Saturday, February 2nd 2019

Metro Exodus Developer Discusses Boycott of the PC Platform for Sequels over Steam Review Bombing

Update 2: February 5th, 2019: A post on TwitLonger from the official @MetroVideoGame handle has looked to bring a more positive outlook to this whole scenario, in an attempt to bridge the gap between a lone developer's sentiment and the entire 4A Games studio. The post follows:
The recent decision to move Metro Exodus from Steam to the Epic Game Store was made by Koch Media / Deep Silver alone.

The recent comments made by a member of the 4A Games development team do not reflect Deep Silver's or 4A Games' view on the future of the franchise. They do reflect the hurt and disappointment of a passionate individual who has seen what was previously nothing but positive goodwill towards his work turn to controversy due to a business decision he had no control over. We respectfully ask that any and all valid feedback over this decision is directed at Koch Media / Deep Silver, and not the developers at 4A Games.

The future release strategy of the Metro series lies with Koch Media / Deep Silver. Our decision to partner with Epic Games was based on the goal of investing in the future of the series and our development partner at 4A Games. We have every intention of continuing this franchise, and a PC version will always be at the heart of our plans.
The entire handling of this issue has seen wrong turns of hand on all parts involved, the way this particular editor sees it (my, Ravenlord's, sole opinion and not TPU's, so as to avoid a Metro-style situation here), whether it be Valve, 4A Games, the lone developer who made the initial comments, and yes, the particular users in the Metro community that reacted too passionately, inflamming what was already a sticky situation. I, for one, will never see the justice in extrapolating one "wrong" move as a reason for bringing down either the trust or confidence in a whole team of people working hard to bring their creative vision to life. But I suppose gaming is like a relationship, in a way. You can read the original story below.

The whole Metro Exodus saga has been getting uglier as we get closer to launch date. We had reported earlier this very week how Metro Exodus had jumped over to the Epic Games Store for a timed exclusive through February 2020, with Valve and THQ Nordic putting out statements on this move. The move was clearly an unpopular one, and arguably for valid reasons too, but this then led to the mob turning against Metro 2033 and Metro: Last Light by leaving an extreme number of negative reviews on the respective Steam store pages.
We do not agree with this behavior, but neither do we condone what happened next. A user by the handle scynet on the Russian Gameinator forums claimed to be one of the developers on the Metro game franchise, and expressed disappointment, and even anger at the review bombing ongoing. Perhaps emotions took over, when he then effectively threatened that the Metro series would not come to the PC platform again, and be a console exclusive, should this behavior continue and also if PC gamers in turn decide to not buy Metro Exodus as a result of the move from Steam to the Epic Games Store. We will note here that (a) the identity of said person has not been confirmed to be an actual developer for the game, and (b) such decisions are usually in the publisher hands. Regardless, both parties are not showing their best here, and hopefully cooler heads will prevail soon.

[Update: Feb 3, 2019: TechPowerUp user birdie has provided what appears to be the most accurate translation at this time, which can be seen past the break.]

An English translation by a native Russian (TechPowerUp user birdie) is seen below.
I've watched the shit storm that gave me contradicting impressions. On the one hand, Steam withdrawal was dubious, no one before us has done this so abruptly (as far as I know). This is new and and it could have caused resentment. And also this move makes it necessary to install the Epic launcher, so it could have inconvenienced certain gamers, and caused resentment.

On the other hand a reaction of the certain category of players ("torrents" only and likewise [he meant those who pirate games]) is hardly adequate. I've got the impression that people didn't really want to play and they have been waiting for a reason to pour out bile. It turns out that we (the developers) have toiled over for years trying to create something extraordinary but a certain category of players believes that our work isn't worth two minutes of installing a new game launcher. Naturally, it's their life and right, but why do they care about Metro at all? Obviously, they are not interested. I can only say that they've never been our players, they are not interested in our work, and as a result, for example, I'm not interested in their opinion. What's the point of me (and not only me) listening to their opinion?

But! Let's take a deeper look at the situation. Someone says that having shit on Metro Exodus and other games of the series has made the world a better place and put the greedy developers in their place. For that, I can only say that, at the worst scenario if all [PC] players boycott the game, then future games, if they get released at all, certainly won't be for PC. Will it be for the better or worse, is up to you. Personally, I will be sorry for devoted fans. But it won't change my appreciation of the work done by me, my friends and co-workers. I'm absolutely certain that almost everyone who is smearing us on the internet is not capable of the tiniest part of the work already done, and I hope, is yet to be done. Which means they are totally unaware of what they are talking about.

One extra thing. Despite the fact that during development I've finished every level of the game countless times, I still love playing Metro. I've completely finished previous games of the series several times and right now when we are putting the finishing touches to the game I'm going to finish it once more. For me it's already a tradition when I finish the game right before its release. It allows to evaluate the work we've done. What am I talking about? I remember the words of Prof [some nickname presumably - no idea who this person is] which I've heard straight from him several times and also on the Internet: you must create a game for yourself, so that first and most you like it yourself. And only now I'm starting to fully understand that - no smartass will make me doubt the work we've done. And there always will be the dissatisfied.
This does not seem as feverous as initial translations make it out to be, however the underlying tones are still applicable to the same bottom line. We also are more confident now that the original poster is a verified employee of 4A Games, and likely a developer on Metro Exodus as well. He/she is no doubt passionate about the work put in to the game, and ideally recognizes that the deeds (however undeserving the review bombing of past games may be) of some members of the PC gaming community does not speak for everyone. At the same time, this does not mean that 4A Games/Koch Media/THQ Nordic/Epic Games Store are all blameless in this debacle either, just that here too the work of few is affecting the rest adversely. Sources: User 'scynet' on Gameinator Forums, TwitLonger
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283 Comments on Metro Exodus Developer Discusses Boycott of the PC Platform for Sequels over Steam Review Bombing

#277
OneMoar
There is Always Moar
No piracy Discussion :roll:
Posted on Reply
#278
hat
Enthusiast
Shambles1980 said:
that was early drm attempts,
You already had DRM in the form of CD keys and requiring the physical disc in the drive to play (unless you did like I did and made an image of the disc and mount in a virtual drive). I figured the Battlefield accounts were necessary to keep track of each player's stats, now that points, ranks, medals, unlockable weapons etc were part of the game. Of course, they probably could have just as well tied such info to the CD key instead... :ohwell:
Posted on Reply
#279
Shambles1980
was always online drm.. cd keys were useless for any non multiplayer game.

did a quick google, this probably covers it.. may not i guess but probably will <div class="youtube-embed" data-id="HjEbpMgiL7U"><img src="https://i.ytimg.com/vi/HjEbpMgiL7U/hqdefault.jpg" /><div class="youtube-play"></div><a href="https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=HjEbpMgiL7U" target="_blank" class="youtube-title"></a></div>
Posted on Reply
#280
bajs11
rtwjunkie said:
Except 4A isn’t Russian. :rolleyes:
haha i stand corrected
it seems im still living in the 1980s... :wtf::rolleyes:
Posted on Reply
#281
lexluthermiester
Shambles1980 said:
was always online drm.. cd keys were useless for any non multiplayer game.

did a quick google, this probably covers it.. may not i guess but probably will <div class="youtube-embed" data-id="HjEbpMgiL7U"><img src="https://i.ytimg.com/vi/HjEbpMgiL7U/hqdefault.jpg" /><div class="youtube-play"></div><a href="https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=HjEbpMgiL7U" target="_blank" class="youtube-title"></a></div>
LGR hit the major points. That was a good video.
Posted on Reply
#282
BorgOvermind
Lots of debate here I see.
All things said, I really hope this series won't go EA (if you know that I mean).
Posted on Reply
#283
RuskiSnajper
phanbuey said:
Dude - you can have all the launchers you want. Just don't force people into it. Sell on the epic store for $40, and sell on steam for $60 because they're shites who take 30% -- simple as that.
Yeah but you guys didn't get it, again, or well I wasn't explaining it good enough. I was making a comparison and a viewpoint, I am obviously agreeing with you, but from their point of view they don't have to give a rats butt, because no contract has been made with you

Is it rude, is it inappropriate, is it bad idea, is it, that's all true, but they operate like a military and if it's not in contract they don't give a cow. All the PR and all the fluff is all military-grade psychological manipulation and deception, gaming companies hire the same kind of PR experts as any other company does, they read/learn the same books that were written from the +1940 US Military experiments where they had monkies strapped to TVs, among other things.

All the words may be sincere from the devs, cool, the catch is, it's never their decision on anything, all that is as good as dirt, no obligation, you are a phatom, as no contract was made between you or them, they announce it to the void, your response and recognition of their PR is only a coincidence, you make the contract when you buy the game, but before you get delivery(installation), which means you make the contract before you even see the full contents, everything is scientifically calculated against you, they can make arbitrary decision at any time.

No video game contract has much if any clauses on the quality of the game, technicalities like FPS, stability, compatability, there's no guarantee on anything, whether or not the experience will be enjoyable. It's not a product you commissioned, it's a fishing game, they use a fishing hook with bait, and hope enough fishes will bite, you only get the taste after you bitten, but you're also caught at the same time, it is a fundamentally disrespectful , but the corporate idea uses the friendly word "commercial", it's military-style mindset, this is not a natural economy between people's, why would people of same country use military tactics against each other.

In KochMedia/DeepSilver mind, when they weighted this decision, they decided the financial gains (short or longterm or both) and or obligations outweight the expected community backlash, simple as that. The industry knows that most people cry out and then just move on after a week or two, they know the demography of children to young adults who eat poisonous sugary snacks, drinks and fast food has a very short attention span and given enough burgers and doritos they will gobble anything in due time.

All they have to do is to bombard some more PR so that the old story gets burried quick like a new trailer that was just released.

The lone developer was absolutely right about how review bombing may even lead , even tho it seems so out of possiblity,

About 2 years before id Software started breaking up they all said "oh we're here for the PC were not going anywhere". (because of Carmacks and Zenimax disagreements on VR, and Rage no-boss-at-end and wrong-driver-from-AMD debacle)

Gamers sometimes think that companies are their employees. There is no contract between you and them. Outside of the game. And also, in the contract for the game there's no guarantee of any patching and fixing either, it's a TOTAL joke, just like most consumer products.

You are all pissed, but I'm not, not because I don't think it's bad, because I'm not going to be their victim, this kind of stuff happens over and over again and it's part of the terrible business model on this planet, it's not about that you have to deal with it, it's about that you have to transcend it, it's a battlefield, you need to find the way to navigate the fairest way, because many people when they see an unfair world they think it's nothing they can do so they just join with the unfairness, no, you strive and try to prove it can be done fairly despite the odds, only that's how it may someday turn the tide around.

It's childishness upon childishness, remember Crtyek, the idiot owners blew one of my fav PC games with their stupid attitude, no wonder everyone left, cause they're childish, most senior management is a lot more decadent than you think, it's all a big joke, being fascinated by some fast luxurious cars, those are toys for the stupid rich, same kind of thing going there, the more bling it has the more supposable worth it has, which is a lie, most of the premium on richy rich stuff is all estehtics, zero technical/practical value/capability, of zero strategic military importance.

The only way to make it better as other's also mentioned is to BOTHER THE CRAP out of Epic Games to get their Launcher up to par and features, it is not going to help to boycott the developer or anything with the game as you will only be hurting the raw developers.

Arumio said:
Say it to Apple
Sure it applies to many.

Countryside said:
Bombarding negative reviews on a older Metro games just because the new game will be released on a other platform is just stupid and childish.
Exactly. Need to remain fair, fair to the old game which has nothing to do with this.

Shambles1980 said:
a not good buisiness plan is to announcce a game will be on 1 platfrom allow people to preorder the game, and then tell those same people that it wont be on the platform they used to pre-order the game.
That's the core of the emotional issue here, and it's an emotional issue (rude) as it is still legally/technically not violating any contract, but most living beings would recognise it as a bandit-type thing to do.
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