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Shadowrun Returns DRM Clarified

The Kickstarter page for Shadowrun Returns has word from Harebrained Schemes about their promise to provide a DRM-free version of the Shadowrun revival, and how this will and will not conflict with their plans to offer a version on Steam in addition to a standalone release. They explain that their license agreement with Microsoft actually requires the game and its DLC to include DRM, and while they managed to negotiate an exception to provide DRM-free editions of the game and the Berlin Campaign reward DLC for their backers, this will not apply to any other releases, so they will not be able to sell the game on GOG.com or in any other DRM-free way, and all future DLC after Berlin Campaign will be only release though Steam. So to sum this up: Kickstarter backers of Shadowrun Returns are entitled to a DRM-free standalone version of the game with editor and mod support (and future patches) as well as a DRM-free copy of the reward DLC, but if they want to purchase future DLC after that, they must install the Steam version (which is also included in their backer rewards). Thanks nin.

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118. Re: Shadowrun Returns DRM Clarified Apr 17, 2013, 00:16 Dr. D. Schreber
 
This thread in a nutshell.  
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NOT THE BEES! NOT THE BEES THEY'RE IN MY EYES AARRGRHGHGGAFHGHFGHFG!
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117. Re: Shadowrun Returns DRM Clarified Apr 16, 2013, 20:03 Sho
 
Flatline wrote on Apr 16, 2013, 19:53:
Or are you suggesting that Hairbrained put a giant skull and crossbones at the top of their page and say "MAY CONTAIN DRM!" in 90 point font?

Oh come on, stop cranking up the volume. If you accuse others of hyperbole, restrain it yourself :). My posts should make pretty clear that I try to have a measured response to this; I don't have foam at my mouth here.

Okay, so here's how I would have liked that FAQ response to read:

"While the details are still being worked out, we hate draconian DRM as much as the next guy. This means we'll try our best to keep DRM out of our game -- however, we're working on a licensed product, and as such, we are not stewards of the brand. Negotiations with the IP owner are still ongoing, and until they are concluded, we cannot offer a firm promise that no kind of DRM will be required."

Plus they could have mentioned further up in the Kickstarter, under the infographic describing the license history, that they're still negotiating.

Basically, they should have been more upfront about the degree they're under MS' heel and the insecurities of their position at the time. That still would make it a bummer that MS decided to force DRM on them, of course -- but it would have avoided the loss of trust in Harebrained.
 
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116. Re: Shadowrun Returns DRM Clarified Apr 16, 2013, 19:53 Flatline
 
Sho wrote on Apr 16, 2013, 15:00:
It's frustrating how few people here understand that Kickstarter isn't a shop, it's projects pitching to investors. The reason you can be legitimately pissed off at this, as a backer, is that you might have backed this because you wanted to support a DRM-free trend in the industry - and now it turns out you didn't get all the info up-front and this game, as a product and how it's going to be marketed, won't deliver on that front. That backers still get the game DRM-free is entirely beside that point.

They should have included a big fat warning in their pitch that they didn't know yet what sort of constraints MS might put on them.

You mean like the FAQ where they state that DRM hasn't been worked out yet at the time of the kickstarter??

While the details are still being worked out, we hate draconian DRM as much as the next guy. We expect there will be an account system but it would be primarily used to enable the social elements of the game like mission and character sharing--not to restrict access to the game itself.

Or are you suggesting that Hairbrained put a giant skull and crossbones at the top of their page and say "MAY CONTAIN DRM!" in 90 point font?
 
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115. Re: Shadowrun Returns DRM Clarified Apr 16, 2013, 16:23 Sho
 
Beamer wrote on Apr 16, 2013, 16:13:
Again, it is not an investment. You are not an investor. In fact, the words "invest," "investment" and "investor" are deliberately NOT used on the Kickstarter site.

You are a "backer" in their words, a donor in reality.

Yeah, I know that's how it works in a legal sense, and I'm not really going to argue against that reality. I'm not saying they committed a legal offense or anything like that. In fact, I even agree that Kickstarter backers generally knowingly take a risk/gamble with backing, and that caps the amount of whining they're allowed to do after-the-fact :).

But I do still think there's a human case to be made here where people are well-justified in being unhappy with how this has shaken out. Because one side to the whole Kickstarter promise, as a social phenomenon, is certainly that it's supposed to usher in an era of a more consumer-friendly games industry, and for most gamers - and backers - DRM isn't considered consumer-friendly. If you put your money behind that cause, and things ultimately don't transpire that way ... well, it's ugly and sucks.

That's why I think Harebrained, in riding that wave, should have been more up-front in their communication about how they're not really going to be all that publisher-independent in this endeavour. Yes, they did very very quietly mention that they'd have to license from Microsoft, and yes, I can even understand not wanting to call attention to that fact to avoid scaring backers away - but while I can understand it, it still feels disingenuous and cagey to me now. I'm not sure I'd back future campaigns from them.

Kickstarter later added a required section to pitch pages where projects have to explain the risks involved, but the Shadowrun campaign predated that. Wonder what Harebrained would have written there?
 
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114. Re: Shadowrun Returns DRM Clarified Apr 16, 2013, 16:13 Beamer
 
Sho wrote on Apr 16, 2013, 15:00:
It's frustrating how few people here understand that Kickstarter isn't a shop, it's projects pitching to investors. The reason you can be legitimately pissed off at this, as a backer, is that you might have backed this because you wanted to support a DRM-free trend in the industry - and now it turns out you didn't get all the info up-front and this game, as a product and how it's going to be marketed, won't deliver on that front. That backers still get the game DRM-free is entirely beside that point.

They should have included a big fat warning in their pitch that they didn't know yet what sort of constraints MS might put on them.


Again, it is not an investment. You are not an investor. In fact, the words "invest," "investment" and "investor" are deliberately NOT used on the Kickstarter site.

You are a "backer" in their words, a donor in reality.
 
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113. Re: Shadowrun Returns DRM Clarified Apr 16, 2013, 16:03 Verno
 
Sho wrote on Apr 16, 2013, 15:00:
It's frustrating how few people here understand that Kickstarter isn't a shop, it's projects pitching to investors. The reason you can be legitimately pissed off at this, as a backer, is that you might have backed this because you wanted to support a DRM-free trend in the industry - and now it turns out you didn't get all the info up-front and this game, as a product and how it's going to be marketed, won't deliver on that front. That backers still get the game DRM-free is entirely beside that point.

They should have included a big fat warning in their pitch that they didn't know yet what sort of constraints MS might put on them.

You know what, I don't think anyone even mentioned that angle and it is a good point.
 
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112. Re: Shadowrun Returns DRM Clarified Apr 16, 2013, 15:00 Sho
 
It's frustrating how few people here understand that Kickstarter isn't a shop, it's projects pitching to investors. The reason you can be legitimately pissed off at this, as a backer, is that you might have backed this because you wanted to support a DRM-free trend in the industry - and now it turns out you didn't get all the info up-front and this game, as a product and how it's going to be marketed, won't deliver on that front. That backers still get the game DRM-free is entirely beside that point.

They should have included a big fat warning in their pitch that they didn't know yet what sort of constraints MS might put on them.
 
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111. Re: Shadowrun Returns DRM Clarified Apr 16, 2013, 01:36 Flatline
 
Beamer wrote on Apr 15, 2013, 09:28:
To my knowledge there's been one lawsuit based on Kickstarter, and it was in a Justice Court which leaves no precedent. A guy sued for his $70 back. And he didn't get it, because the guy he sued went bankrupt.

Kickstarter is not a promise of goods. It is not a store. It's not an investment, either. It's a donation, typically in exchange for a promise to get something if the project succeeds.

The project does not always succeed.

For the aforementioned lawsuit, the guy doing it had no clue how to run a company. He didn't negotiate his vendor contracts until after the Kickstarter ended. This is common, but the result was all his vendors knowing how much money he had available and being ruthless in negotiations. He did not lock his team in until afterwards, and several of his teammates made unreasonable demands after the Kickstarter ending, with one refusing to give up some crucial design documents until he got 50% of the company (ultimately helping lead to the company folding.)

But, per Kickstarter, nothing wrong was done. Kickstarter is not an investment, nor is it a store, nor is it a promise. Projects fail before coming to market all the time. Or change drastically.

Really, the best you can do is demand your money back.

And, in this case, you can't do that. They promised something without DRM. They will likely deliver something with DRM. Do you know what any court would say? You were promised a game and you got a game. That's it. Guess what: courts do not enforce every single part of a contract, assuming they'd even call this a contract. They determine if something is a condition or a promise (with Kickstarter, almost always definitely a promise), then if it's material or immaterial:
In determining whether a failure to render or to offer performance is material, the following circumstances are significant: (a) the extent to which the injured party will be deprived of the benefit which he reasonably expected; (b) the extent to which the injured party can be adequately compensated for the part of that benefit of which he will be deprived; (c) the extent to which the party failing to perform or to offer to perform will suffer forfeiture; (d) the likelihood that the party failing to perform or to offer to perform will cure his failure, taking account of all the circumstances including any reasonable assurances; (e) the extent to which the behavior of the party failing to perform or to offer to perform comports with standards of good faith and fair dealing.

In the case of not being DRM-free enough, I doubt it would pass as being found material by most courts. It comes back down to whether the software is in any way less usable. I do not think a court would find there was any kind of damages here. You have your game, you can play your game, and financially you have lost no money. Sure, you paid for a DRM-free game, but what you really paid for was the game. You wanted the game. It being DRM-free just made it better to you. But it isn't as if the game is objectively worth less because it has DRM.

I generally agree here, but you're missing one large portion of your argument:

You're getting a second copy of the game, DRM free (in some cases 3 copies of the game), if you backed the kickstarter. The DRM free portion of the KS is mentioned, repeatedly, explicitly, in the rewards, and an argument could be made that in doing so, the DRM free part is a kickstarter reward.

Which would make a court case even more ridiculous, which is my point.

When you're throwing the accusation of fraud around, that's an actionable offense. But in reality, this isn't fraud, it's not even *close* to fraud, and it's hyperbolic whining and teeth gnashing to pretend otherwise.
 
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110. Re: Shadowrun Returns DRM Clarified Apr 16, 2013, 00:00 Creston
 
El Pit wrote on Apr 15, 2013, 00:04:
So, whoever thinks that a game should not have save points (consolitis) and likes evolving characters and loot (all of that was in classic crpgs!), is now a "Joe Bro" and games that give you that are "WoW with guns". I.e., whoever criticizes "SR" touches a nerve here that makes the counter a kind of hilarious overreaction.

I specifically stated that I'm not calling YOU a Joe Bro console crowd, I was alluding to the fact that the media is constantly asking the kickstarter crews "how are you going to make your game accessible to the greatest amount of people." (or, in other words, how are you going to get the console players to like your game?)

And their reply is always "We aren't."

So when you say "Well, they better put in loot and savegames or they're losing a sale!" I'm pointing out that they don't care.

This game is made for the people who put up their money at the start. Not for those who might like it after the fact.

Creston
 
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109. Re: Shadowrun Returns DRM Clarified Apr 15, 2013, 21:52 Dev
 
Beamer wrote on Apr 15, 2013, 09:28:
In the case of not being DRM-free enough, I doubt it would pass as being found material by most courts. It comes back down to whether the software is in any way less usable. I do not think a court would find there was any kind of damages here. You have your game, you can play your game, and financially you have lost no money. Sure, you paid for a DRM-free game, but what you really paid for was the game. You wanted the game. It being DRM-free just made it better to you. But it isn't as if the game is objectively worth less because it has DRM.
AND you got a DRM free game. They are still giving out a DRM free game to backers, complete with the berlin dlc/expansion.
 
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108. Re: Shadowrun Returns DRM Clarified Apr 15, 2013, 09:28 Beamer
 
Flatline wrote on Apr 14, 2013, 21:40:
Julio wrote on Apr 14, 2013, 18:01:
Cutter wrote on Apr 14, 2013, 16:40:
it's pretty fucking clear this isn't fraud. They are delivering exactly what they said they would.

They aren't exactly delivering what they said they would. They didn't mention the DRM free version won't be DLC capable. Given the DLC can be used in user built mod content, it means some user mods will not be usable with the DRM free version in the future. If they had made this clear at the beginning - no issue at all.

How about refunds, or allowing backers to trade down to lower tiers - nope, they're not doing that either.

Beamer wrote on Apr 14, 2013, 17:43:
Fraud, in regards to a Kickstarter, is essentially impossible, by the way...We have no recourse.

Just because there's no recourse, doesn't mean fraud can't happen.

It would the same to claim there was no fraud in the 2008 financial crisis because zero wall street executives were prosecuted for fraud. No recourse, I think we all know there was fraud there (of course someone may want to argue this point - who knows).

*Facepalm*

Actually dude you have a legal recourse. You can sue Hairbrained Games. There's legal precedence for failure to deliver product in a kickstarter.

Thing is, if you actually lawyered up and went to court you'd be laughed straight out of court. Because you're a dipshit.
This isn't entirely true.

To my knowledge there's been one lawsuit based on Kickstarter, and it was in a Justice Court which leaves no precedent. A guy sued for his $70 back. And he didn't get it, because the guy he sued went bankrupt.

Kickstarter is not a promise of goods. It is not a store. It's not an investment, either. It's a donation, typically in exchange for a promise to get something if the project succeeds.

The project does not always succeed.

For the aforementioned lawsuit, the guy doing it had no clue how to run a company. He didn't negotiate his vendor contracts until after the Kickstarter ended. This is common, but the result was all his vendors knowing how much money he had available and being ruthless in negotiations. He did not lock his team in until afterwards, and several of his teammates made unreasonable demands after the Kickstarter ending, with one refusing to give up some crucial design documents until he got 50% of the company (ultimately helping lead to the company folding.)

But, per Kickstarter, nothing wrong was done. Kickstarter is not an investment, nor is it a store, nor is it a promise. Projects fail before coming to market all the time. Or change drastically.

Really, the best you can do is demand your money back.

And, in this case, you can't do that. They promised something without DRM. They will likely deliver something with DRM. Do you know what any court would say? You were promised a game and you got a game. That's it. Guess what: courts do not enforce every single part of a contract, assuming they'd even call this a contract. They determine if something is a condition or a promise (with Kickstarter, almost always definitely a promise), then if it's material or immaterial:
In determining whether a failure to render or to offer performance is material, the following circumstances are significant: (a) the extent to which the injured party will be deprived of the benefit which he reasonably expected; (b) the extent to which the injured party can be adequately compensated for the part of that benefit of which he will be deprived; (c) the extent to which the party failing to perform or to offer to perform will suffer forfeiture; (d) the likelihood that the party failing to perform or to offer to perform will cure his failure, taking account of all the circumstances including any reasonable assurances; (e) the extent to which the behavior of the party failing to perform or to offer to perform comports with standards of good faith and fair dealing.

In the case of not being DRM-free enough, I doubt it would pass as being found material by most courts. It comes back down to whether the software is in any way less usable. I do not think a court would find there was any kind of damages here. You have your game, you can play your game, and financially you have lost no money. Sure, you paid for a DRM-free game, but what you really paid for was the game. You wanted the game. It being DRM-free just made it better to you. But it isn't as if the game is objectively worth less because it has DRM.
 
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107. Re: Shadowrun Returns DRM Clarified Apr 15, 2013, 08:49 Wowbagger_TIP
 
Julio wrote on Apr 15, 2013, 06:03:
Flatline wrote on Apr 14, 2013, 21:40:
Because you're a dipshit.
And I think you're one. Though shockingly I agree with Beamer on something that there is no real recourse.

So to sum up this thread:
-DRM is good (if its Steam)
-Steam is good
-Any thing not mentioned by someone running a kickstarter is a mistake/the backer's fault for not knowing and good
-Save points are good
-Anything SR is good no matter what
-Loot is bad
-Anyone who disagrees is bad

I think I've got the general opinion down
Well, that pretty much solidified my opinion of you, so thanks for that.
 
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106. Re: Shadowrun Returns DRM Clarified Apr 15, 2013, 08:42 Verno
 
Nah, Steam is just the accepted form of DRM these days and most people seem to feel that they met their non-DRM obligations already and that no one is owed anything further.  
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105. Re: Shadowrun Returns DRM Clarified Apr 15, 2013, 06:03 Julio
 
Flatline wrote on Apr 14, 2013, 21:40:
Because you're a dipshit.
And I think you're one. Though shockingly I agree with Beamer on something that there is no real recourse.

So to sum up this thread:
-DRM is good (if its Steam)
-Steam is good
-Any thing not mentioned by someone running a kickstarter is a mistake/the backer's fault for not knowing and good
-Save points are good
-Anything SR is good no matter what
-Loot is bad
-Anyone who disagrees is bad

I think I've got the general opinion down

This comment was edited on Apr 15, 2013, 06:34.
 
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104. Re: Shadowrun Returns DRM Clarified Apr 15, 2013, 02:32 Flatline
 
El Pit wrote on Apr 15, 2013, 00:04:
So, whoever thinks that a game should not have save points (consolitis) and likes evolving characters and loot (all of that was in classic crpgs!), is now a "Joe Bro" and games that give you that are "WoW with guns". I.e., whoever criticizes "SR" touches a nerve here that makes the counter a kind of hilarious overreaction.

But in the end, it's you, the backers, that need to be happy with the game. If you are, good for you. But not everybody else is a Joe Bro who wants every game to be WoW with guns. That's all I'm saying. Good night.

Little bit of hyperbole, but character progression is not solely defined by loot alone. In fact, the very worst RPGs reduce your character down to a christmas tree to hang loot off of. It's the most basic issue that they can't seem to solve in D&D with fighters- to keep up with the casters they have to become Christmas Trees.

If you want that, you have a LOT of loot-driven game alternatives. Torchlight 2, Boarderlands 2, Path of Exile, and Diablo 3 all immediately spring to mind.
 
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103. Re: Shadowrun Returns DRM Clarified Apr 15, 2013, 02:29 Flatline
 
Creston wrote on Apr 14, 2013, 18:47:
Harlequin wrote on Apr 14, 2013, 18:43:
SR, reward wise, was just about the payday & karma. That's it. Using that payday from Mr. Johnson for better equipment, cyberware & karma for skills. Loot on people you killed really wasn't much of a thought the vast majority of the time.

The very first time we played Shadowrun (After being a heavy D&D group for years), we "looted" a few mercs we had taken down. So our GM goes "Okay, each of you now has an assault rifle, a gun, a knife, a grenade and a flak jacket, bundled up loosely in your hands. You're starting to draw attention."

Agree completely it's about the karma and the payday. You may loot some nuyen off your foes, or perhaps some spare ammo, but that's really about it. And since you're often on a tight time-schedule (your hacker can't keep the corporate security guys fooled forever), you really don't take the time to rifle through some rent-a-cop's clothes to see if he has a 10 nuyen credstick on him.

Creston

And as I said before, I can easily envision a not-very-hard to implement abstract loot system inside a basic scripting program. When you loot, you pick up a "bunch of loot", you make a note in the mission, and at the end of the mission when you're not getting shot at you look at what loot you grabbed. Kind of like how you don't stop in the middle of trick-or-treating to check out what candy you got. You run to the next house and at the end of the night explore your haul.

I mean hell, people have fucking programmed FUNCTIONAL computers into minecraft of all things. As long as the scripting language is powerful enough, creative minds can come up with all kinds of end-runs around engine limitations.
 
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102. Re: Shadowrun Returns DRM Clarified Apr 15, 2013, 00:04 El Pit
 
So, whoever thinks that a game should not have save points (consolitis) and likes evolving characters and loot (all of that was in classic crpgs!), is now a "Joe Bro" and games that give you that are "WoW with guns". I.e., whoever criticizes "SR" touches a nerve here that makes the counter a kind of hilarious overreaction.

But in the end, it's you, the backers, that need to be happy with the game. If you are, good for you. But not everybody else is a Joe Bro who wants every game to be WoW with guns. That's all I'm saying. Good night.
 
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101. Re: Shadowrun Returns DRM Clarified Apr 14, 2013, 21:49 nin
 
Flatline wrote on Apr 14, 2013, 21:40:
Julio wrote on Apr 14, 2013, 18:01:
Cutter wrote on Apr 14, 2013, 16:40:
it's pretty fucking clear this isn't fraud. They are delivering exactly what they said they would.

They aren't exactly delivering what they said they would. They didn't mention the DRM free version won't be DLC capable. Given the DLC can be used in user built mod content, it means some user mods will not be usable with the DRM free version in the future. If they had made this clear at the beginning - no issue at all.

How about refunds, or allowing backers to trade down to lower tiers - nope, they're not doing that either.

Beamer wrote on Apr 14, 2013, 17:43:
Fraud, in regards to a Kickstarter, is essentially impossible, by the way...We have no recourse.

Just because there's no recourse, doesn't mean fraud can't happen.

It would the same to claim there was no fraud in the 2008 financial crisis because zero wall street executives were prosecuted for fraud. No recourse, I think we all know there was fraud there (of course someone may want to argue this point - who knows).

*Facepalm*

Actually dude you have a legal recourse. You can sue Hairbrained Games. There's legal precedence for failure to deliver product in a kickstarter.

Thing is, if you actually lawyered up and went to court you'd be laughed straight out of court. Because you're a dipshit.


I swear to god, all he does is bitch about stuff, in thread after thread. Not a single positive thing said, he just wipes his poop everywhere. Tired of his constant negativity, and added him to ignore.


 
http://www.nin.com/pub/tension/
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100. Re: Shadowrun Returns DRM Clarified Apr 14, 2013, 21:40 Flatline
 
Julio wrote on Apr 14, 2013, 18:01:
Cutter wrote on Apr 14, 2013, 16:40:
it's pretty fucking clear this isn't fraud. They are delivering exactly what they said they would.

They aren't exactly delivering what they said they would. They didn't mention the DRM free version won't be DLC capable. Given the DLC can be used in user built mod content, it means some user mods will not be usable with the DRM free version in the future. If they had made this clear at the beginning - no issue at all.

How about refunds, or allowing backers to trade down to lower tiers - nope, they're not doing that either.

Beamer wrote on Apr 14, 2013, 17:43:
Fraud, in regards to a Kickstarter, is essentially impossible, by the way...We have no recourse.

Just because there's no recourse, doesn't mean fraud can't happen.

It would the same to claim there was no fraud in the 2008 financial crisis because zero wall street executives were prosecuted for fraud. No recourse, I think we all know there was fraud there (of course someone may want to argue this point - who knows).

*Facepalm*

Actually dude you have a legal recourse. You can sue Hairbrained Games. There's legal precedence for failure to deliver product in a kickstarter.

Thing is, if you actually lawyered up and went to court you'd be laughed straight out of court. Because you're a dipshit.
 
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99. Re: Shadowrun Returns DRM Clarified Apr 14, 2013, 18:53 Creston
 
El Pit wrote on Apr 14, 2013, 06:03:
I love loot (i.e. seeing my character evolving, becoming stronger), and I love to save whenever and wherever I want to (well, outside of fights and cut scenes, that is). So, if they want me to buy this game, they better add this. If not, they lost a sale. Maybe I'm not the target audience for this game.

The backers are the target audience for this game. That's who they made the game for. If other people would like to buy the game after it's been released, great. Means more money for them. But very very few kickstarters are making their games worrying about "how will we make this game accessible to the Joe Bro Console crowd???" (not calling you that, btw.)

The gaming "media" keeps bringing this question up to Avellone and Fargo et al, and their response is always the same. "I'm not trying to make the game accessible to Joe Bro. This game is for our backers."

So yeah, they may have "lost" a sale to you, but they weren't counting on said sale anyway. They have already recouped their money for this game.

Creston

This comment was edited on Apr 14, 2013, 19:00.
 
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