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

#76
Midland Dog
why do people insist on fighting the internet, what are yous farken thick? this will be like battlefield sjw all over again
Posted on Reply
#77
xkm1948
Great way to F up your IP. Guess wut? Nobody f**king cares. They can go royally go f**k themselves
Posted on Reply
#78
silentbogo
Vayra86 said:
https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Epic_Games

Hmmm
And that means what? That they existed as a game dev. studio for some time?
If anything, it should be like this:
https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Epic_Games_Store

rtwjunkie said:
No, the public who are just as childish do that, because reviews of previous games should be reviews of the games. Mature customers have a method of registering unhappiness, which is to not buy the new games.
And a mature publisher or game dev. does not pull games off the platform 3 weeks prior to release, and does not allow its employees to post angry rants on the net.
What did they expect? That thousands of teenagers and tweens will behave like adults after being duped by Koch and later shitcanned by supposedly 4A employee? On the f#$%n internet? Pfff....
Posted on Reply
#79
lexluthermiester
rtwjunkie said:
No, the public who are just as childish do that, because reviews of previous games should be reviews of the games.
Gotta disagree. It's the only avenue of complaint. Companies have made it difficult to get in touch with them to render input in a public forum.
rtwjunkie said:
Mature customers have a method of registering unhappiness, which is to not buy the new games.
But that doesn't send a message to anyone but the person not buying the game. The devs have no clue why the purchase is not being made.
rtwjunkie said:
Please don’t condone infantile actions like review bombing. There really is no excuse for them to do that.
Normally I wouldn't, but if it's the only option to make statement? People are pissed, understandably so. This was an infantile choice by the devs, and that is the response they're getting. They have only themselves to blame. If they had promised a release on GOG and then pulled it at the last moment, I'd be pissed as well.
rtwjunkie said:
For the record, if it was a member of the dev team, he was not threatening. He laid out facts. If people do not buy a pc version of a game, then future investment in the PC platform is not likely. That’s just business.
And that is a self imposed problem. What they needed to do to make the most money was sell the game on every platform, not going exclusive. This is not the 90's, exclusivity is no longer a good business tactic. Diversity is.
Posted on Reply
#80
Totally
rtwjunkie said:
People do not buy a pc version of a game, then future investment in the PC platform is not likely. That’s just business.
That is not just business, that is bad business. Whatever happens going forward is because if their decisions, not investing is done when there is not a market or a very weak one or something equally out of their control. Displeased customers due their decisions is something within their ability to rectify.
Posted on Reply
#81
moproblems99
Tsukiyomi91 said:
not giving a detailed apology
No one owes an apology except the schmucks review bombing and potentially 'the dev'.
Posted on Reply
#82
Midland Dog
moproblems99 said:
No one owes an apology except the schmucks review bombing and potentially 'the dev'.
why should review bombers apologise? they bought the pre order on steam for 60 bucks, and copped a bit of dry dick when it got taken off steam and put on epic for 29.99, funny enough doing the math 4a would make more through steam
Posted on Reply
#83
INSTG8R
My Custom Title
This sums it up nicely for me.
<div class="youtube-embed" data-id="jZTgSaokPzw"><img src="https://i.ytimg.com/vi/jZTgSaokPzw/hqdefault.jpg" /><div class="youtube-play"></div><a href="https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=jZTgSaokPzw" target="_blank" class="youtube-title"></a></div>
Posted on Reply
#84
lexluthermiester
moproblems99 said:
No one owes an apology except the schmucks review bombing and potentially 'the dev'.
They promise to release on a particular platform and then switch to another platform right before release? No, the devs don't need to apologize at all. Nope.(sarcasm)
Posted on Reply
#85
moproblems99
Midland Dog said:
why should review bombers apologise? they bought the pre order on steam for 60 bucks, and copped a bit of dry dick when it got taken off steam and put on epic for 29.99, funny enough doing the math 4a would make more through steam
Because they will still be able to play it on Steam by all accounts so far. They can also get refunds on Steam and purchase the Epic version for a discount.

And review bombing is for morons.
Posted on Reply
#86
M2B
How much time it takes to install epic store? 1 hour? 2 hours? 3 hours?what?
I mean seriously, complainers are wasting hours of their time on internent complaining about all this stuff but refuse to install a launcher?! What the fuck is wrong with you?
Posted on Reply
#87
lexluthermiester
M2B said:
How much time it takes to install epic store?
That's not the point. Installing the client is only one step. You also have to setup an account and whatnot. People don't want to have clients/accounts all over the place.
Posted on Reply
#88
M2B
lexluthermiester said:
That's not the point. Installing the client is only one step. You also have to setup an account and whatnot. People don't want to have clients/accounts all over the place.
Cheap excuses.
Posted on Reply
#90
CronXPX
After reading the original message in russian, I personally did not find any threatening in this message, just a simple fact - "if you don’t buy our game on PC platform, we will not be able to support it in the future".
Is there something illogical or threatening in this? Where? This is how it works. It's just business.
But yeah I get it, for the sake of drama and clickbait you just need to translate it in that way, right?
Posted on Reply
#91
lexluthermiester
CronXPX said:
Is there something illogical
Illogical, yes. If they want to sell more they need to deploy on more platforms. Simple business logic.
Posted on Reply
#92
UrbanCamper
Hmmm I bought the game on Steam. If they actually do this how the heck am I supposed to get my money back. Hope Steam honors there patrons over this.
Posted on Reply
#93
cdawall
where the hell are my stars
M2B said:
How much time it takes to install epic store? 1 hour? 2 hours? 3 hours?what?
I mean seriously, complainers are wasting hours of their time on internent complaining about all this stuff but refuse to install a launcher?! What the fuck is wrong with you?
If you want me to use a private launcher just sell it on your webpage and don't make me download yet another stupid program. At this point I have like 6 different game libraries because everyone thinks they need to be exclusive. At this point I would rather go to the store and buy it on a disk.
Posted on Reply
#94
lexluthermiester
cdawall said:
At this point I would rather go to the store and buy it on a disk.
Right there with you.
Posted on Reply
#95
M2B
cdawall said:
At this point I have like 6 different game libraries because everyone thinks they need to be exclusive.
Why didn't you avoid installing yet another game library after the fifth one then?
They don't think they need to be exculsive, they think they can make more money this way.
Posted on Reply
#96
c2DDragon
Either they did remove it from Steam to make more profits or for any other reason I don't care.
Those moves to remove/block content from Steam tend to stop the monopoly of this fucking DRM store where we don't actually own the games we paid.
People are dumb, they like to be fooled by "amazing steam discounts" which are a manner to sell games people wouldn't even buy and will never play or maybe 1hour.
Long time ago we used the all-seeing eye to find servers for Counter Strike, Day of Defeat and so on. We were litteraly forced to use Steam so, to launch the DRM store to play.
Now we got fanboys faggots, who never known the before Steam era, who want to destroy dev reputations and use their internet virtual power (which can do damages somehow) to kill games in the egg.
Look, we have Steam, Origins, Uplay, Epic Store, Battle.net, every MMORPG got its launcher with a shop. People in 2018/2019 still don't understand why buying on Steam a Ubi game doesn't prevent them to launch Uplay (even if it's written on the store pages) for example.

I think the Steam monopoly was big enough to make people stop thinking.
"I use only Steam because I got everything on it I don't want to launch something other it's too much pain." -> You don't own any games which is bought on Steam, like, not even one. If they close shop for any Gabe's freaking insane reason we are all fucked up, a few would then search for cracks and anything to permit to play (and no Offline mode doesn't work forever), but not lambda people.

Having many opportunities is better than being stuck with one fucking DRM dollar making. Competition is better for customers.
For now Exodus will be on Epic Store only (for some time and not forever) but look, if the Epic Store grows enough, Steam could possibly open negotiations with them don't you think ?
You don't want the (new) DRM ? Crack your games, get repacks but don't put bomb reviews, call for boycott or blame devs who make games that permit us gamers to escape real life problems for a few hours.

Few weeks ago I remember I've read a lesbian girl playing Assassin's Creed Odyssey was crying that her Cassandra she played lesbian in every romance was forced in a DLC to get a guy. I bet when she goes to cinema if she doesn't like the scenario she cries and call for riot too.
What I want to say about this is if you don't like how moves are made in the gaming industry you can just pass but don't destroy well-earned reputations or be grottesque please. Gaming is one of a few things left in the world where we have some liberty.
Posted on Reply
#97
INSTG8R
My Custom Title
UrbanCamper said:
Hmmm I bought the game on Steam. If they actually do this how the heck am I supposed to get my money back. Hope Steam honors there patrons over this.
They’ve said they’ll honour and support as per normal.
Posted on Reply
#98
moproblems99
So, people dying from starvation....people dying from religious wars....Metro gets moved to Epic Store. LAWD HAVE MERCEH!!!11!! PUT OUT THE FIRES!!!11!! Do something, we can't take it.........
Posted on Reply
#99
cdawall
where the hell are my stars
lexluthermiester said:
Right there with you.
At this point I would pay extra for the convenience to not install another stupid launcher.
Posted on Reply
#100
Tsukiyomi91
review bombing is one thing, screwing customers over a "last minute" change is plain wrong, no matter how you look at it. Also, for a "game dev" threatening the large fanbase over petty review bombing shows how childish they are. If they really cared about their customers & not those lobbyists, then they should have put up an apology that they couldn't do shit coz their publishers; Deep Silver had the final say.
Posted on Reply
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