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

#101
lexluthermiester
cdawall, post: 3986748, member: 28601"
At this point I would pay extra for the convenience to not install another stupid launcher.
Another reason why I love GOG.
moproblems99, post: 3986747, member: 155919"
So, people dying from starvation....people dying from religious wars....
This has nothing to do with...
moproblems99, post: 3986747, member: 155919"
Metro gets moved to Epic Store.
...this. Stay on topic and don't marginalize any of those problems by comparing them out of context.
Posted on Reply
#102
rtwjunkie
PC Gaming Enthusiast
lexluthermiester, post: 3986712, member: 134537"
They promise to release on one platform
PC is a PLATFORM, just as consoles are a PLATFORM. Steam is no more a separate platform from Uplay that Xbox1 is a separate platform from PS4.

lexluthermiester, post: 3986755, member: 134537"
this. Stay on topic and don't marginalize any of those problems by comparing them out of context.
People aren’t marginalizing out of context. In the grand scheme of things, they are pointing out this is so minor it won’t even be a footnote in history. It won’t cause famine or wars or disease or poverty. It’s a first world problem in which self-important entitled people think everything should be to their liking.
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#103
mcraygsx
So the MOB turned against the developer only because users refuse to install another game launch platform on their machines. Such gamer's do not deserve this kind of game at first place.

After steam, UPLAY and Battle.net, I do not mind installing EPIC game launcher if i can enjoy my game. I bet some toxic people along with steam is putting fuel to the fire and loving it.
I understand where people are coming from but slight annoyance should not keep you away from the game that you will enjoy.
Posted on Reply
#104
M2B
rtwjunkie, post: 3986757, member: 56774"
It’s a first world problem
It's the same story here in my 3rd world country if you like, everyone is complaining.
Posted on Reply
#105
lexluthermiester
rtwjunkie, post: 3986757, member: 56774"
PC is a PLATFORM, just as consoles are a PLATFORM.
Sorry if that wasn't specific enough. Corrected.
rtwjunkie, post: 3986761, member: 56774"
People aren’t marginalizing out of context.
That is exactly what he was doing.
rtwjunkie, post: 3986761, member: 56774"
It won’t cause famine or wars or disease or poverty.
And no one expects it to.
rtwjunkie, post: 3986761, member: 56774"
It’s a first world problem which self-important entitled people think everything should be to their liking.
It is not relevant what part of the world it happens in, people want to play games as a form of entertainment. THEY are the ones paying and feel like they should have a say in how they play. If they don't want use a certain platform, they vote with their wallet. But if they want to let the dev/publisher know of their displeasure at the lack of choice, how do they do that? Looks like they found a way and that message is being heard. And the dev in question is reacting as wisely as the choice which motivated the public angst in the first place.

mcraygsx, post: 3986763, member: 151421"
So the MOB turned against the developer only because users refuse to install another game launch platform on their machines. Such gamer's do not deserve this kind of game at first place.
That is the same narrow-minded nonsense that started all of this.

mcraygsx, post: 3986763, member: 151421"
I understand where people are coming from but slight annoyance should not keep you away from the game that you will enjoy.
Slight annoyance? Keep thinking that when you're denied access to the game you paid for because of some silly problem or the whim of a dev. All DRM sucks. Steam's form of it is the least offensive and irritating. Epic's is a pain in the butt. No thank you.
Posted on Reply
#106
moproblems99
lexluthermiester, post: 3986772, member: 134537"
It is not relevant what part of the world it happens in, people want to play games as form of entertainment. THEY are ones paying and feel like they should have a say in how they play.
  • People don't control how things are done at Disney.
  • People don't control how tings are done at sporting events.
  • People don't control how things are done at state fairs and such.
  • People don't go review bomb imdb when a Disney movie doesn't end how they want (I hope) Edit: previously released movies.
This who thing just screams childish, self-entitlement. Just go ahead and pretend all of these games are self-installed. Close your eyes and imagine yourself entering a disk.
Posted on Reply
#107
StanicEnemy
I am pretty sure the devs are retarded and acting like 16 y/o child.

Steam is a serious platform when you compare to epic games which means kids.
Posted on Reply
#108
lexluthermiester
moproblems99, post: 3986779, member: 155919"
  • People don't control how things are done at Disney.
  • People don't control how tings are done at sporting events.
  • People don't control how things are done at state fairs and such.
  • People don't go review bomb imdb when a Disney movie doesn't end how they want (I hope) Edit: previously released movies.

You're going out of context again. Comparing apples to oranges mean anything to you?
Posted on Reply
#109
mcraygsx
lexluthermiester, post: 3986772, member: 134537"
Sorry if that wasn't specific enough. Corrected.

That is exactly what he was doing.

And no one expects it to.

It is not relevant what part of the world it happens in, people want to play games as form of entertainment. THEY are ones paying and feel like they should have a say in how they play. If they don't want use a certain platform, they vote with their wallet. But if they want to let the dev/publisher know of their displeasure at the lack of choice, how do they do that? Looks like they found a way and that message is being heard. And the dev in question is reacting as wisely as the choice which motivated the public angst in the first place.


That is the same narrow-minded nonsense that started all of this.


Slight annoyance? Keep thinking that when you're denied access to the game you paid for because of some silly problem or the whim of a dev. All DRM sucks. Steam's form of it is the least offensive and irritating. Epic's is a pain in the butt. No thank you.
How is it narrow minded when I cleared mentioned that I do consider alternative perspectives of others and concerns but this is not the end of world or PC gaming. Developers have full discretion how to release their game. This is not a new two man team indie developer. 4A Games might be an underdog but have a proven track record when it comes to fantastic METRO series. This reminds of Cloud Imperium Games even though kick starter goals have been changed dozens of time and yet consumers are still spending money.
Posted on Reply
#110
lexluthermiester
mcraygsx, post: 3986785, member: 151421"
Developers have full discretion how to release their game.
Sure they do and people have the discretion to express their discontent.
Posted on Reply
#111
mcraygsx
lexluthermiester, post: 3986788, member: 134537"
Sure they do and people have the discretion to express their discontent.
True but in Civilized society we do not rush to arm ourselves with pitchfork and torches.

This is a perfect example about what you are defending "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."

It is shameful to see people leave negative comments on PAST games only because their do not agree with developers choice of platform for their upcoming game.
Posted on Reply
#112
lexluthermiester
mcraygsx, post: 3986796, member: 151421"
True but in Civilized society we do not rush to arm ourselves with pitchfork and torches.
More out-of-context talk.
mcraygsx, post: 3986796, member: 151421"
It is shameful to see people leave negative comments on PAST games only because their do not agree with developers choice of platform for their upcoming game.
I'm not saying it's right. I'm saying it's their only option to communicate with the devs in a meaningful way. My personal take is that until they bring the title to GOG, I'm not buying it. Epic sucks as much as Origin, not using it. But my choice doesn't communicate anything to the dev. With me not buying, they don't know I'm a potential sale that's being lost due to their choice of platform conflicting with my preferences.
Posted on Reply
#113
moproblems99
lexluthermiester, post: 3986783, member: 134537"
You're going out of context again. Comparing apples to oranges mean anything to you?
Except it's not. These are all avenues for people to find entertainment. It's quite disheartening to see many adults (I think anyway) to act in such a childish manner. I expected better from some of you.
Posted on Reply
#114
sepheronx
If they are not releasing it on steam, then why do they care about the review bombs on steam then? Game isn't out yet anyway.
Posted on Reply
#115
mcraygsx
lexluthermiester, post: 3986807, member: 134537"
More out-of-context talk.

I'm not saying it's right. I'm saying it's their only option to communicate with the devs in a meaningful way. My personal take is that until they bring the title to GOG, I'm not buying it. Epic sucks as much as Origin, not using it. But my choice doesn't communicate anything to the dev. With me not buying, they don't know I'm a potential sale that's being lost due to their choice of platform conflicting with my preferences.
But you are utterly defending this behavior and that says a lot thus adding fuel to the fire saying. Strange I did not see consumers leave Negative feedback for Windows 7 when Windows 10 is imperfect OS.

This whole situation is wrong, immoral and childish since now you are turning off potential buyers of previous METRO 2033 and METRO Last light with negative feedback on steam. Punishing/ Boycott developer for their upcoming title is one thing but its another when you flood their PAST titles with negative reviews or change your reviews all together.
Posted on Reply
#116
OneMoar
There is Always Moar
How not to handle pr
cue them back peddling and blaming it on a translation error in 3 2 1 ...

I thought 4a was better then this apparently I am yet again reminded that all developers are whiny children

and no I will not buy this game from the epics garbage platform they have a history of not knowing what the fuck they are doing (security breaches loss of user and credit data Nooooo thank you)

good way to encourage people to pirate your shit, put it on a shitty platform with a poor track record and watch people flok to the usual places to get it for free
Posted on Reply
#117
Mescalamba
Pretty sure its publisher or creator right to sell it wherever they want. And Im perfectly ok with that.

They did it cause EPIC takes least of their money. Which as far as Im concerned are money well deserved.

This wouldnt happen if Steam offered something like fair share.

If I was making game, I would try to deliver it to fans as cheap as I can (preferably while also getting largest cut of it). Cause its kinda hard to make any next game if you dont have money for it.
Posted on Reply
#118
lexluthermiester
mcraygsx, post: 3986817, member: 151421"
But you are utterly defending this behavior and that says a lot thus adding fuel to the fire saying.
Not defending it, only stating that I understand it. And if all of this motivates the devs to branch out and stop the exclusivity BS, then mores the better. If they decide to cut their noses off to spite their faces, that's their own problem.
Posted on Reply
#119
yakk
Don't understand why anyone is surprised by this ?! This developer has a history of taking money for exclusivity stuff through the years... especially from nvidia for gameworks and now rtx, so why not Epic also?

They are following the same thing they always do.
Posted on Reply
#120
OneMoar
There is Always Moar
except epic is playing dirty there not interested in giving developers a piece of the pie

here is how this is gonna go for the people that don't get it

epic is gonna offer a tasty agreement to get devs signed on, then once they have signed away there rights there gonna ratchet the percent they take right up to the limit

epic is not the good guy here there the bad guys there playing dirty because they want a piece of the digital distribution pie and if you think for a nano second they give two fucks about the developers you obviously understand very little
Posted on Reply
#121
rtwjunkie
PC Gaming Enthusiast
lexluthermiester, post: 3986772, member: 134537"
But if they want to let the dev/publisher know of their displeasure at the lack of choice, how do they do that? Looks like they found a way and that message is being heard. And the dev in question is reacting as wisely as the choice which motivated the public angst in the first place.
Here’s the thing. Very few dev’s have any control over how and where their product is sold. Heck, most can’t even control the release date and have to send out unfinished products per the demand of the publisher. The dev is not who went with Epic. It’s THQ.

People don’t need to be giving false reviews of their prior releases Metro games. You act as if the publisher has no idea so many people are angry. Of course they do! So to back that up all the people need to do is not buy the game. Publishers are filled with businesss types that can add 1plus 1. If it doesn’t sell well, they will know why. But to blast the devs by negative ratings of the previous games is not fair and is the height of priveleged immaturity.
Posted on Reply
#122
mcraygsx
Mescalamba, post: 3986826, member: 73546"
Pretty sure its publisher or creator right to sell it wherever they want. And Im perfectly ok with that.

They did it cause EPIC takes least of their money. Which as far as Im concerned are money well deserved.

This wouldnt happen if Steam offered something like fair share.

If I was making game, I would try to deliver it to fans as cheap as I can (preferably while also getting largest cut of it). Cause its kinda hard to make any next game if you dont have money for it.
Bingo, it all boils down to financial situation like everything else these days. Steam has overgrown it's usefulness and has dominated the sector for a while for a good reason. They probably see METRO Exodus as a next big hit and overreaction at the highest.
Posted on Reply
#123
OneMoar
There is Always Moar
rtwjunkie, post: 3986834, member: 56774"
Here’s the thing. Very few dev’s have any control over how and where their product is sold. Heck, most can’t even control the release date and have to send out unfinished products per the demand of the publisher.

People don’t need to be giving false reviews of their prior releases Metro games. You act as if the publisher has no idea so many people are angry. Of course they do! So to back that up all the people need to do is not buy the game. Publishers are filled with businesss types that can add 1plus 1. If it doesn’t sell well, they will know why. But to blast the devs by negative ratings of the previous games is not fair and is the height of priveleged immaturity.
except this is not a publisher issue its a dev issue its 4A them selves running their mouths here and it was 4A's choice to get suckered in by epic

and once again epic are not the good guys here you people need to have look at their track record
Posted on Reply
#124
rtwjunkie
PC Gaming Enthusiast
OneMoar, post: 3986836, member: 83420"
except this is not a publisher issue its a dev issue its 4A them selves running their mouths here and it was 4A's choice to get suckered in by epic

and once again epic are not the good guys here you people need to have look at their track record
No. A member of the dev team (supposedly) stated the truth: if money is not made on the PC platform, there won’t be any money for the next game to be on PC. Do you know why? Because the publishers front development money, in anticipation of a game recouping their investment plus profit.

So the member of the dev team is simply pointing out that without sales, the dev team gets paid less and the publisher won’t front pc development and distribution money again. This person recognizes the harsh realities and how 4A gets the short end of the stick in this.
Posted on Reply
#125
lexluthermiester
rtwjunkie, post: 3986841, member: 56774"
Because the publishers front development money, in anticipation of a game recouping their investment plus profit.
Then the publishers should have had more sense than to pull the rug out from under everyone.
rtwjunkie, post: 3986841, member: 56774"
So the member of the dev team is simply pointing out that without sales, the dev team gets paid less and the publisher won’t front pc development and distribution money again. This person recognizes the harsh realities and how 4A gets the short end of the stick in this.
Sad truth. So maybe the devs need to find a better, less narrow focused publisher who will make their game available to the largest audience possible. That's good business ethics. What they're doing now is a good way to go out of business.
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