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Pillars of Eternity – Partnership FAQ for Backers

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The transparency has been great. While I myself would have like something a bit more comprehensive (and yet clearer) like DFA's documentaries, beggers cannot be choosers.

 

 

You mean documentaries that were so expensive that they didn't have left enough money to do the actually game in one set? ;-)

 

Well:

 

1) They set aside half the budget for the documentary. That money had no relation to them running out of money. Mismanagement of those remaining funds was the issue there.

2) What I mean is that DFA has quite literally shown us every step.

3) Transparency has nothing to do with budget.

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I don't care about exact percentages, and it certainly makes sense that you can't reveal them because of dealings with other companies. I am curious about whether it's a deal that Obsidian views as better even in the long run (as in you've estimated that the expense and potential lost sales of complete self-publishing outweigh the benefits) or if it's more of a short term vs long term tradeoff?

 

Well, lets look at the benefits of self-publishing. They would have built a publishing sub-company (and not a small one as PoE is not a tiny independent game) that they could use ... for the next expansion.

 

But until then it and its workers would build up expenses and most of the time not do anything. Because Obsidian still does jobs for publishers and those jobs won't go to the in-house publisher. And even if they did, they don't have enough games pipelines anyway to utilize a publisher fully. So the in-house publisher would have to look for external projects to publish or its efficiency would be devastating.

 

The alternative would be to close or shrink the in-house publisher as soon as the work is done. But then all the start-up money invested in this publisher (management hours, computers, training, furniture) would have to be carried by PoE and I'll guarantee you that can't be cheaper than outsourcing it.

 

The other thing is, they already made deals with two publishers without anyone taking notice at all: steam and gog. Why build up an in-house publisher when publishing is already partly outsourced, and incidentally the easier part?

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1) They set aside half the budget for the documentary. That money had no relation to them running out of money. Mismanagement of those remaining funds was the issue there.

 

 

Ah, didn't know that. On the other hand, I'm not sure people would have pledged that amount of money for PoE if half of that went into a documentary (I wouldn't have) .

 

DF has some really funny guys, so watching them for a few hours might be something special. I can't imagine the same for PoE, not on that scale.

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The other thing is, they already made deals with two publishers without anyone taking notice at all: steam and gog. Why build up an in-house publisher when publishing is already partly outsourced, and incidentally the easier part?

 

Steam and GoG are platforms. That's like saying Nintendo is publishing Arkham City because it is on the Wii U.

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The other thing is, they already made deals with two publishers without anyone taking notice at all: steam and gog. Why build up an in-house publisher when publishing is already partly outsourced, and incidentally the easier part?

 

Steam and GoG are platforms. That's like saying Nintendo is publishing Arkham City because it is on the Wii U.

 

 

The PC is the platform, Steam and GoG are definitely distributors though probably seldom complete publishers. But since gog patches the old games to let them run on newer operating systems I would say it definitely does more than distribution. "publisher" is a really strechable concept, you'll have a hard time showing that steam and gog don't publish games.

Edited by jethro

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The other thing is, they already made deals with two publishers without anyone taking notice at all: steam and gog. Why build up an in-house publisher when publishing is already partly outsourced, and incidentally the easier part?

 

Steam and GoG are platforms. That's like saying Nintendo is publishing Arkham City because it is on the Wii U.

 

 

The PC is the platform, Steam and GoG are definitely distributors though probably seldom complete publishers. But since gog patches the old games to let them run on newer operating systems I would say it definitely does more than distribution. "publisher" is a really strechable concept, you'll have a hard time showing that steam and gog don't publish games.

 

Valve and CDProjekt publish games.

 

Steam and GoG are software created by those two companies.

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Our current plans are that we would release the DRM-free version of the game for sale on GOG to everyone.

 

The way you're saying that makes me worry a bit, but probably because I just got more paranoid because of everyone else :p

Hope those will be your future plans as well, GOG/DRM rules =)

 

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The other thing is, they already made deals with two publishers without anyone taking notice at all: steam and gog. Why build up an in-house publisher when publishing is already partly outsourced, and incidentally the easier part?

 

Steam and GoG are platforms. That's like saying Nintendo is publishing Arkham City because it is on the Wii U.

 

 

The PC is the platform, Steam and GoG are definitely distributors though probably seldom complete publishers. But since gog patches the old games to let them run on newer operating systems I would say it definitely does more than distribution. "publisher" is a really strechable concept, you'll have a hard time showing that steam and gog don't publish games.

 

 

It is most cases publisher who owns rights to game currently who hires some one to patch game so that it works on newer operating systems. GoG may offer such services for publisher, but it is publisher who pays the patching cost bill. Which is not often very high as they usually use dosbox or some other emulator/virtual machine to make game work on newer platforms.

 

PC is lose platform which has lot of sub platform, from which today Windows with DirectX/OpenGL is most popular in platform descriptions, even though it also has sub platforms like Steam(steamworks), Origin or Uplay. One could also say that GoG is platform as it puts restriction on game what it can have and not have, but as its product don't put any extra restrictions on platforms which it sells games one could also argue that its only distribution channel.

 

Game publisher is company that funds making of a game, owns IP rights to it and whom job is to sell it to distributors, stores and people. So in any sense of that term Steam or GoG are publishers or publish games, as they only sell them. Although both companies are owned by publishing companies (Valve and CD Projekt RED).

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Great news. Paradox are some of the most sympathetic and competent guys in business, in my opinion. So, yay!


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Sorry to ask but there has been confirmation that physical copies for backers will be drm free? ...i read an earlier reply from Badler which didn't seem definitive (use of a serial or CD key isnt drm free imho  (sorry if i missed something)).


True happiness consists not in the multitude of friends but in the worth and choice

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Sorry to ask but there has been confirmation that physical copies for backers will be drm free? ...i read an earlier reply from Badler which didn't seem definitive (use of a serial or CD key isnt drm free imho  (sorry if i missed something)).

Of course a serial or key is DRM free. What you mean is an online activation.

Edited by LordCrash

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The other thing is, they already made deals with two publishers without anyone taking notice at all: steam and gog. Why build up an in-house publisher when publishing is already partly outsourced, and incidentally the easier part?

 

Steam and GoG are platforms. That's like saying Nintendo is publishing Arkham City because it is on the Wii U.

 

 

The PC is the platform, Steam and GoG are definitely distributors though probably seldom complete publishers. But since gog patches the old games to let them run on newer operating systems I would say it definitely does more than distribution. "publisher" is a really strechable concept, you'll have a hard time showing that steam and gog don't publish games.

 

Following that logic Gamestop would be a publisher as well...  :cat: 

 

Large publishers like Ubisoft or EA usually don't even do distribution themselves. They outsource that most of the time because it's actually not even a core business of a video game publisher...

 

The core business of a video game publisher is:

 

- production

- manufacturing

- marketing (incl. market research and advertising)

 

It'd new to me that Steam or GoG fulfilled any of the points above (except online advertising on their own storefront)... ;)

Edited by LordCrash

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^ I'm honestly just asking this (not to be snide), but, what does that make Steam Greenlight? Does it not essentially digitally publish games via that?

 

Obviously, Steam isn't nothing-but-a publisher. And it may not be actually serving the function of publisher in regard to PoE's scenario. But, I'm wondering if it's really proper to flat-out say that Steam just is or is not, at all, a publisher. *Shrug*


Should we not start with some Ipelagos, or at least some Greater Ipelagos, before tackling a named Arch Ipelago? 6_u

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^ I'm honestly just asking this (not to be snide), but, what does that make Steam Greenlight? Does it not essentially digitally publish games via that? 

 

 

No. Greenlight is just a program "to enter Steam's catalogue". Being greenlit means that Valve will sell your game on their storefront called Steam. Steam/Valve won't do market research for you. Steam/Valve won't give you money for development. Steam/Valve won't contribute to your production. Steam/Valve won't advertise your game in magazines, TV, websites, posters other than their own storefront. How can you call Steam/Valve a publisher then? Valve only publishes their own games.

 

Gamestop could do a similar program for place on their storeshelves. You could vote online which games should be sold physically via Gamestop stores. Does that make Gamstop a publisher? Hell no, they just continue to sell games...


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Does it make them a publisher down to a 'T' as far as the precedent for the term goes? No. But I think it makes them a publisher.

 

I posted this in a different thread already, but... from dictionary.com:

 

"pub·lish [puhb-lish] Show IPA

verb (used with object)

1.

to issue (printed or otherwise reproduced textual or graphic material, computer software, etc.) for sale or distribution to the public."

 

Sure, big publishers nowadays typically provide a lot more than sheer distribution. That doesn't mean that Steam doesn't fulfill the service of "publishing" a game to the public.

 

Again, if someone is meaning that Steam does all the typical stuff other publishers do, then yeah, they're mistaken. However, I'm not sure it's really valid to argue that Steam doesn't publish stuff. Greenlight is a very basic form of publishing. Hell, posting your EXE to a blog page is technically self-publishing. The only way you could not publish something is to keep it entirely private and never distribute it to anyone.

 

Plus, Steam markets games to anyone who receives Steam emails and updates. Other publishers who market games in magazines only market them to people who read those magazines. What defining factor makes one legitimate and the other not? Is there a certain number of people marketing has to reach to be marketing? Does marketing even need to occur for something to be distributed? Technically, putting things on a shelf and marking them "for sale" is a very basic form of marketing. *shrug*


Should we not start with some Ipelagos, or at least some Greater Ipelagos, before tackling a named Arch Ipelago? 6_u

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Does it make them a publisher down to a 'T' as far as the precedent for the term goes? No. But I think it makes them a publisher.

 

I posted this in a different thread already, but... from dictionary.com:

 

"pub·lish [puhb-lish] Show IPA

verb (used with object)

1.

to issue (printed or otherwise reproduced textual or graphic material, computer software, etc.) for sale or distribution to the public."

 

Sure, big publishers nowadays typically provide a lot more than sheer distribution. That doesn't mean that Steam doesn't fulfill the service of "publishing" a game to the public.

 

Again, if someone is meaning that Steam does all the typical stuff other publishers do, then yeah, they're mistaken. However, I'm not sure it's really valid to argue that Steam doesn't publish stuff. Greenlight is a very basic form of publishing. Hell, posting your EXE to a blog page is technically self-publishing. The only way you could not publish something is to keep it entirely private and never distribute it to anyone.

 

Plus, Steam markets games to anyone who receives Steam emails and updates. Other publishers who market games in magazines only market them to people who read those magazines. What defining factor makes one legitimate and the other not? Is there a certain number of people marketing has to reach to be marketing? Does marketing even need to occur for something to be distributed? Technically, putting things on a shelf and marking them "for sale" is a very basic form of marketing. *shrug*

 

There is a difference between the literal meaning of "publishing" and the business of a video game publisher. I guess that's the problem here (and not only here).

 

Of course you "publish" a game by puting an exe file on the web and a banner for marketing above. But that doesn't mean that you're a publisher because you don't do what a publisher normally does. Publishing something and being a publisher is not the same thing, especially in video gaming...

And Steam not even publishes games. They don't decide to publish a game. A publisher decides so and Steam/Valve fulfils their wish by offering the game on their store. Steam sells games and makes advertizing for them on their storefront. That's the complete business. (Or do you tihnk that a newspaper store is a publisher because they sell newspapers? The editor of the newspaper is the publisher of course. He just gave the store the permission to sell the newspaper for a cut.) ;)

Edited by LordCrash
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When I backed for a boxed copy I was expecting an old school box like the IE games. Will that be the case, or will we receive DVD cases? Thanks!

Also the min wage in NZ is $11 so I don't get all the "fair prices" bull.

 

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

I just want to follow up on my feelings on this. I can certainly see offering a DVD case with steam code being the preferred method of production for any publisher. However, whether it was specifically stated or not, your concept art certainly implied it would be an old-school box. That is what I backed, and I want a DRM free disc with no online activation to come with it. I would have never backed at $65 if this wasn't the case. If the DVD case with steam key is what you decide on then I want to downgrade to an digital copy only, and be refunded the difference. If that request cannot be accommodated then I do have a big problem with this partnership, and I will feel pretty misled.

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I shouldn't have read this thread, now I've got red marks all over my face from facepalming so hard.

 

BAdler really is a professional, I couldn't reply to half those retarded accusations without getting angry or sarcastic.

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Does it make them a publisher down to a 'T' as far as the precedent for the term goes? No. But I think it makes them a publisher.

 

I posted this in a different thread already, but... from dictionary.com:

 

"pub·lish [puhb-lish] Show IPA

verb (used with object)

1.

to issue (printed or otherwise reproduced textual or graphic material, computer software, etc.) for sale or distribution to the public."

 

Sure, big publishers nowadays typically provide a lot more than sheer distribution. That doesn't mean that Steam doesn't fulfill the service of "publishing" a game to the public.

 

Again, if someone is meaning that Steam does all the typical stuff other publishers do, then yeah, they're mistaken. However, I'm not sure it's really valid to argue that Steam doesn't publish stuff. Greenlight is a very basic form of publishing. Hell, posting your EXE to a blog page is technically self-publishing. The only way you could not publish something is to keep it entirely private and never distribute it to anyone.

 

Plus, Steam markets games to anyone who receives Steam emails and updates. Other publishers who market games in magazines only market them to people who read those magazines. What defining factor makes one legitimate and the other not? Is there a certain number of people marketing has to reach to be marketing? Does marketing even need to occur for something to be distributed? Technically, putting things on a shelf and marking them "for sale" is a very basic form of marketing. *shrug*

 

Steam only sells stuff that is published by others.

 

Company or person, who publish game in Steam or in Steam Greenlight  to be sold or voted to be sold is the publisher of that game.

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Sorry to ask but there has been confirmation that physical copies for backers will be drm free? ...i read an earlier reply from Badler which didn't seem definitive (use of a serial or CD key isnt drm free imho  (sorry if i missed something)).

Of course a serial or key is DRM free. What you mean is an online activation.

 

DRM free = GOG version which means no serial or CD key required. Just copy installer to desktop, install it and play. 


True happiness consists not in the multitude of friends but in the worth and choice

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When I backed for a boxed copy I was expecting an old school box like the IE games. Will that be the case, or will we receive DVD cases? Thanks!

Also the min wage in NZ is $11 so I don't get all the "fair prices" bull.

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

I just want to follow up on my feelings on this. I can certainly see offering a DVD case with steam code being the preferred method of production for any publisher. However, whether it was specifically stated or not, your concept art certainly implied it would be an old-school box. That is what I backed, and I want a DRM free disc with no online activation to come with it. I would have never backed at $65 if this wasn't the case. If the DVD case with steam key is what you decide on then I want to downgrade to an digital copy only, and be refunded the difference. If that request cannot be accommodated then I do have a big problem with this partnership, and I will feel pretty misled.

 

Have to agree with this. Paradox has a bit of previous form in this regard which is why a few people in this thread have had concerns.

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Lots of games on steam are, with the help of steam, changed so that they offer social features, automatic updates, anti-cheat, DRM, statistic functions and achievements. Some of that list is possible without changing the code, most is surely not (at least if implemented to full extent). Example DRM, the usual DRM doesn't allow the game to run without steam running, that clearly needs changes in the code if circumvention needs to be hard. Achievements are the best example as it needs clearly modifications and also adds a highly visible "feature" to the games.

 

Now granted, valve aka steam is clearly best described as a distributor, but they also take on tasks a publisher would do, especially for their own games, even when they outsource any physical publishing/distribution completely to some other publisher/distributor. (I don't differentiate between valve and steam because 90% of valve is steam. I even had to lookup "valve" again because I forgot the name)

 

Especially in an industry that is changing (because of digitial distribution as well as kickstarter/indenpendent games) it isn't easy to stick to rigid definitions. Those definitions are changing too. 5 years ago it might have been possible to define a publisher as the one holding the rights to a game and paying the billls. Now with kickstarter the hope (of companies like obsidian and inxile) is that the game creator is the one holding the money and especially the rights and the publisher is only a hired gun doing marketing and distribution. With indy games this already was mostly the case but only nowadays with digital distribution do indy games also have a chance to get a decent amount of money out of it to fund bigger games.

Edited by jethro

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One thing that was asked earlier that I didn't answer was about customer service once the game is released. I didn't want to answer until I had asked around and gotten the real answer for you guys.

 

Paradox will be heading up customer service once the game is released.

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There is a difference between the literal meaning of "publishing" and the business of a video game publisher. I guess that's the problem here (and not only here).

Fair enough. I'm not trying to get silly with this. Just, honestly, the typically accepted practice of a video game publisher nowadays is "I help you fund development, and you let me have creative control over this project," yet that's not always the case. That's kind of the core of everyone's assumptive, panicked responses to seeing "PILLARS OF ETERNITY PARTNERS WITH PUBLISHER!" Everyone instantly assumed that a publisher INHERENTLY gets control over the development of a game, and that Obsidian must've blown all our Kickstarter money and needed to trade creative control for more funding, etc. That sort of thing.

 

So, that's the only reason I'm pressing this distinction.

 

If you develop a game in your spare time, in your garage, and you want to distribute it to the public, you can either do so yourself (self-publish it), or get someone else to handle that for you. Sure, Steam has a store, but it's ALSO a distribution platform. With your newspaper example, the NEWSPAPER produces the copies of the paper, and has them delivered to a number of different stores/stalls for sale. So yeah, each store is not a publisher. They're just handling sales transactions once they receive the goods that someone else produced and distributed to them.

 

But, with something like Steam Greenlight, for example, you just have a game, and STEAM "produces" all the digital copies of your game, advertises its existence and availability (to some extent), and distributes it to the public. Just because they do it in their own store doesn't mean "Steam is just a store." Hell... EA sells their stuff in the EA store. If they happened to publish a game, and sell it exclusively in the EA store, they wouldn't suddenly be [not-publishing[/i] the game. Right?

 

Now... I think THIS is what you're getting at: With Pillars of Eternity, for example, Paradox is publishing the game. They're going to distribute it to Steam to be sold in the Steam store, sure. So, Steam, in this capacity is not publishing the game. However, if no distribution was taking place at all except through Steam, then it would be publishing your game.

 

I'm not trying to say the actual definition of the word overrides the industry precedent/protocol for the process, but neither does the industry precedent/protocol somehow render irrelevant the actual definition of the word. A publisher publishes. There are a number of different specific ways in which that can take place. They can fund development, they can do extensive advertising in magazines and on TV, they can control development, etc.

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Should we not start with some Ipelagos, or at least some Greater Ipelagos, before tackling a named Arch Ipelago? 6_u

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