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PoE Embargo ends March 23rd, Backers wait for the 26th?


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This is an important part of the process. The majority of hype nowadays is generated by folks streaming games right before they are released. This is just the reality of the situation.

 

The reality of the situation is you don't get to make games like this any more. And yet you did.

 

 

The reality of the situation is you don't get to play games like this anymore. And yet you can...mirabile dictu!...on the 26th. Because they made it for you.

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I'd just like to point out that you tardigrades are arguing about dictionary definitions right now.

Yup. Sure am. Though I don't know about "tardigrade", I'm not immune to radiation or anything.

Edited by Katarack21
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Hm, when you put it that way Cantousent.

It's well.. I would've loved to have a copy in my hands right now, and just skipped past everyone because of some perceived entitlement "I've been invested here long enough". Longer than many of you, and shorter than many of you. Am I more priveleged to get my copy earlier than those who haven't invested as much time? No. It wouldn't feel right for me, do I feel you are entitled to have it before me? No. We share the same wait now, guys and gals. I'd rather stand equal with ya'll, on board the hype train :D

Maybe for those far above my funding, those who funded perhaps ($1'000s or $10'000s even), and I would be okay with that. Massive kudos <3 to everyone :)

 

And as far as I know and have known long before this Kickstarter, is that press copies are delivered to reviewers or "markets" where they hit their demographic. "Marketing". Kind of like "networking", but publically and commercially. This time you just got to see behind the doors a couple of days earlier than you usually do. It is a public and transparent "Disclaimer" = "We are working with these guys", just like gamers of GG asked for, ethical journalism, telling us "This is how it works". It is honest, if anything.

Anyone else? What have you seen during this Kickstarter of the inner workings of a development studio developing a game, and what sorts of processes they went through and how hard they have worked to achieve this far?

 

How would I like to see it in the future? Clarified Tier ("will get a couple of days before release" sounds like it could be an attractive tier for streamers, reviewers) in Kickstarter maybe, limited amount? Or getting above a certain tier. That could prevent some of the later understandings and communications too.

 

Though, having some 60 people try and feel the game before release is good feedback for Obsidian and us in the Community as well. It's like Ferrari "last pit stop" check before shipping out on the track. Then it's also good to have some early "inspectors", and people spreading the word about it. "It looks safe!" you know.

Edited by Osvir
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EDIT: As an aside, how many people are angry about some folks getting early access and how many folks are angry about that access being flaunted on this specific subforum? Not a rhetorical question! These are separate issues and one of them is far easier to emend than the other.

Good question, yes.  Personally, I'm all for giving review copies out to the streamers/LPers to help advertise the game and thus boost sales.  What I'm less happy about is that their embargo isn't also ending on release day, since that means that there are what, thousands of people who haven't (and a reasonable proportion of whom won't) bought the game who are going to experience a good chunk of the story, albeit by watching rather than playing, before those of us who've spent literally years following this game's production and contributing to it by playing the beta and offering feedback and suggestions.

 

Some people getting the game in advance to figure out what they're doing and plan their streams, or get their videos put together for the 26th, I'd be fine with.  Three days of them streaming it while I'm very excited about the upcoming release and have to wait... well, flaunting their access was a good phrase for what it feels like.  It's not a huge deal for me, but yeah, I wish it had been handled differently.

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EDIT: As an aside, how many people are angry about some folks getting early access and how many folks are angry about that access being flaunted on this specific subforum? Not a rhetorical question! These are separate issues and one of them is far easier to emend than the other.

Good question, yes.  Personally, I'm all for giving review copies out to the streamers/LPers to help advertise the game and thus boost sales.  What I'm less happy about is that their embargo isn't also ending on release day, since that means that there are what, thousands of people who haven't (and a reasonable proportion of whom won't) bought the game who are going to experience a good chunk of the story, albeit by watching rather than playing, before those of us who've spent literally years following this game's production and contributing to it by playing the beta and offering feedback and suggestions.

 

Some people getting the game in advance to figure out what they're doing and plan their streams, or get their videos put together for the 26th, I'd be fine with.  Three days of them streaming it while I'm very excited about the upcoming release and have to wait... well, flaunting their access was a good phrase for what it feels like.  It's not a huge deal for me, but yeah, I wish it had been handled differently.

 

That is actually a legitimate issue, and something that I'm not entirely comfortable with as well. I would much prefer the stream and review embargo be lifted on release date, and I honestly don't know of a really compelling reason that it's not.

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EDIT: As an aside, how many people are angry about some folks getting early access and how many folks are angry about that access being flaunted on this specific subforum? Not a rhetorical question! These are separate issues and one of them is far easier to emend than the other.

Good question, yes.  Personally, I'm all for giving review copies out to the streamers/LPers to help advertise the game and thus boost sales.  What I'm less happy about is that their embargo isn't also ending on release day, since that means that there are what, thousands of people who haven't (and a reasonable proportion of whom won't) bought the game who are going to experience a good chunk of the story, albeit by watching rather than playing, before those of us who've spent literally years following this game's production and contributing to it by playing the beta and offering feedback and suggestions.

 

Some people getting the game in advance to figure out what they're doing and plan their streams, or get their videos put together for the 26th, I'd be fine with.  Three days of them streaming it while I'm very excited about the upcoming release and have to wait... well, flaunting their access was a good phrase for what it feels like.  It's not a huge deal for me, but yeah, I wish it had been handled differently.

 

That is actually a legitimate issue, and something that I'm not entirely comfortable with as well. I would much prefer the stream and review embargo be lifted on release date, and I honestly don't know of a really compelling reason that it's not.

 

 

FYI, the review embargo is still in place until the 26th. People seem to forget this when they say streamers/youtubers are "reviewers" as well, or viewed as such.

 

@Sparklecat hit it dead on btw. And I feel the same way. 

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well, flaunting their access was a good phrase for what it feels like.  It's not a huge deal for me, but yeah, I wish it had been handled differently.

 

Never gonna find an end of ways to say "I don't like it that other people are playing with my toys", aren't we?

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That is actually a legitimate issue, and something that I'm not entirely comfortable with as well. I would much prefer the stream and review embargo be lifted on release date, and I honestly don't know of a really compelling reason that it's not.

I'm thinking about how the day 1 patch might play into this; on the one hand, it seems like it might potentially hurt sales to have streams/videos showing off the unpatched version of the game, depending on how much is going to be fixed/changed.  On the other, watching the streams might help the developers spot and start working on fixes for extra problems before we all start playing, and it might lead to some confusion for streamers to spend a week learning on the unpatched version and then jump into streaming the patched one on the 26th - again, depending on how much is changed.

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EDIT: As an aside, how many people are angry about some folks getting early access and how many folks are angry about that access being flaunted on this specific subforum? Not a rhetorical question! These are separate issues and one of them is far easier to emend than the other.

Good question, yes.  Personally, I'm all for giving review copies out to the streamers/LPers to help advertise the game and thus boost sales.  What I'm less happy about is that their embargo isn't also ending on release day, since that means that there are what, thousands of people who haven't (and a reasonable proportion of whom won't) bought the game who are going to experience a good chunk of the story, albeit by watching rather than playing, before those of us who've spent literally years following this game's production and contributing to it by playing the beta and offering feedback and suggestions.

 

Some people getting the game in advance to figure out what they're doing and plan their streams, or get their videos put together for the 26th, I'd be fine with.  Three days of them streaming it while I'm very excited about the upcoming release and have to wait... well, flaunting their access was a good phrase for what it feels like.  It's not a huge deal for me, but yeah, I wish it had been handled differently.

 

That is actually a legitimate issue, and something that I'm not entirely comfortable with as well. I would much prefer the stream and review embargo be lifted on release date, and I honestly don't know of a really compelling reason that it's not.

 

 

FYI, the review embargo is still in place until the 26th. People seem to forget this when they say streamers/youtubers are "reviewers" as well, or viewed as such.

 

@Sparklecat hit it dead on btw. And I feel the same way. 

 

Well that would be why I said "stream AND review" instead of "stream/review".

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EDIT: As an aside, how many people are angry about some folks getting early access and how many folks are angry about that access being flaunted on this specific subforum? Not a rhetorical question! These are separate issues and one of them is far easier to emend than the other.

Good question, yes.  Personally, I'm all for giving review copies out to the streamers/LPers to help advertise the game and thus boost sales.  What I'm less happy about is that their embargo isn't also ending on release day, since that means that there are what, thousands of people who haven't (and a reasonable proportion of whom won't) bought the game who are going to experience a good chunk of the story, albeit by watching rather than playing, before those of us who've spent literally years following this game's production and contributing to it by playing the beta and offering feedback and suggestions.

 

Some people getting the game in advance to figure out what they're doing and plan their streams, or get their videos put together for the 26th, I'd be fine with.  Three days of them streaming it while I'm very excited about the upcoming release and have to wait... well, flaunting their access was a good phrase for what it feels like.  It's not a huge deal for me, but yeah, I wish it had been handled differently.

 

That is actually a legitimate issue, and something that I'm not entirely comfortable with as well. I would much prefer the stream and review embargo be lifted on release date, and I honestly don't know of a really compelling reason that it's not.

 

Sales, obviously.  Streams and let's plays are much more effective (as a sales platform) a few days in advance rather than when decision day has come and gone. Hypemachine Go!

 

 

The distinction between stream & let's play and review has me laughing, by the by.  If people can watch several hours of gameplay, it matters not at all if the video-maker says 'I like it,' and pulls a random number out of the leftover pizza.  The viewers can judge for themselves, and usually the video-maker's enthusiasm (or lack of it) has more impact than nonsense review numbers anyway.   They provide more than enough content to pass judgement, the lack of a formal judging sequence is pretty low impact. 

Edited by Voss
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EDIT: As an aside, how many people are angry about some folks getting early access and how many folks are angry about that access being flaunted on this specific subforum? Not a rhetorical question! These are separate issues and one of them is far easier to emend than the other.

Good question, yes.  Personally, I'm all for giving review copies out to the streamers/LPers to help advertise the game and thus boost sales.  What I'm less happy about is that their embargo isn't also ending on release day, since that means that there are what, thousands of people who haven't (and a reasonable proportion of whom won't) bought the game who are going to experience a good chunk of the story, albeit by watching rather than playing, before those of us who've spent literally years following this game's production and contributing to it by playing the beta and offering feedback and suggestions.

 

Some people getting the game in advance to figure out what they're doing and plan their streams, or get their videos put together for the 26th, I'd be fine with.  Three days of them streaming it while I'm very excited about the upcoming release and have to wait... well, flaunting their access was a good phrase for what it feels like.  It's not a huge deal for me, but yeah, I wish it had been handled differently.

 

That is actually a legitimate issue, and something that I'm not entirely comfortable with as well. I would much prefer the stream and review embargo be lifted on release date, and I honestly don't know of a really compelling reason that it's not.

 

Sales, obviously.  Streams and let's plays are much more effective (as a sales platform) a few days in advance rather than when decision day has come and gone. Hypemachine Go!

 

So basically pre-order drivers? I can understand that.

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Sales, obviously.  Streams and let's plays are much more effective (as a sales platform) a few days in advance rather than when decision day has come and gone. Hypemachine Go!

 

Is there data on this, though, or is that speculation?  Seems like it'd be a difficult thing to determine.

Edited by sparklecat
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Sales, obviously.  Streams and let's plays are much more effective (as a sales platform) a few days in advance rather than when decision day has come and gone. Hypemachine Go!

 

Is there data on this, though, or is that speculation?  Seems like it'd be a difficult thing to determine.

 

 

I'm not personally privy to it, but I'm sure people with access can track when sales happen on Steam, and can quite easily track views on youtube,  If sales of a title spike alongside the latest TotalCox video views (or whomever- notably Arumba & Quill, given Paradox is publishing it), you have a correlation.  Track it for multiple titles and you have a functional theory, at least one good enough to hang a sales hypothesis on.

 

 

I'm kind of annoyed by it actually, since several of the people I usually watch are putting off their typical content in favor of 'Let's Plays' that I won't watch because I don't want to be spoiled.  Which makes it harder to fill the time until release!

Edited by Voss
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Oh, I'm sure the LPers boost sales; I'm more questioning what difference them waiting until release day to put the videos out would make.  I can see an argument that it would make a difference when coupled with pre-order bonuses, I suppose.  Which I kind of wish weren't a thing at all, but hey.

 

(The only youtuber I consistently watch is moving house and putting out less regular videos in general right now, which is also not good for helping keep me entertained until the 26th :( )

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I just want Obsidian and Paradox to do whatever is in their power to earn as much $$$ as is possible, and then to burn everything on a sequel in a similar format. If that means sending early versions to YouTube personalities, polka-dotted flying pigs and your mom then hell yes, I'm all for it.

I think that's sensible, but it's risky to assume that the best way of achieving that is doing things the way they have always been done. Kickstarter games are inherently different. You have a huge built in audience that are more invested in the game, but paid you for it years ago so don't bring in any actual cash on launch day. The value of existing marketing is known to agree (except the 75k people most likely to be interested in your game won't be, because they already backed it) but there are other questions to consider. What would the value of giving backers access the same time as the reviewers, but ahead of the general public be? There's a lot of things that factor into that choice - the big ones being how reliant you are on that day-one patch for stability (especially if you're Obsidian), the other being if you plan on going back to Kickstarter for the follow-up next game, and if so, when.

 

Other than the game itself, that launch is the last window to talk to most casual backers. I think it would be wrong to underestimate the effect on them of saying "as a reward for supporting us, you'll get access to the game a week before the general public". Is that expected? No. Are backers entitled to it? No. But is there value in doing that? Yes. Early review copies are handed around like free candy in the games business, especially smaller companies after any sort of coverage, but to the casual fan, getting that early copy can be super-cool. Even if they don't play it, it makes them feel special, it has a big positive effect on backer engagement. You're far more likely to get that backer back again for the next project. And there's the negative flip-side too. Backers that have forgotten about the project see all the videos and so on, get excited, but don't get a call to action. They don't need to pre-order, but they can't play it either. Currently there's not even a pre-load/key available. That inability to take any action can lead to the game being forgotten about again.

 

Now, for all those pro points of releasing to backers early, there are absolutely drawbacks too. Does one outweigh the other? I don't know. My issue is that the impression I get from various responses is that no one really thought about it. They just did it this way because it's the way it's always been done. And that's where it can get dangerously short-sighted - to assume that your Kickstarter game, once you have the money, works exactly the same as any other game. There are differences, a lot of them aren't even fully understood yet, but they need thinking about, not ignoring.

 

[As an aside, this is a more complicated case - PoE has publisher funding now too, and it's huge, and there are issues with spoilers... but the first time I encountered this sort of thing was backing an album from a musician. That was a lot more straight-forward: the backers literally paid for the studio time and production, and then the album was sent out to reviewers first. Backers had to wait a couple of weeks. ]

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I just want Obsidian and Paradox to do whatever is in their power to earn as much $$$ as is possible, and then to burn everything on a sequel in a similar format. If that means sending early versions to YouTube personalities, polka-dotted flying pigs and your mom then hell yes, I'm all for it.

I think that's sensible, but it's risky to assume that the best way of achieving that is doing things the way they have always been done. Kickstarter games are inherently different. You have a huge built in audience that are more invested in the game, but paid you for it years ago so don't bring in any actual cash on launch day. The value of existing marketing is known to agree (except the 75k people most likely to be interested in your game won't be, because they already backed it) but there are other questions to consider. What would the value of giving backers access the same time as the reviewers, but ahead of the general public be? There's a lot of things that factor into that choice - the big ones being how reliant you are on that day-one patch for stability (especially if you're Obsidian), the other being if you plan on going back to Kickstarter for the follow-up next game, and if so, when.

 

Other than the game itself, that launch is the last window to talk to most casual backers. I think it would be wrong to underestimate the effect on them of saying "as a reward for supporting us, you'll get access to the game a week before the general public". Is that expected? No. Are backers entitled to it? No. But is there value in doing that? Yes. Early review copies are handed around like free candy in the games business, especially smaller companies after any sort of coverage, but to the casual fan, getting that early copy can be super-cool. Even if they don't play it, it makes them feel special, it has a big positive effect on backer engagement. You're far more likely to get that backer back again for the next project. And there's the negative flip-side too. Backers that have forgotten about the project see all the videos and so on, get excited, but don't get a call to action. They don't need to pre-order, but they can't play it either. Currently there's not even a pre-load/key available. That inability to take any action can lead to the game being forgotten about again.

 

Now, for all those pro points of releasing to backers early, there are absolutely drawbacks too. Does one outweigh the other? I don't know. My issue is that the impression I get from various responses is that no one really thought about it. They just did it this way because it's the way it's always been done. And that's where it can get dangerously short-sighted - to assume that your Kickstarter game, once you have the money, works exactly the same as any other game. There are differences, a lot of them aren't even fully understood yet, but they need thinking about, not ignoring.

 

[As an aside, this is a more complicated case - PoE has publisher funding now too, and it's huge, and there are issues with spoilers... but the first time I encountered this sort of thing was backing an album from a musician. That was a lot more straight-forward: the backers literally paid for the studio time and production, and then the album was sent out to reviewers first. Backers had to wait a couple of weeks. ]

 

If delaying the game a week for the general public would make PoE sell more I would be for it. But IMO this would only lead to piracy and even more flak. Personally, I only care about the game being good enough. If I get it now or in 3 months does not matter, so delaying the game for the general public would not be a "reward" for me. I think it's easier to build hype among YouTube personalities if you make them feel special, I think that is the rationale behind this marketing trick.

"Well, overkill is my middle name. And my last name. And all of my other names as well!"

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