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1 hour ago, Boeroer said:

If you blame Tyranny for poor marketing you must blame Deadfire's marketing even more. Even Josh said recently that it felt that nobody new about the release of Deadfire. Surely a lot of players who didn't follow Obsidian or are part of the "community" had no clue that Deadfire was even out. 

This was different with PoE. Alone because of Kickstarter but also because it was a "new thing" and kind of a desperate story which naturally got the attention of all sorts of media.

The guy responsible for the Deadfire marketing campaign had to leave the company...

I also blame Versus Evil: outside of a very small "community AoE" like on Twitter or in the respective forums I saw very, very little of Deadfire before it came out. 

I can't say with any real certainty on this one, since in the case of Deadfire I knew a sequel was coming so I kept an eye on it. Tyranny just came from nowhere for me. But I think you're right, the marketing wasn't very proactive for Deadfire. If you were interested, you had to actively look for info about it. Add that to the list of reasons I suppose.

1 hour ago, Boeroer said:

By the way: Josh constantly tried to hit the brake with the pirate stuff during development, but many developers were pretty exited about it and got carried away with it from time to time. So maybe if Josh was more of an autocratic director we would have a game with less pirate-vibes, but he is not so... I was a bit sceptical at first but I came to like it.

That's interesting, I didn't know that. One of the challenges in any creative project is knowing when to really put your foot down on something. Maybe Josh should have been more stubborn about the pirate stuff. But I'm not here to judge past decisions, I just hope we can learn from them for a more promising future for the franchise.

 

I don't think it's controversial to say that part of PoE's problem, all the way back to the original, was too many stretch goals, too many concessions to the mob. Everyone knows the unfinished castle management. The one that stuck out to me though was Josh saying somewhere that elves and dwarfs were only added because people expected to have them in a fantasy setting. Consequence being, creatively elves and dwarfs in PoE had nothing going on, literally feeling like skinny humans and short humans. I don't think it's a coincidence that they're absent from Tyranny.

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I wonder how many people who were nostalgic for the BG2 experience, or who had heard so much about how great those IE games were, played PoE and thought, "oh right, there's a reason big developers stopped making games like these. We've all moved on." Maybe even the BG2 fans have had their fill large, complex inaccessible beasts that offer more cerebral than visceral thrills.

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6 minutes ago, Rooksx said:

I wonder how many people who were nostalgic for the BG2 experience, or who had heard so much about how great those IE games were, played PoE and thought, "oh right, there's a reason big developers stopped making games like these. We've all moved on." Maybe even the BG2 fans have had their fill large, complex inaccessible beasts that offer more cerebral than visceral thrills.

Hum.. I'am not so sure people did move on , you got plenty of isometric games being done and some with success like pathfinder, poe and wasteland.

I think it all boils down to me , what the lead developer of Disco Elysium said: "We made it with the express purpose of being failure proof in a way that, if it doesn't succeed, we still have not wasted five years of our lives, in that it's artistically solid, and we've said everything that we can say".

And if the devs from poe and poe2 said their piece and filled fulfilled I'am happy and proud to kickstarted them and helped them did their vision, not everything in life must be resumed to $ , they made enough to not die, and eventually be bougth by a Microsoft so..

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Posted (edited)

PoE was inaccessible? Probably, but c ompared to what (genuine question). I mean story-wise, pretty much. It's pretty metaphysical, even as far as the main char's motivations are concerned to an extent. They could have gone an awful lot safer with a standard "kill the evil dragons and save the world" kind of fantasy romp. Actually, in retrospect I almost wish they had.

Will be interesting to see how Wrath Of The Righteous eventually fares as a sequel. 

11 hours ago, Achilles said:

In my experience, the difficulty spikes were almost always off the crit path.


Totally agreed, which whould also carry over to the Deadfire. Optional boss fights, Fampyre crypts'n'stuff. 

Edited by Sven_
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On 5/9/2020 at 9:46 AM, xzar_monty said:

Indeed. What strikes me as particularly baffling -- and, truth be told, a bit worrying -- is that people make arguments like that (i.e. flamesium's argument) without apparently being aware that what they're actually talking about is their personal opinion only. It has no value.

I agree that it is personal opinion, but seems to me that almost all posts in this thread and others are also similarly personal opinion, so why pick on this one individual? Far too often in this forum people (and a certain handful of individuals especially) like to label others' posts as personal opinion while claiming their own posts are fact/truth. This is nonsense. Only Obsidian knows (maybe) what really happened with PoE2 sales. Everything in this thread is speculation, theorizing, and personal opinion.

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Sure, it's all guesswork and opinions.

The difference is that some people try to look at this objectively and try to weigh the arguments - which sound reasonable and which sound unlikely, which infos and data do we have? They try to guess regardless of personal preference. They don't try to blame something they particularly didn't like for the low sales alone. They are trying to make educated guesses.

In the older thread we had stuff like "it's the main story because I hate it", "it's the bugs because they ruined my playthrough", "it's the constant nerfs because it screwed my build", "it's the narrator because she sounds awful" (or maybe that was another thread) and also "I didn't like PoE in general and that means the majority didn't like it so they didn't buy Deadfire" - despite critical acclaim and good user reviews. That's not educated guessing.

If personal preference meets solid argumentation: fine. I think being a sequel can be a problem. Don't think it's the main reason for flopping, but it can contribute. But often personal preference seems to interfere with solid reasoning and then it's only obout "I didn't like it and since my taste is paramount this must be the reason". 

I don't have any problem with the setting. Yet I suspect it to ba a (not THE) major reason for Deadfires low popularity.  Also I don't have any stakes in the marketing - yet I believe that this has a bigger impact than some bugs, stutters, some nerfs or a somewhat lame main story. I make sure to say "I suspect" and "maybe" and "could be" instead of "fact is", "no doubt" or "unmistakenly", "useless" (my secret pet peeve) and such.

My biggest gripe with PoE and Deafire are the pretty bad descriptions and tooltips when it comes to abilites or mechanics in general. Also some overly complicated mechanics. Yet I would not insist that "this is THE reason why Deadfire tanked".

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13 hours ago, kanisatha said:

I agree that it is personal opinion, but seems to me that almost all posts in this thread and others are also similarly personal opinion, so why pick on this one individual? Far too often in this forum people (and a certain handful of individuals especially) like to label others' posts as personal opinion while claiming their own posts are fact/truth.

Can you give an example of someone claiming their own posts to be fact/truth? Just one is enough. Thank you. If you say it happens far too often, surely you must have seen lots of examples.

Of course all posts in a thread like this are guesswork/speculation. Not opinions, particularly, like you say: an opinion is a personal view of how or what something is. An opinion does not to be backed up by anything at all, and anyone can have an opinion on anything -- and therefore all opinions are essentially equal (meaningless) in a thread such as this. Guesswork/speculation may involve a more or less thorough look at the data available, which potentially makes it more valuable.

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13 hours ago, Boeroer said:

My biggest gripe with PoE and Deafire are the pretty bad descriptions and tooltips when it comes to abilites or mechanics in general.

You nicely describe my biggest gripe with Deadfire. My biggest gripe with PoE is pathfinding in combat.

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I guess I didn't have those issues with PoE because I tend to play "Pause with Real Time" instead of "Real Time with Pause". :) 

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Posted (edited)
9 hours ago, xzar_monty said:

Can you give an example of someone claiming their own posts to be fact/truth? Just one is enough. Thank you. If you say it happens far too often, surely you must have seen lots of examples.

Of course all posts in a thread like this are guesswork/speculation. Not opinions, particularly, like you say: an opinion is a personal view of how or what something is. An opinion does not to be backed up by anything at all, and anyone can have an opinion on anything -- and therefore all opinions are essentially equal (meaningless) in a thread such as this. Guesswork/speculation may involve a more or less thorough look at the data available, which potentially makes it more valuable.

The claim is implied. If A criticizes/attacks B's post for being "personal opinion," but A's posts are all personal opinions too in exactly the same way as B's post, then A is implying that their posts are fact when they're not. Trying to claim that some people's guesswork/speculation involves a more or less thorough look at the data available is a part of this. The people who try to put this spin on their posts are essentially trying to glorify what is in reality just personal opinion and nothing more. Claiming your opinion is based on an examination of data does not actually make it so. Everybody can, and many do, claim that their personal opinions are based on data they've seen somewhere. You want to create grey areas where I see only black and white, and that too based on an extremely high threshold for what is objective truth/fact. Everything that falls below my very high threshold is uniformly just opinion and nothing more and therefore all the same.

Edited by kanisatha
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Posted (edited)

The data that we rely on was not "seen somewhere" but presented here. Therefore claiming that an opinion is based on data and then showing the data makes it so.

A difference also is that some claim that X was THE reason for failure while others just say that Y may have been A reason.

It's quite baffling how you can't see the difference.

And calling people names doesn't make it any better.

Edited by Boeroer

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11 hours ago, Boeroer said:

I guess I didn't have those issues with PoE because I tend to play "Pause with Real Time" instead of "Real Time with Pause". :) 

The best/worst I saw was quite possibly Eder standing still with my main character chasing a shadow or a shade around him. So picture that: a green circle stands still while another green circle carousels it clockwise, chasing a red circle. Both circles circling the green circle in the middle are in constant contact with it, i.e. touching it. This lasted for a while. For some reason, this carousel motion appeared to make Eder incapable of engaging the shade/shadow.

I admit it is funny, in retrospect, but when it happened, I just went oh dear. 😀

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Posted (edited)

Haha yeah, I had that every once in a while as well. But not very often. 

Deadfire has this nice little "push out of the way" effect that solves a lot of small pathing issues. They push only a little but it seems to be enough to avoid the really weird "Benny Hill Show" stuff.

Edited by Boeroer

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Posted (edited)

Hi,

I think that the game sold less mainly because:

the main story (less inspired) and the pirates setting that maybe seems strange related to the lore of poe.

Surely there is also some marketing /communication aspect involved and that were coming out other similar pc games.

As my personal opinion about the game I would say that:

I  found the ship system and the "open world" exploration boring. I think that whit the poe1 map you can focus more on story and progression (related to main story problem).

combat system and mechanics I think that are good and multiclassing is interesting and funny. I don't like resting with food because is too easy and also the empowering mechanics for me is not adding anything. I also don't like that you really don't need healer classes.

In the end I would say that when I replayed the game I liked it more than the first time because I was focusing less on story and more on combat.

So in the end I completely loved poe1 instead poe2 was a really good game but that couldn't hit me as the first one but I still think that the game deserved more copies sold.

I still hope for a Poe3 with the best about the poe1 and 2 that could reach all the rtcwp fan base.

Sorry for my English cause I'm not a native speaker.

Edited by Andre999999
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On 5/11/2020 at 9:22 PM, Boeroer said:

Haha yeah, I had that every once in a while as well. But not very often. 

Deadfire has this nice little "push out of the way" effect that solves a lot of small pathing issues. They push only a little but it seems to be enough to avoid the really weird "Benny Hill Show" stuff.

I've seen that benny hill stuff in combat though.

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On 5/10/2020 at 6:10 PM, kanisatha said:

I agree that it is personal opinion, but seems to me that almost all posts in this thread and others are also similarly personal opinion, so why pick on this one individual? Far too often in this forum people (and a certain handful of individuals especially) like to label others' posts as personal opinion while claiming their own posts are fact/truth. This is nonsense. Only Obsidian knows (maybe) what really happened with PoE2 sales. Everything in this thread is speculation, theorizing, and personal opinion.

I don't think personal complaints have much to do with this. If you look at online reviews and steam player reviews this game is stated as awesome. This is what drives many people to play a game. Anything else is marketing. You have to reach your potential players and make sure you send them the right message. I myself don't rate POE2 as an incredibly good game. It's a fairly average game overall. It does a few things really well and a few things really really poorly. But opinions like this don't affect sales because I would only know this when I play the game, meaning after I bought it.

They might have sold more if they did something like this: https://v1.escapistmagazine.com/news/view/95683-Strip-Bayonetta-in-These-Innovative-Japanese-Ads

I think that's one of the funniest marketing tricks I've ever seen 😄

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1 hour ago, AeonsLegend said:

I've seen that benny hill stuff in combat though.

Funnily enough I had one of those Benny Hill chases yesterday evening and thought: "Wait - didn't I tell people that this isn't a thing in Deadfire?". :)

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2 hours ago, Boeroer said:

Funnily enough I had one of those Benny Hill chases yesterday evening and thought: "Wait - didn't I tell people that this isn't a thing in Deadfire?". :)

I genuinely have not seen it in Deadfire, ever. And you haven't seen some of the annoyances I have noted here. Are we even, then? 😉

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On 5/7/2020 at 7:10 AM, Boeroer said:

I'm following Josh Sawyers Twitch streams and so far the devs suspect the following reasons for the low sales numbers:

  1. poor marketing
  2. move from Kickstarter to Fig 
  3. RTwP is not very popular atm
  4. unpopular/non-traditional setting
  5. no multiplayer
  6. nostalgia needs were sated/increased competition in that small party-based, isometric RPG niche
  7. several issues with the game itself, like difficulty, reputation system, import failures, ship combat, not well perceived main story

Remember that PoE had very good reviews and user scores despite its quirks. Stuff like initial bugs and performance problems can be a problem - but those can't explain the massive sales drop compared to PoE (which had similar problems at the start - like many games). Older games of Obsdian had those problems as well and so do other games. Yet they are doing fine (see Pathfinder).

I just read through the thread, and I thought this was the most interesting comment.

1.  Games always blame poor marketing.  

2.  Maybe.  However, Pillars benefited from being in the initial wave of Kickstarters, so I don't think all 40,000 would have come back.

3.  This argument would hold more water if the game wasn't already going to an incredibly narrow demographic.

4.  Yeah, who likes pirates?  Oh, everyone.

5.  Why didn't this affect the first Pillars?  Sure it probably would have increased sales, maybe even to the point where it paid for itself, but there have been plenty of successful single-player games.  Not buying it.

6.  Sure, maybe.  

7.  Why is this last?  and why is main story last?  If 500k+ will buy a game that looks like Undertale for the story, maybe that's a sign that plot is actually pretty damn important, and this game didn't have one.

 

Here's my take on it.  In some ways it just felt like there was a lack of ambition from the start.  The kickstarter was more about chasing other games (full VO!, character portraits! Romance! Intelligent Sword!) than actually adding interesting features to Deadfire.  You can see this in the pointless Fulvano's voyage, no new races, no new classes.  The enemy creature design also felt uninspired, except in the DLC.  The new monsters were eoten (what do they offer that ogres don't), fire giants (ok, but pretty bog standard), Naga (ok, but certainly nothing new), Exploding zombies (fun game change, but what year is this?), Titans (pretty cool), and grub generators (added neat tactics to combat, but old).  The plot felt superfluous because I don't know if they ever thought of a story this game had to tell; similarly, the main characters didn't need to be on your ship.  Most times Eder and Pallegina felt like the only ones who belonged (maybe Fassina & Xoti of the new characters, and Xoti is terrible).  Similarly, there aren't many fights outside of the DLC that are actually that interesting: flooded street, caves under the city, gunpowder cave, druid's grove, and maybe vampire cave.

 

It's a shame, because the game shines in many ways.  Neketaka is one of my favorite cities in any game, easily equaling Tarant, and coming close to Amn.  The art is ****ing gorgeous.  The itemization is actually pretty good this time.  The factions are so. much. better.  Multiclassing is really fun and the sub-classes work really well.  There's the appropriate amount of piano assassination.  The spirit world is really cool.  The Gods, except Wael, are really well done.  Josh needs to take a long break and make a game he wants to make.  Pillars 3 if it ever happens, needs to go to one of the DLC leads; they all did great, particularly whoever lead the Forgotten Sanctum.

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@anameforobsidian: Citing the main plot as a major reason for the game's commercial failure is problematic. Before you can see that the main plot doesn't really work, you must play the game quite a bit, and that, in turn, means that you have already bought the game. Deadfire's sales were poor right from the start. So in all probability, it was not the main plot.

If the main plot had been great, word would've got around and the game might have started to sell better later on. But that's conjecture.

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1 minute ago, xzar_monty said:

@anameforobsidian: Citing the main plot as a major reason for the game's commercial failure is problematic. Before you can see that the main plot doesn't really work, you must play the game quite a bit, and that, in turn, means that you have already bought the game. Deadfire's sales were poor right from the start. So in all probability, it was not the main plot.

If the main plot had been great, word would've got around and the game might have started to sell better later on. But that's conjecture.

I agree that that's a pretty good point, but I keep thinking about games like Disco Elysium and Undertale, that sell solely on the plot and setting.  Pillars 2 has the setting.  You're probably right though.

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The setting was brought up a lot as reason why people didn't buy. At least Josh said so. Also a very frequently reply was "wow I missed Deadfire completely - didn't hear about it".

Thus those points are further up the list. 

Deadfire has good reviews and critics - so massive disappointment with plot etc. seems to be unlikely to be THE main reason - also because you need to buy first as was mentioned. 

As I said above: Deadfire's marketing really seems to have failed completely. The guy responsible for it had to go.

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8 minutes ago, Boeroer said:

As I said above: Deadfire's marketing really seems to have failed completely. The guy responsible for it had to go.

That's an astonishing failure, by the way, from a fairly established company.

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Posted (edited)

I think they tried to do the "viral" marketing since it's cheaper but can have great effect. That's only my guess though. I mean that's also the publisher's job, isn't it? But somehow it wasn't and the whole campaign never left Twitter as far as I can tell. And you had to follow Obsidian or WorldOfEternity in the first place to even catch that.

Maybe also media wasn't as eager to report about it as they were with PoE.

And don't underestimate the publicity effect of Kickstarter (compared to other crowdfunding platforms). 

Edited by Boeroer

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