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Gorth

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Okay, so what the hell?

 

 

Well, now I've got 28 days to decide. Since there's no way for a backer to wait for a key on some other platform I'm leaning towards a refund. The other option I'm thinking about is something I can't post here, but it involves letting them keep my pledge and getting the game through some, uhm, different means of distribution.

 

I don't get why. I assume it's about money, of course, but what are the parties getting here? Epic gets a game that the teenage wangsters on Fortnite wouldn't touch with a ten foot pole and Snapshot Games puts a game on Epic's store that nobody is going to buy there. Neither the backers nor the investors on Fig can't be happy with this move. I for sure am not.

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And with crowdfunding delivery dates are in constant limbo. I expect at best you could get a refund, but as that is already offered, there is no legal action to take. You can't sue someone to get something they have freely offered.

 

"If you offer me a full refund I'll sue you for a full refund!" is not the basis for legal action.

 

For legal actions you must prove damage.

If you weren't damaged financially by a transaction as you are offered a refund, what damages are you arguing?

 

And people are not currently complaining about the delay or comparative access to the game. They are arguing about not getting Steam or GOG keys,which within two hours of the announcement were then offered (with the delay). I can't argue I am not getting something, at least not in a legal frame, when a clear frame of when I'll get exactly that has been given. If that time frame is not to my liking I can demand a refund. And that has freely been offered.

 

But as outrageous choices go, this is one of the most harmless ones I have seen.

 

We are all old enough to have witnessed EA's planned DRM for Spore (go online daily, if you fail to go online two days in a row permanently lose access to the game), SecuROM, and so much more.

 

I think the EPIC store exclusive thing is bad. I think it is a crap move to tell people that if they want their platform of choice they have to wait a year. I think for pre-orders that is especially problematic, because while crowdfunding is in theory less of a purchase but funding, pre-orders are purchases with an implied promise of release day access.

 

I do feel people should adapt their outrage as the situation changes, and be honest about what they are outraged about.

 

That's not how consumer protection works. I don't need to sue, or prove damages, I just need to prove that they violated my consumer rights by not living up to their end of the bargain. Unlike in other cases where the perpetrator was outside the EU this time the ECC can take action since it's inside their jurisdiction. If anyone will be suing it will be the ECC, not me.

 

If I order a VW Beetle but you deliver a Bentley you could argue that's an upgrade so I should just stfu and take it, but unless I accept said deal you've still violated my consumer rights by not delivering what was agreed upon, and if I insist you must deliver me that VW Beetle. The assumption is made here that the choice of delivery platform is unimportant (even though it was part of the initial agreement) or that the extra stuff they offer (free DLC) offsets the negatives so they expect people to accept their new agreement, no questions asked. It turns out they miscalculated.

 

Anyway, I'm still undecided about what I'm going to do about the situation. I might just contact the BECC (Belgian wing of the ECC) and ask what's what (since they offer free legal advice on my rights). Doesn't mean I'll act on it, but then again, if their attention is drawn to it they might follow up on it anyway as it's not like they need my permission to act on such public violations (if someone litters the police aren't going to wait with fining until someone files a complaint either). In either case I'll at least have a better idea as to what my options are should this situation repeat itself (which it might, if it's proven they can just get away with it).

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I would be surprised if they haven't contacted PDX regarding Rome. Just imagine...

That would be a good idea for them. Paradox fans going loco is an added bonus.

 

Yeah, and also for those of us who are acquainted with the state of PDS products at release vis-à-vis one year later.

- When he is best, he is a little worse than a man, and when he is worst, he is little better than a beast.

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@marelooke

The car analogy doesn't work though. Because they aren't giving you something different.

They are telling you that your car will be delivered a year late. To which your claim is that you need the car to get to work now. Then you get your money back and buy a car somewhere else.

It sucks. But you can get your money. Consumer protection will have a hard time forcing them to release early on other platforms and invalidating the contract with Epic.

Unobtrusively informing you about my new ebook (which you should feel free to read and shower with praise).

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Microsoft ended up being the good guy.

I don't remember this bit, how did it happen?

Because they allowed SRR to be released DRM-free on GOG, after all.

 

https://www.vg247.com/2013/11/13/shadowrun-returns-to-be-released-drm-free-due-to-deal-with-microsoft/

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- When he is best, he is a little worse than a man, and when he is worst, he is little better than a beast.

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Eh, at the end of the day, if you want to be successful in your creative endeavor, your loyalty should primarily be with your actual creators / employees and only after them with your consumers. Consumers will abandon you quickly enough after delivering a bad product while, on the other hand, they'll flood to a quality one, regardless of platform - for which you need a creative team that actually gets paid and sticks around.

 

Additionally, we now know there has to a bunch of money involved

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@marelooke

The car analogy doesn't work though. Because they aren't giving you something different.

They are telling you that your car will be delivered a year late. To which your claim is that you need the car to get to work now. Then you get your money back and buy a car somewhere else.

It sucks. But you can get your money. Consumer protection will have a hard time forcing them to release early on other platforms and invalidating the contract with Epic.

 

Ah, but the contract with Epic is newer than the one with their backers (and pre-order customers). Meaning they signed a contract they couldn't adhere to, not sure how that's handled legally but "not valid" seems to make the most sense to me (but ianal).

 

They should just have done what the Metro devs did, keep their end of the deal at least for the copies that were already sold (one could, I guess, argue about KS backers, but not about the pre-order customers)

Edited by marelooke
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Offering Steam and GOG keys with a delay is not legitimate. People were led to believe they'd receive the keys on general release of the game. Offering a refund up until 28 days from now is not legitimate, they're not fulfilling the terms of sale, we get to refund at any time. I'm not sure about investor terms, but I'm sure they were led to believe the game would be released on platforms that people buy from.

 

They've had my money for a year and a half, I'm angry that they've turned around and only offered refunds. I'm angry that they didn't inform me about the deal when they agree to it, they still haven't contacted me personally.

 

I've refunded the game, and I hope everyone else does, and no one buys the game.

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Back when KS bomb blew up, people were making a silly mistake - they were confusing crowdfunding with preorders. The outrage about Phoenix Point and 1 year Epic exclusivity is the same thing all over again.

Don't forget - to crowdfund something is to give patronage to a product that very well might never even see the light of the day. When you crowdfund a game, you should primarily be concerned about quality of the dream you helped come to light, not about something as silly as where does the downloaded data come from (especially when said downloaded data will be available on the promised platforms with a small-ish time gap)

Similarly, when you do crowdfund a product, there's a good chance it'll never even see the light of day, or that it'll be entirely different from what you've expected it to be. Main difference between crowdfunding and pre-order is that when you pre-order, you know which product you'll get and when. When you crowdfund, you flush a bunch of money down the toilet in the hopes it'll bring something cool in the future.

So, far as I'm concerned, if this means Phoenix Point will end up a better game, it's the right move - both for the game and for the backers. After all, games get postponed for more than a year, and, at the end of the day, quality game which is as well-known as Phoenix Point will sell well.

If, however, you crowdfunded the game to get it on Steam/GOG as opposed to allow it to exist, well... You did so for all the wrong reasons and getting a refund is the only reasonable thing to do.

Edit: Incidentally, Some clarification on the Epic deal

Edited by Fenixp
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Even if I don't receive a key for a game, the stores and platforms the game is released on informs whether I back it or not. If a game will be released on Linux I'm more likely to back it, same with GoG. To a lesser extent Steam, although the existence of the Epic Store makes that more of a concern for me.

 

There's a difference between a project that fails, which I can accept, and a project that deliberately breaks promises. Crowdfunding is not a pre-ordering service, but promises are promises. All I ask is that developers try to implement what they said they'd do. Most of the developers I've backed have tried, but a lot of projects I didn't have behaved badly, it's really turned people against crowdfunding, SnapShot just being the latest to really let backers down.

 

Also a lot of developers only have themselves to blame for the perception of crowd funding being a pre-order service, because they've treated it as a pre-order service, and the messaging has been in line with that.

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My main issue is with pre-order customers. They didn't crowdfund, they prepurchased with the expectation to get it at launch.

 

As was pointed out by marelooke as well.

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Unobtrusively informing you about my new ebook (which you should feel free to read and shower with praise).

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I was pretty put off by this at first, but after hearing about the deal they got by going with Epic, I don't know how anyone can blame them. My dozens of dollars are less important than creating long term stability for their business.

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Apparently Halo MCC is coming to PC and this is a big deal for some people. Console untermensch no doubt.

 

https://www.halowaypoint.com/en-us/news/mcc-pc-halo-reach

Why has elegance found so little following? Elegance has the disadvantage that hard work is needed to achieve it and a good education to appreciate it. - Edsger Wybe Dijkstra

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even if i put all else aside, considering how people are revolting against Epic store I doubt it was even clever in long term for their finances

I'm the enemy, 'cause I like to think, I like to read. I'm into freedom of speech, and freedom of choice. I'm the kinda guy that likes to sit in a greasy spoon and wonder, "Gee, should I have the T-bone steak or the jumbo rack of barbecue ribs with the side-order of gravy fries?" I want high cholesterol! I wanna eat bacon, and butter, and buckets of cheese, okay?! I wanna smoke a Cuban cigar the size of Cincinnati in the non-smoking section! I wanna run naked through the street, with green Jell-O all over my body, reading Playboy magazine. Why? Because I suddenly may feel the need to, okay, pal? I've SEEN the future. Do you know what it is? It's a 47-year-old virgin sitting around in his beige pajamas, drinking a banana-broccoli shake, singing "I'm an Oscar Meyer Wiene"

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Good point about existing preorders. That is a pretty bull move - altho I assume those can be cancelled anytime?
 

There's a difference between a project that fails, which I can accept, and a project that deliberately breaks promises.

There's breaking promises and then then there's merely changing circumstances.
- "We won't release the game on GOG or Steam" is definitely breaking a promise and a bit of a **** move
- "We will release on the platform that'll help make the game a better product, but we'll deliver the product we've prmised on the platforms we've promised as well" are simply changing circumstances base on conditions the devs could not possibly foresee in advance.

I mean, if this simply ends up meaning a better game that you really wanted to be made, isn't another year of wait time kinda irrelevant?
 

even if i put all else aside, considering how people are revolting against Epic store I doubt it was even clever in long term for their finances

Julian Gollop, the dude who IIRC runs development of the game, stated the cash they got from Epic will literally keep the studio afloat for the years to come. If he's not exaggerating and the game'll come to Steam at a later point, there's not really a whole lot he's got to lose - don't forget most people don't follow internet drama.

Edited by Fenixp
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I mean, if this simply ends up meaning a better game that you really wanted to be made, isn't another year of wait time kinda irrelevant?

Not to me. I wouldn't have backed this game if I knew that it would be exclusively on the Epic store, and knew about Epic's practices. It's been a long road, but I was a big fan of Epic 20 years ago, and played their game more than any other. Even before the Epic store I wasn't impressed with Epic which basically abandoned their fans for consoles, and were even rude to PC gamers in public comments.

 

It's still breaking promises, even if circumstances change. Also to them it might be acceptable circumstances to change, but it's not to me, and their perspective on the worth doesn't matter.

 

We can only hope this decision burns them and they come to regret it. Also they've ****ed over companies that might need crowd funding the future, this is another nail in the coffin because a lot of people have been burnt by arseholes. Obsidian needed crowdfunding at one point, some devs are going to go under because of douche bags like this. Who don't care because :

 

We knew there would be refunds. If we had to refund 100% of currently pre-orders, we'd still be in the black.

Edited by AwesomeOcelot
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Well I'm not terribly surprised.

I loved the ideas that went into Phoenix Point but the game was nowhere near ready and had almost no following to speak of.

It wouldn't sell anywhere in it's current state.

If Epic store can have them survive to make a sequel it may well be worth it.

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Assuming that information about the deal is the real, eh, deal. I can absolutely understand Snapshot's/Julian's decision. It keeps his people employed, the investors happy, even if the sales are virtual, and takes pressure off the development team. As good ol' Adolf once said: "There is but one moment when the Goddess of Fortune wafts by, and if you don't grab her then by the hem you won't get a second chance."

 

It's still unfair to backers and those who pre-ordered for a certain platform. I still don't like it. Understanding it helps a bit, though. Plus I don't need to back or by any future Snapshot games.

 

And at the end of the day Malcador's right: All that will be forgotten, like tears in the rain, by the time the game's released.

No mind to think. No will to break. No voice to cry suffering.

 

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PP move to Epic is a bit sucky. But with some clarification and promises it seems like a move which will benefit all parties involved in the end.

 

1) Pre-Epic_exclusive_announcement backers will receive a key for Epic Store on launch, and another key for a platform of they choosing after the exclusivity deal will expire (the second half was added soon after the backlash started.

 

2) Those early backers will receive a year of free DLC - according to Julian they plan to release 3 paid DLC on top of free updates. Those will transfer to the secondary platform after a year has passed.

 

3) Game will still be DRM free. One needs Epic Store to download and update the game, but once it is done one doesn't need to open the application and it can even be removed. According to Gallop achievements and cloud saves are to be added to the Epic Store by the time PP releases.

 

4) Snapshot got a cash injections, giving them stability and allowing them to work on Phoenix Point post launch - something which they kept in "if it does well" category till this point.

 

It's inconvienent, but other than that it sounds like a pretty good deal.

 

You can easily see why they did it, and it's a good approach for Epic as well. Gamers are abject morons fickle as a group and couldn't stick to principles to save themselves (COD_boycott.jpg), a decent number will receive the Epic Store keys and just decide to use them as they're 'free'.

 

(4) is wrong though as it's "if we exclude the drm, then it has no DRM" just like arguments that Steam is DRM free. An extraneous program for download, install and updating is 100% DRM if it's Epic Launcher or the steam app.

 

and some people have principles to not support chinese goverment and are pissed

 

Yellow Peril is so cringe; whether it's 10c or Huawei. As if Steam hasn't sold out 100% to the US and other governments- and was planning on selling out to China as well.

 

Offering Steam and GOG keys with a delay is not legitimate. People were led to believe they'd receive the keys on general release of the game. Offering a refund up until 28 days from now is not legitimate, they're not fulfilling the terms of sale, we get to refund at any time. I'm not sure about investor terms, but I'm sure they were led to believe the game would be released on platforms that people buy from.

 

They've had my money for a year and a half, I'm angry that they've turned around and only offered refunds. I'm angry that they didn't inform me about the deal when they agree to it, they still haven't contacted me personally.

 

I've refunded the game, and I hope everyone else does, and no one buys the game.

 

Fig/ Kickstarter are not sales, technically neither are standard pre-orders as a sale is a contract for goods receive in exchange for money, until you receive the good it isn't a sale. In many places cancellation should be available after 28 days and right up to release (and given they've clearly varied terms they would have no standing for cancellation fees etc).

 

Investors should be ecstatic with a minimum sales pledge though, assuming they're really investors rather than super fans.

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I was pretty put off by this at first, but after hearing about the deal they got by going with Epic, I don't know how anyone can blame them. My dozens of dollars are less important than creating long term stability for their business.

 

I don't see how understanding the decision from a financial pov makes it any more acceptable from a consumer standpoint. I mean, fiscal engineering is evidently lucrative and something that can improve any business' long term viability. It's still ethically questionable, and is basically ****ing everyone else over because, at least in principle, taxes are necessary to pay for important stuff.

 

Reminder: in a capitalist environment, you are not personally responsible for the well-being of poor little corporations. As a consumer you must defend *your own* interests, because CEOs sure aren't going to.

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- When he is best, he is a little worse than a man, and when he is worst, he is little better than a beast.

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My guess is the vast vast majority of gamers could care less about any Epic controversy. More likely just annoyed that they have to install something other than Steam to get it to run. Of course, looking at fig, there were only 10k backers in the first place, so that is not even a huge percentage of what they are probably hoping to sell.

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I don't see how understanding the decision from a financial pov makes it any more acceptable from a consumer standpoint. I mean, fiscal engineering is evidently lucrative and something that can improve any business' long term viability. It's still ethically questionable, and is basically ****ing everyone else over because, at least in principle, taxes are necessary to pay for important stuff.

 

Reminder: in a capitalist environment, you are not personally responsible for the well-being of poor little corporations. As a consumer you must defend *your own* interests, because CEOs sure aren't going to.

 

 

It is in my own interest that Julian Gallop continue to be able to make games. I've also got a very small investment as a consumer. Simply put, this isn't like the car analogy because a car is a major investment. It is an asset. The $30 I dropped on this game is nothing. I can spend that parking my car in the city for a day. I just want the game to be good. That is why I paid for it. Their delivery method is not the priority for me. I don't stress whether fedex or the USPS deliver my packages. Heck, UPS apparently doesn't put air conditioning in their trucks. Maybe I'll stop sending packages through them, but I'm definitely not going to care if people send me stuff that way.

Edited by Hurlshot
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It is in my own interest that Julian Gallop continue to be able to make games.

In a sense maybe, but to me that seems rather short-sighted. Is it really in your own interest? We know that Epic's tactics are already responsible for GOG having to cancel their fair pricing program. Not that I object to developers getting a bigger slice of the pie, but something's gotta give, and a race to the bottom benefits no one long-term. 

 

In any case, Julian Gallop continuing to make games -and more to the point, games you are interested in, seeing how he openly doesn't give two ****s about his "hardcore" fans- is predicated on him keeping his word -- something you'd have to be nuts to put any stock in, after this sad episode.

 

As AwesomeOcelot pointed out, this reflects badly on crowdfunding as a system, for everyone. If anyone can change the rules mid-game because greed "unforeseen circumstances" without consequences, insecurity is going to make people reluctant to put down money and poor little companies may go out of business as a result. But I guess you don't care about those because Julian's game will be good, right? Maybe? He told us as much.

Edited by 213374U
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- When he is best, he is a little worse than a man, and when he is worst, he is little better than a beast.

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