know.

 

 

Hi Brandon. Just something out of my own personal curiosity. Do developers like Obsidian normally design the box covers of your titles or do you let the publisher do that? Or is a collaborative effort. Some of the box covers have been quite good in the past.

 

It depends on the title, the developer, and the publisher.

 

On Storm of Zehir, for example, we did the box art. On other games we have put out, it was done by the publisher. Some games required a lot of back and forth collaboration. For Eternity, we are still deciding how we want to handle it. We would love to have Kaz or Rob create the box art, but it is a very time consuming process. It will likely be a collaboration between both companies.


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#62
Humanoid

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There's probably some nervousness due to the experience of CDPR and Namco-Bandai regarding The Witcher 2, what a farce that was. In that light, having someone jump in early and answer questions clearly and concisely is just what was needed - even when the answer is "we don't know yet". Too often other developers just respond with conspicuous silence.
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#63
BAdler

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I get the impression some people didn't read your opening post.

Well, I know it can be a confusing issue. Luckily, since not much is changing on the development front (other than more focus on the game), it is easy for me to answer most of the questions. ;)


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#64
BAdler

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There's probably some nervousness due to the experience of CDPR and Namco-Bandai regarding The Witcher 2, what a farce that was. In that light, having someone jump in early and answer questions clearly and concisely is just what was needed - even when the answer is "we don't know yet". Too often other developers just respond with conspicuous silence.

We don't know yet.


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#65
Valsuelm

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Thank you very much for all of your clarifications BAdler, I think you put the concerns raised at ease. I'm glad Obsidian was able to find a company you guys felt was a good match. I look forward to the results.



#66
vahadar

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This is great news because Paradox has a long time experience with PC AND also have their own internal studio making awsome strategies games for a niche genre today.

 

As for the DLC i can not aggree with some people before. The DLC model for Crusader kings 2 or the latest Europa universalis wasnt preventing you from getting full advantage of the game. If you did not buy the DLC you still had some features from them coming freely with each patch. The best exemple is the next big DLC for Crusader Kings 2 which will also expand the game map featuring india and ural steppes for those that wont buy this dlc.

 

What do you expect from a studio, to make free games? When they have a good franchise, and when they can expand on it with new features and ideas, its a lot of work behind, and it is worth those DLC price. Also Paradox are known to be very good listeners of their community, each game from them is a true improvement on the previous ones.

I do agree that the cosmetic DLC graphic/music packs are pricey compared to the added value in game, but i dont care since you dont need them to enjoy the game and i get them all just to support this company.

 

So the DLC model of paradox is fine for me and dont worry me at all, since i know that when they make a major DLC, even if you dont want to get it it also mean major improvement for the game that will come for free with the DLC release.

 

On a side note about steam, recently i was also a bit surprised they discontinue support of Crusader kings 2 on digital distribution sites like Gamersgate, focusing only on Steam, but they explained why on their forum and it makes perfect sense. This steam bashing which is almost 10 years old, is indeed very old ;)

was a steam basher when steam launched, now i changed my mind ;)

 

ps : forgive my english


Edited by vahadar, 18 March 2014 - 08:41 PM.

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#67
BAdler

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Just so everyone is aware, I won't be answering any more questions tonight (Diablo III has a new patch and I want to check out the changes ;)), but I will take a look through the thread in the morning and answer anything that comes up.


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#68
curryinahurry

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...oops


Edited by curryinahurry, 18 March 2014 - 09:42 PM.


#69
Skarn

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With Paradox on board, how much input will they have into the EULA for PoE?

 

I normally refuse to purchase Paradox games because their EULA terms give them the ability to summon me across an ocean to appear in a court that normally would not have any jurisdiction over me.  Never going to happen (for both financial and other reasons), thus I have games that I purchased in bundles sitting in my Steam account (don't get me started on them, either) that will never be played because of their EULAs.  Essentially, Paradox titles are wasted money for me.



#70
logicalconundrum

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At this point in time, would you know if activation of the physical copies both (a) non-backer copies and (b) backer copies will require Steam?  I assume Paradox will also cover distribution of backer copies.

 

While the information may not be on hand right now, I have a feeling it would be a good idea to add in a pre-release FAQ, given people's experiences with recent releases.  Mostly with regards to non-backer physical copies, e.g., does it require uPlay, does it require Origin, does it require Steam, is it one-time activation, are you redirected to an Obsidian portal to choose which one to take ownership.

 

I'm sorry, I was generally the FAQ-maker at work so it's a hard habit to break.



#71
Oerwinde

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I am ok with this mostly because Paradox is my favorite publisher.



#72
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I understand that this is probably not something you can really answer, but I'd like to know how this will affect profits. As it was up until know, Obsidian would receive all the profit, but now that Paradox is involved, that obviously won't be true. I'm not asking for percentages on how this will be split, but I would like to know how this will affect the scope, size, and resources available to the expansion pack and potential sequels. 

 

This partnership actually puts Obsidian in a better position to create more Eternity content (DLC/Sequels).

 

 

That's excellent.

Just for the sake of PoE sequel(s) (but not only) I hope the future's so bright, you all have to wear shades.


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#73
AstralWanderer

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We will be providing both Steam and GOG digital versions of Eternity. The GOG version is still going to be released. The partnership with Paradox has not changed anything we have promised to our backers.


Thanks for that - as long as the general public have the option of DRM-free that's fine with me. :)

#74
Sempavor

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I'm not happy at all about that partnership, and all italians backers shouldn't be happy: if you check the list of the games published by Paradox Interactive in tha last years you'll find that the publisher has very little interest in italian market. I would have liked to buy many of these games (Crusader Kings II, Europa Universalis IV, etc) but even if I'm able to play in english I choosed not to buy them due to the lack of attention to italian customer. So, I think that definitely we'll not have any italian translation. I'm very disappointed. I hope I'm wrong... :(



#75
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http://www.eurogamer...ow-theres-no-bs
 



Paradox and Obsidian spoke frankly to Eurogamer at GDC yesterday about their Pillars of Eternity partnership.
 
"What we both know is there's no BS," Obsidian boss Feargus Urquhart said.
 
"A lot of publisher handling is just relationship management. It's asking what's going on, it's handling that relationship, everybody patting everybody on the back and burping them.
 
"I feel like I could just call Paradox and say - excuse my language here - 'What the f***?!' I probably never would, but we could have a quick conversation about a situation and not do this dance. And that's great."
 
Paradox boss Fredrik Wester agreed. "It's a personal relationship that I feel works. This is not like our first awkward date. We've both been in the industry for a while, we know the ups and downs. We've both had some failures, both had some successes. We've both released some buggy games in the past and now we both want to release a really great gaming experience.
 
"Two or three years ago we had to publish games we couldn't really stand behind and that damaged our reputation, because we needed the cashflow," Wester added. "Now we're in a totally different position.
 
"If we don't think Pillars of Eternity is up to standard, we're going to tell these guys. And we're opinionated people, we're going to come back with tons of opinions. We have a QA team of eighteen people who're going to play the game for weeks and weeks and give their feedback."
 
Paradox's role in marketing, distributing, testing and supporting the game - as well as fulfilling backer rewards - will allow Obsidian, and the budget, to concentrate on the game.
 
That's not to say Paradox is doing all of this out of the kindness of its heart.
 
"There's always a financial upside in a partnership like this," Wester said. "You should never lie about that. You take a risk by investing your money, your time and your QA resources, but we think this game deserves to be played by a lot of people.
 
"[Obsidian] is probably the most prestigious developer we've ever worked with. It shows that we can do games not just with smaller developers, but we can work with larger developers too. Experienced developers who really know what they're doing."
 
The partnership raises the possibility of boxed versions and special editions of the game, although "nothing is set in stone yet", Wester said.
 
There's the possibility the pair may go on to work together past Pillars of Eternity as well. The two companies - and men - clearly see eye-to-eye.
 
"In our industry, it's our job to get along with people," Urquhart said. "But having said that, after this we're going to go out and hang."

 
 
The mention of "boxed versions and special editions" as something that's not a sure thing makes me think Paradox might be taking a cut off the digital release of the game as well.


Edited by Infinitron, 19 March 2014 - 01:52 AM.

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#76
C2B

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http://www.eurogamer...ow-theres-no-bs
 


Paradox and Obsidian spoke frankly to Eurogamer at GDC yesterday about their Pillars of Eternity partnership.
 
"What we both know is there's no BS," Obsidian boss Feargus Urquhart said.
 
"A lot of publisher handling is just relationship management. It's asking what's going on, it's handling that relationship, everybody patting everybody on the back and burping them.
 
"I feel like I could just call Paradox and say - excuse my language here - 'What the f***?!' I probably never would, but we could have a quick conversation about a situation and not do this dance. And that's great."
 
Paradox boss Fredrik Wester agreed. "It's a personal relationship that I feel works. This is not like our first awkward date. We've both been in the industry for a while, we know the ups and downs. We've both had some failures, both had some successes. We've both released some buggy games in the past and now we both want to release a really great gaming experience.
 
"Two or three years ago we had to publish games we couldn't really stand behind and that damaged our reputation, because we needed the cashflow," Wester added. "Now we're in a totally different position.
 
"If we don't think Pillars of Eternity is up to standard, we're going to tell these guys. And we're opinionated people, we're going to come back with tons of opinions. We have a QA team of eighteen people who're going to play the game for weeks and weeks and give their feedback."
 
Paradox's role in marketing, distributing, testing and supporting the game - as well as fulfilling backer rewards - will allow Obsidian, and the budget, to concentrate on the game.
 
That's not to say Paradox is doing all of this out of the kindness of its heart.
 
"There's always a financial upside in a partnership like this," Wester said. "You should never lie about that. You take a risk by investing your money, your time and your QA resources, but we think this game deserves to be played by a lot of people.
 
"[Obsidian] is probably the most prestigious developer we've ever worked with. It shows that we can do games not just with smaller developers, but we can work with larger developers too. Experienced developers who really know what they're doing."
 
The partnership raises the possibility of boxed versions and special editions of the game, although "nothing is set in stone yet", Wester said.
 
There's the possibility the pair may go on to work together past Pillars of Eternity as well. The two companies - and men - clearly see eye-to-eye.
 
"In our industry, it's our job to get along with people," Urquhart said. "But having said that, after this we're going to go out and hang."

 
 
The mention of "boxed versions and special editions" as something that's not a sure thing makes me think Paradox might be taking a cut off the digital release of the game as well.


If they are doing their own QA as well and some marketing that is not really a surprise. I can't imagine the cut a copy to be big though.

#77
anameforobsidian

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I would be far more mollified / appeased if they just explained the deal in simple terms.  IE Paradox provides bug-testing, advertising, and distribution in exchange for 20% of the gross revenue.  The whole, "allows us to more effectively allocate resources" is marketing speak, and not really worthy of a company that's been as open with backers as Obsidian has in the past.

 

I completely understand that publishers provide a host of valid services, but I don't like the vagueness of the press release and FAQ.


Edited by anameforobsidian, 19 March 2014 - 02:20 AM.


#78
yaggaz

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I can't say I'm happy.    No use of a publisher was mentioned during the campaign and now I feel like I've been bait and switched.    Disappointed.

 

Won't be reading responses, just giving feedback of my disappointment to Obsidian.



#79
LordCrash

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I get the impression some people didn't read your opening post.

Well, I know it can be a confusing issue. Luckily, since not much is changing on the development front (other than more focus on the game), it is easy for me to answer most of the questions. ;)

 

But you haven't answered my "Who will be doing customer support?" question yet.... ;)


Nice article about the background of the deal btw: http://www.polygon.c...ays-paradox-and


Edited by LordCrash, 19 March 2014 - 02:48 AM.

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#80
Luridis

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With Paradox on board, how much input will they have into the EULA for PoE?

 

I normally refuse to purchase Paradox games because their EULA terms give them the ability to summon me across an ocean to appear in a court that normally would not have any jurisdiction over me.  Never going to happen (for both financial and other reasons), thus I have games that I purchased in bundles sitting in my Steam account (don't get me started on them, either) that will never be played because of their EULAs.  Essentially, Paradox titles are wasted money for me.

 

IANAL

 

But, I'm pretty sure you're mistaken on this front. I've just read their EULA and there are some issues with it...

 

First, they can't "summon" you... You can just choose not to go. Contracts are governed by Civil Law, not criminal law, if you were worried about extradition. You'd have to break a criminal law in their country and extradition would involve lawyers and a court here first.

 

Second, it's a very one-sided contract and judges tend to look down on that kind of agreement. They ask for idemnity from you for any and all civil action and at the same time state that they can sue you and, if defeated, have the right to sue on another point, perpetually. (i.e. if defeated, the rest of the agreement doesn't expire.) This kind of contract is one I've seen the label "Exploitation or Unconscionable Bargain" put too more than once.

 

Personally, whatever software they sold you... I'd go ahead and download and then circumvent the protection scheme... Which is easy on steam. Am I suggesting you break the law? No, because you have the RIGHT to circumvent for the purposes of ineroperability. See section 1201(f): Circumvention for the purposes of interoperability. If you want to run that game on Linux under WINE, you're covered. ;)

 

Consult a lawyer first, but I would think that if you really do make an attempt to run it on another platform and document your attempt, then you're butt is covered. Note: There is a section on archival as well.

 

But, you're right to object to their rediculous contract...

 

Obsidian:

 

I don't care what deals you strike with whoever, as long as you own the IP and are doing the development, etc. That said, I have NO INTEREST in Paradox's click-wraps... I expect my backer click-wrap agreement to be with OBSIDIAN, not latecomers to the party.






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