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Humbug

X-Com successor Phoenix Point pulls out of GOG/Steam due to Epic payday

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Posted · Original PosterOP

Phoenix Point is an upcoming turn based RPG being created by famed X-Com creator Julian Gollop, slated for release in September 2019. The game was developed via crowdfunding on fig.co with enough backers to easily surpass it's $500,000 goal. The backers were promised releases on gog and steam. They have currently raised $780,000 on the crowdfunding site as well as $1,200,000 via Steam and GOG pre-orders.

 

The crowdfunding page is still up.

https://www.fig.co/campaigns/phoenix-point

33517358168_a7258eea98_o.png

 

Things have changed however. The dev has now signed away their rights in an exclusivity agreement with the Epic Game Store. Which means they lose the right to sell the game on any other PC store for the first year. The backers were informed of the decision last Tuesday.

 

Julian Gollop Speaking to Eurogamer

Quote

"We sent an email to all our 47,000 backers on Tuesday informing them about the Epic deal," he said. "The following day we had 1300 requests for refunds. The day after it increased to 1600. We don't anticipate that more than five to six per cent of our backers will actually request refunds in the long run."

 

The developer has stated that they can afford the backlash because the amount of money offered by the Epic Game Store exceeds the amount pledged by gamers which funded the development.

h85ndar19vl21.png

https://rpgcodex.net/forums/index.php?threads/phoenix-point-the-next-game-from-x-com-creator-julian-gollop.107625/page-159

 

This raises questions about the ethics of using gamers money to create a compelling game, and then selling the product away to a higher bidding source. We also need to consider if we want PC gaming to be in a position where the devs are funded by parties like Tencent for possibly other strategic reasons. Whereas GOG, Origin, Steam etc run their business to be self sustaining. Of course all of this would be less of an issue if not for the exclusivity clause, any sensible person IMO should would welcome store competition and diversity as long as devs/publishers aren't asked to give up their rights to be on other stores either for a period or permanently.

 

Developer Announcement

 

 

The Quartering Report

 

Eurogamer source

https://www.eurogamer.net/articles/2019-03-14-original-x-com-creator-faces-backlash-after-signing-epic-games-store-exclusive-deal-for-phoenix-point

 

 

Previous Linus Tech Tips forum discussion on paid exclusivity wars vs open competition

 

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tHiS iS cOmPEtiTiOn

 

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2 minutes ago, Humbug said:

The dev has now signed away their rights in an exclusivity agreement with the Epic Game Store.

I heard about this already yesterday. I've been really excited for the game, I absolutely fucking love these kinds of games, but hearing about this turn of events was like a blow below the belt. Good thing I ain't a backer, being told that "hey, we are changing the deal and there's nothing you can do about it!" would've seriously pissed me off. That's terribly disrespectful towards all those backers.


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So they get money from people that were promised a Steam or GoG key and then wont deliver them and instead they get Epic keys? Feels illegal to me but im no law expert


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Oh look, another non blockbuster title hurting their own sales.

1 minute ago, Bananasplit_00 said:

Feels illegal to me but im no law expert

Probably qualifies for a bait and switch.


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Just now, Bananasplit_00 said:

So they get money from people that were promised a Steam or GoG key and then wont deliver them and instead they get Epic keys? Feels illegal to me but im no law expert

They are offering a full refund, which should take care of any legal issues. They also changed tack and backers will now receive Steam/GOG keys in addition to the Epic keys, once it hits those platforms.

 

But there are other problems. The crowdfunding campaign promised native Linux support. This was later withdrawn, but at least people would still be able to run the game on Linux via Steam Play. Until this deal... now they'll have to wait a year to play at all.

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Really though, the exclusivity isn't the thing that's pissing me off. It's how it was advertised as being on Steam and GoG until they just suddenly announced "We're going to Epic". Understandably, people are going to be pissed, especially those who wanted it on GoG.

 

Before any self-proclaimed "hero of consumerism" jumps on here and claims that this is "necessary" to "save us from the monopolistic clutches of Valve and Steam", you're delusional. This not only hurts the consumer but also hurts smaller players like GoG. If you think a store that is grabbing exclusivity away from even those smaller stores is somehow healthy competition just because of Valve, then I honestly have no words for that sort of belief. 


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1 minute ago, Sakkura said:

The crowdfunding campaign promised native Linux support. This was later withdrawn, but at least people would still be able to run the game on Linux via Steam Play.

All the work Valve has put into Steam Play is just great. Ever since they released the feature in beta, I've seen a lot more people mentioning that they're now playing under Linux. It also makes bullshit like this hurt Linux-gamers a little less -- it's still a fucking scummy move on the dev's part, but at least it's likely to only hurt Linux-gamers until the game has received proper support from Steam Play for it.


Hand, n. A singular instrument worn at the end of the human arm and commonly thrust into somebody’s pocket.

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Posted · Original PosterOP
1 minute ago, Drak3 said:

Oh look, another non blockbuster title hurting their own sales.

Looks like they are willing to take that hit. Because the money from Epic/Tencent is a sure thing, whereas game sales are unpredictable.

 

It's not healthy though. The PC gaming industry should be self-sustaining and profitable based on selling games.

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3 minutes ago, Sakkura said:

But there are other problems. The crowdfunding campaign promised native Linux support. This was later withdrawn

That seems odd, for a new game like this developing cross platform shouldn't be any more difficult. Did they like choose the wrong toolset that is Windows focused or something?

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Posted · Original PosterOP
Just now, leadeater said:

That seems odd, for a new game like this developing cross platform shouldn't be any more difficult. Did they like choose the wrong toolset that is Windows focused or something?

They were using the Unity game engine but they mentioned problems with openGL.

 

Maybe Unity is not yet providing proper vulkan support.

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2 minutes ago, leadeater said:

That seems odd, for a new game like this developing cross platform shouldn't be any more difficult. Did they like choose the wrong toolset that is Windows focused or something?

Here's the announcement. It's from November.

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Posted · Original PosterOP
4 minutes ago, D13H4RD said:

Really though, the exclusivity isn't the thing that's pissing me off. It's how it was advertised as being on Steam and GoG until they just suddenly announced "We're going to Epic".

That is a direct result of the exclusivity clause in Epic's contract.

Nobody would be pissed if they decided to also sell their game on Epic Store alongside GOG and Steam, the issue is the contractually obligated exclusivity.

 

6 minutes ago, D13H4RD said:

Before any self-proclaimed "hero of consumerism" jumps on here and claims that this is "necessary" to "save us from the monopolistic clutches of Valve and Steam", you're delusional. This not only hurts the consumer but also hurts smaller players like GoG. If you think a store that is grabbing exclusivity away from even those smaller stores is somehow healthy competition just because of Valve, then I honestly have no words for that sort of belief. 

Exactly. GoG and Steam and Origin do not ask 3rd party devs to remove their games from other stores. They do try to promote their own store but no 3rd party dev is asked to remove a game from another store.

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Gonna post my opinion from another thread about what potential fixes there are for Epic to combat the exclusivity issue: 

 

There are a few solutions in which Epic can become as equal as Steam, and that is including the same features and a few new ones which I can't currently come up with, price reduction, much better security, more content (For ex. older games that even GoG doesn't have) and of course no exclusivity. 

 

But I think we're missing out on another player which recently entered the race... Discord. 


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2 minutes ago, Sakkura said:

Here's the announcement. It's from November.

So the only things I can agree with that they said is the Unity specific bugs with Linux and input device issues. OpenGL has been around for bloody ages and having to adapt graphical shaders.... do it from the start....

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2 minutes ago, Humbug said:

That is a direct result of the exclusivity clause in Epic's contract.

Nobody would be pissed if they decided to also sell their game on Epic Store alongside GOG and Steam, the issue is the contractually obligated exclusivity.

Reason why I said that was because people were going to be pissed by the exclusivity alone, but the way it was done just made my blood boil. 


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Their AMA was gold. People wrecked them. 

 

Because we are offering refunds to anyone who pur...

https://www.reddit.com/r/PhoenixPoint/comments/b0psjl/ama_with_julian_gollop_and_david_kaye/eig93lm?utm_medium=android_app&utm_source=share

 

And the question that followed. 


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11 minutes ago, Bouzoo said:

Their AMA was gold. People wrecked them. 

 

Because we are offering refunds to anyone who pur...

https://www.reddit.com/r/PhoenixPoint/comments/b0psjl/ama_with_julian_gollop_and_david_kaye/eig93lm?utm_medium=android_app&utm_source=share

 

And the question that followed. 

Yeah, this sums it up. 

20190316_212542.thumb.jpg.0fba10722b4709a6edd9b6cf75649fa6.jpg


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Who's up to buy and play games from a developer that has shown to have no integrity to their most loyal followers?


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1 minute ago, huilun02 said:

Who's up to buy and play games from a developer that has shown to have no integrity to their most loyal followers?

What, Electronic Arts?


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6 minutes ago, WereCatf said:

What, Electronic Arts?

No, Activision.


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2 minutes ago, Teddy07 said:

people are outraged so easily.

Why shouldn't they be? 


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