Op Ed

  • GamesIndustry.biz - Epic's exclusivity push leads to ugliness.
    "But whatever each of us might see in this, we all need to reflect on what we can do to prevent it from happening again, because what's gone on this year cannot be taken as normal. Exclusivity deals can be annoying and inconvenient, but there's no world in which they would justify the kind of abuse we've seen, or any abuse at all.

    There's no acceptable escalation from the understandable grousing of that Steam forum thread of a year ago to the gleefully vile hate mob that came for Glumberland. It should worry us all that the games industry slid from one to the other so smoothly."
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23.
 
Re: Op Ed
Dec 15, 2019, 15:18
Kxmode
 
23.
Re: Op Ed Dec 15, 2019, 15:18
Dec 15, 2019, 15:18
 Kxmode
 
thestryker wrote on Dec 14, 2019, 23:52:
Kxmode wrote on Dec 13, 2019, 22:49:
Before this year, tribalism existed between PC and consoles. "PC Master Race" was a badge of honor for anyone who shelled out the money to build an excellent gaming system. Being a PC gamer meant any game available on PC either through Steam, GOG (for those who prefer DRM-free), or Uplay and Origin (for when the publisher wanted to force first-party exclusivity). No one had a problem with this ecosystem.

...

You're either being willfully ignorant or you're not old enough to have been gaming when Battlefield 3 was announced with Origin exclusivity. It was review bombed back to the stone age and people started making up shit about Origin to fit their narrative. Gee this sounds awfully familiar to the response that we all saw regarding Epic exclusivity. Don't act like Epic created this shit storm when it's simply modern gamers have a lot of loud shitty people counted among the whole.

I don't know how many times this argument has been brought up. But once again, here we go. Origin titles are first-party exclusives on EA's platform. First-party exclusives !== third-party exclusives.

thestryker wrote on Dec 14, 2019, 23:52:
Kxmode wrote on Dec 13, 2019, 22:49:
The day they reach parity with Steam and compete on merit not forced exclusivity or are marginalized will be a great time. I'll take either.

If Epic did this alone they'd end up like Origin and would never take customers from Steam. Origin for a while had refunds with an equal platform to Steam and sold several third party games. Guess what nobody gave a shit because they're lazy and want everything in one place. The only way Epic could compete outside of what they're doing would be by offering lower prices and we all saw how that went over when they took $10 off the price of everything. Certain devs/pubs shit a brick and their titles weren't on sale anymore despite the fact that Epic was eating the discount.

It's fine to not like what Epic is doing as it's pretty shitty, but don't pretend that there's some magical world where there can be real competition.

I'm not stupid. I know WHY Epic is doing it. That doesn't mean I automatically agree with or even support it. That's why I put "The day they reach parity with Steam and compete on merit not forced exclusivity." The point is for Epic to no longer do third-party exclusives.
"Hard times create strong men. Strong men create good times. Good times create weak men. And, weak men create hard times." - Those Who Remain by G. Michael Hopf
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22.
 
Re: Re: Op Ed
Dec 14, 2019, 23:52
22.
Re: Re: Op Ed Dec 14, 2019, 23:52
Dec 14, 2019, 23:52
 
Kxmode wrote on Dec 13, 2019, 22:49:
Before this year, tribalism existed between PC and consoles. "PC Master Race" was a badge of honor for anyone who shelled out the money to build an excellent gaming system. Being a PC gamer meant any game available on PC either through Steam, GOG (for those who prefer DRM-free), or Uplay and Origin (for when the publisher wanted to force first-party exclusivity). No one had a problem with this ecosystem.

...

You're either being willfully ignorant or you're not old enough to have been gaming when Battlefield 3 was announced with Origin exclusivity. It was review bombed back to the stone age and people started making up shit about Origin to fit their narrative. Gee this sounds awfully familiar to the response that we all saw regarding Epic exclusivity. Don't act like Epic created this shit storm when it's simply modern gamers have a lot of loud shitty people counted among the whole.

Kxmode wrote on Dec 13, 2019, 22:49:
...

The day they reach parity with Steam and compete on merit not forced exclusivity or are marginalized will be a great time. I'll take either.

If Epic did this alone they'd end up like Origin and would never take customers from Steam. Origin for a while had refunds with an equal platform to Steam and sold several third party games. Guess what nobody gave a shit because they're lazy and want everything in one place. The only way Epic could compete outside of what they're doing would be by offering lower prices and we all saw how that went over when they took $10 off the price of everything. Certain devs/pubs shit a brick and their titles weren't on sale anymore despite the fact that Epic was eating the discount.

It's fine to not like what Epic is doing as it's pretty shitty, but don't pretend that there's some magical world where there can be real competition.
21.
 
Re: Op Ed
Dec 14, 2019, 07:28
21.
Re: Op Ed Dec 14, 2019, 07:28
Dec 14, 2019, 07:28
 
Criticize China = xenophobia.....

20.
 
Re: Op Ed
Dec 13, 2019, 23:37
Kxmode
 
20.
Re: Op Ed Dec 13, 2019, 23:37
Dec 13, 2019, 23:37
 Kxmode
 
Slush54 wrote on Dec 12, 2019, 22:00:
If you all didn't want exclusivity you shouldn't have accepted mmo's, drm and lack of game ownership. This is the natural result of gamers bending over and giving control of software to companies, companies, devs and ceo's laugh at you all while you suck their dicks. It's hilarious how far we've fallen from the 90's with dedicated server exe's and full blown level editors for AAA games.

Wow. Just... wow. As Parallax Abstraction rightly stated, "I am not entitled for wanting to be able to buy games on a platform that isn't garbage." It's one thing to have the Epic Games Store be at parity with Steam and sell exclusives, but their platform is trash at the moment. It's unfair to force people to buy on what is objectively an inferior platform. One would argue that the only reason Epic can offer 88/12 is that the platform lacks all of the features that justify Steam's premium 70/30 split. Epic wants to build a community, but astroturfing brand loyalty isn't going to work when people know they can buy a game on a platform that offers better features.

Further, Epic's more generous split hasn't resulted in a better pricing point for consumers. So when you have Cyberpunk 2077, Red Dead Redemption 2, and Jedi Fallen Order simshipping for $59.99, it would be curious to see if the pre/order percentages are higher for Epic than Steam. I guarantee they aren't. That proves people prefer Steam when given a choice, or, that is to say, they prefer a platform that isn't held together with bubble gum and baling wire.
"Hard times create strong men. Strong men create good times. Good times create weak men. And, weak men create hard times." - Those Who Remain by G. Michael Hopf
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19.
 
Re: Op Ed
Dec 13, 2019, 22:49
Kxmode
 
19.
Re: Op Ed Dec 13, 2019, 22:49
Dec 13, 2019, 22:49
 Kxmode
 
Before this year, tribalism existed between PC and consoles. "PC Master Race" was a badge of honor for anyone who shelled out the money to build an excellent gaming system. Being a PC gamer meant any game available on PC either through Steam, GOG (for those who prefer DRM-free), or Uplay and Origin (for when the publisher wanted to force first-party exclusivity). No one had a problem with this ecosystem. So when Epic introduced third-party exclusivity within PC gaming, they formed a schism. No longer was it a given that if you saw the trailer for a PC game, would you know you would be able to play it on your preferred platform within the established PC gaming ecosystem. Now it was tribalized to Epic Game Store. No longer could crowdfunders trust that the game they're helping to make would stick to their platform commitments.

Once Epic went the route of exclusivity, they created toxicity where none existed before. Even more egregious, their inconsistent exclusivity policy unfairly allowed big-budget titles like Cyberpunk 2077, Red Dead Redemption 2, and Jedi Fallen Order, while systematically denying indie projects from simship support. A game like Darq would have financially benefited from being able to sell on as many PC platforms as possible. The bottom line is Epic remains a cancer of PC gaming. The day they reach parity with Steam and compete on merit not forced exclusivity or are marginalized will be a great time. I'll take either.

This comment was edited on Dec 13, 2019, 23:16.
"Hard times create strong men. Strong men create good times. Good times create weak men. And, weak men create hard times." - Those Who Remain by G. Michael Hopf
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18.
 
Re: Op Ed
Dec 13, 2019, 14:04
18.
Re: Op Ed Dec 13, 2019, 14:04
Dec 13, 2019, 14:04
 
There have been zero data breaches in the game store, and afaik the only one there ever was was directly related to Fortnite.

I'm just gonna point out that there is only one account for everything Epic, which has persisted since they introduced their game launcher for the UT reboot like 5 years ago. If you had one before Fortnite painted a target on you, you'd better have changed your password since then.
17.
 
Re: Op Ed
Dec 13, 2019, 13:52
17.
Re: Op Ed Dec 13, 2019, 13:52
Dec 13, 2019, 13:52
 
Simon Says wrote on Dec 12, 2019, 20:20:
No, the crux of the issue ( at least for me, although I suspect for many others too ) is that you can't trust the word of someone who, say, is raping people saying it's to eradicate raping. Same as you can't trust someone who engages in anti-competitive practices justifying it by saying it's to promote competitiveness.
*applause*

Well said.
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16.
 
Re: Op Ed
Dec 13, 2019, 07:40
16.
Re: Op Ed Dec 13, 2019, 07:40
Dec 13, 2019, 07:40
 
Parallax Abstraction wrote on Dec 13, 2019, 00:14:
The Epic exclusivity bribes have been constantly pitched by Tim Sweeney and his sycophants as giving developers the financial means to take the time with their games they need to make sure they ship in the best way possible because they won't be crunched to hit a deadline. That's supposed to be the primary benefit of this for consumers and even that isn't happening.

That is mostly so for future games they will make with the increased proceeds from current sales.

If we take metro exodus as an example, 2 weeks b4 release they announce EGS exclusivity, you realy thing that in those 2 weeks they are going to get the game to a better state?

All those exclusives are games that have been in developpement for years and are unlikely to change much, it's all for future releases if the money gets to the developpers to be used for that.
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15.
 
Re: Op Ed
Dec 13, 2019, 07:35
NKD
15.
Re: Op Ed Dec 13, 2019, 07:35
Dec 13, 2019, 07:35
NKD
 
As much as I hate "angry nerd" mobs, I don't have much sympathy for Glumberland. They knowingly and intentionally waded into this shitstorm and started flinging shit, even at their own supporters.

There's victim blaming, and then there's just simply expecting people to not jump in front of a train, moon the train, and then complain about getting run over.
Old man trouble back again
Fucking up my plans like oh no, oh no,
I'm back to the black again
Gettin fucked up again, oh no, oh no.
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14.
 
Re: Op Ed
Dec 13, 2019, 06:44
14.
Re: Op Ed Dec 13, 2019, 06:44
Dec 13, 2019, 06:44
 
Get used to it. The president and most of the fat cat republicans and Faux News think white nationalists are "good people", that daily mass shootings of minorities is the price of keeping the gun industry in profits, while doing everything they can, with generous backing from V Putin to sow division, strife and hate between ethnic groups.

As far as Epic goes, they reaped what they sowed. The snowflake/victum defense just does not work for big rich corporations.
"Meet the new Boss, same as the old Boss." - The Who.
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13.
 
Re: Op Ed
Dec 13, 2019, 06:20
13.
Re: Op Ed Dec 13, 2019, 06:20
Dec 13, 2019, 06:20
 
That article takes a surprisingly balanced approach to the whole thing, especially for someone at gamesindustry.biz. There really is no excuse for the level of abuse which has been aimed at some of the devs, but then again there no excuse for it period whether related to exclusivity or not.

My opinion on the whole thing has never changed: I like games and thus I get games I like. For me it's that simple, because there is no actual reason to not. There have been zero data breaches in the game store, and afaik the only one there ever was was directly related to Fortnite.

Valve is a shitty billion dollar company and so is Epic so which one gets my money doesn't matter to me. When it comes to independent developers who publish their own games EGS is the better choice simply because more money goes into the devs pocket. As for crowdfunding I don't particularly care what store the key is to, because again I wanted the game and didn't back it for the storefront. In that case I can understand why some people could be upset, but as long as the developers do give a steam option that's about the end of my caring (I believe Phoenix Point was giving steam keys as an option post exclusivity period, but I don't recall because I just took my EGS key).

At the end of the day Valve does still have a virtual monopoly despite the fact that there are several other options available there isn't the ubiquity. The way Epic is going about carving a piece out isn't ideal, but realistically there isn't another way for them to take a foothold. The reaction to Metro Exodus (at least in the US) was all the proof I needed for that conclusion: people were so "mad" about the exclusivity they bought it on steam for $10 more than it was being sold for on EGS. That is the level of irrational at play these days with the way people act doubly so on the internet.

I guess for me the other thing I see is console exclusivity and I think to myself: it could be worse, just look at that (at least microsoft appears to have abandoned this for first party titles).
12.
 
Re: Op Ed
Dec 13, 2019, 03:31
12.
Re: Op Ed Dec 13, 2019, 03:31
Dec 13, 2019, 03:31
 
The consumers rule the market. You act against consumer wants it makes people disgruntled. Shit usually hits the fan shortly after... News at 11

That said, Hades/Pyre in particular I never understood the hate, Hades being EA on Steam right now is already a polished awesome game, and if Epic wants to pay to get games cheaper and more done on Steam then I am all for that. What I will never support are game devs like Phoenix Point devs... you run your crowd-funding with a promise for steam keys you are bound to that by blood oath, and you break that you are on my eternal hit-list, and I will send an Eshin assassin your way...
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11.
 
Re: Op Ed
Dec 13, 2019, 02:57
11.
Re: Op Ed Dec 13, 2019, 02:57
Dec 13, 2019, 02:57
 
Parallax Abstraction wrote on Dec 13, 2019, 00:14:
The Epic exclusivity bribes have been constantly pitched by Tim Sweeney and his sycophants as giving developers the financial means to take the time with their games they need to make sure they ship in the best way possible because they won't be crunched to hit a deadline. That's supposed to be the primary benefit of this for consumers and even that isn't happening.

If anything, Sweeney has pitched their bribes and their lower cut as ENABLING developers and publishers to take more time with their games. You are hardly in a position to properly assess the veracity. Developer/publisher feedback has been unanimously positive. They have all thanked Epic for enabling them to release a better or more complete product.

It is not in Epic's hands what the greedy devs and publishers do with the up front cash and whether it is really put to good use. Epic are merely enabling, i.e. creating a more positive environment for developers. It is up to the individual developer to make the best possible use of the given circumstances.

Just like e.g. Valve's Steam Early Access is enabling devs and publishers to release a product early for various reasons like funding the game during development, gathering community feedback for balancing and polishing etc.
There are literally hundreds of early access projects where the devs took the money and ran, abandoned their early access bugshitfests and will probably never return or if they do under a different name to do it again.

By your logic GabeN is personally responsible for every such fraudulent project on Steam but I don't see you blaming him for obvious reasons. The obvious reason is you being a hypocrite who just wants to throw dung at Sweeney because he is booohohohooohoo withholding some precious games from you for a limited period of time *sniff* *sniff* ... omg so tragic and mean *sniff* *sniff*.
10.
 
Re: Op Ed
Dec 13, 2019, 00:14
10.
Re: Op Ed Dec 13, 2019, 00:14
Dec 13, 2019, 00:14
 
The Epic exclusivity bribes have been constantly pitched by Tim Sweeney and his sycophants as giving developers the financial means to take the time with their games they need to make sure they ship in the best way possible because they won't be crunched to hit a deadline. That's supposed to be the primary benefit of this for consumers and even that isn't happening.
Parallax Abstraction
Podcast | YouTube | Twitch
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9.
 
Re: Op Ed
Dec 12, 2019, 23:20
9.
Re: Op Ed Dec 12, 2019, 23:20
Dec 12, 2019, 23:20
 
Parallax Abstraction wrote on Dec 12, 2019, 20:55:
Let's not forget games like RUNE II, which took Epic money and then the developers abandoned it the day after launch. Or Phoenix Point, which took Epic money and still launched a broken mess. Or Mechwarrior 5, which took Epic money and launched basically unfinished and a dumbed down version of previous MechWarrior games (though it's Pirahna Games, I don't know what people expected.) Anyone who thinks the 88/12 split that Epic is offering now is sustainable in the long-term is kidding themselves. There's a reason that when Steam just launched an incredible system that allows you to play ANY local co-op or competitive game online, the Epic store is still lacking basic things like a shopping cart. When the Fortnite money rolls out, they won't be able to keep bleeding on their store.

All of the above is Epic's fault how exactly?
8.
 
Re: Op Ed
Dec 12, 2019, 23:16
8.
Re: Op Ed Dec 12, 2019, 23:16
Dec 12, 2019, 23:16
 
chickenboo wrote on Dec 12, 2019, 19:36:
You mean to tell me this developer took the EGS payout, and this is what we get? How do you release a V1.0 with grammar and spelling mistakes? I thought 88/12 split was supposed to improve the quality of games.

To be fair, there are MUCH, MUCH bigger gigs with HUGE budgets and thousands of employees across several international studios who manage to release a v1.0 with abysmal shit quality grammar and spelling.

That gig is called Ubishit, the game is called Ghost Recon Breakpoint. I have never seen such sloppy spelling and grammar and plain false text in any other game's subtitles. It's a complete clusterfuck of illiteracy and my first language isn't even English so there is probably lots of fuckups I did not even notice.

Honestly, it's almost like those fuckers just ran the script through Google translator (presumably from French to "Engrish") but then again... nope, Google Translator would have at least spelled shit right so they must have actually had a muppet who manually fucked it up that way.
7.
 
Re: Op Ed
Dec 12, 2019, 22:00
7.
Re: Op Ed Dec 12, 2019, 22:00
Dec 12, 2019, 22:00
 
If you all didn't want exclusivity you shouldn't have accepted mmo's, drm and lack of game ownership. This is the natural result of gamers bending over and giving control of software to companies, companies, devs and ceo's laugh at you all while you suck their dicks. It's hilarious how far we've fallen from the 90's with dedicated server exe's and full blown level editors for AAA games.
6.
 
Re: Op Ed
Dec 12, 2019, 20:55
6.
Re: Op Ed Dec 12, 2019, 20:55
Dec 12, 2019, 20:55
 
I am amazed that people still come out in defense of Glumberland. They announced their exclusivity in the most condescending, patronizing way possible and when anyone criticized them for it (even politely), responded with vitriol and attacks, including but not limited to telling long-term Patreon backers who can no longer buy the game because Epic doesn't support their currency that they were acting entitled by expecting to be able to buy the game they'd been backing for months.

But of course, nothing can even be the fault of the devs themselves, not even a little bit. No, they can act as assholish as they want towards the customers they theoretically want but a handful of scumbag trolls (and it's always a handful, inflated as it to be a meaningful number) do what trolls do and this is suddenly an epidemic of hate.

I'm not a "Steam or nothing person." Right now, I have Steam, Origin, GOG, Uplay and Game Pass (Windows Store) installed, plus I own all the consoles. Epic's store is unfinished, feature barren, has laughable customer service (granted, so does Steam but Epic is supposed to be better) and has had multiple security and privacy breaches this year alone. I am not entitled for wanting to be able to buy games on a platform that isn't garbage, I am a consumer expecting developers to earn my business.

I am a huge indie game advocate but the economics of the developer's businesses are their problem, period. I don't own stakes in their studios and they don't care where my money comes from, so why am I supposed to care where theirs comes from? If you want to take an Epic deal, please feel free. I won't buy your game until it either a) Comes somewhere else (for example, I played Outer Worlds on Game Pass and bought Control on sale for Xbox One) or b) The Epic store becomes some semblance of complete and shows they have their security issues sorted.

This is a business, it's not a charity. Customers are entitled to expect choice and value for money and to complain about it when they don't get it. Do a handful go to far? Yes and that's unacceptable but welcome to the Internet. In the case of Glumberland, maybe don't insult your customers if you don't want strong feedback. Reap what you sow.

Let's not forget games like RUNE II, which took Epic money and then the developers abandoned it the day after launch. Or Phoenix Point, which took Epic money and still launched a broken mess. Or Mechwarrior 5, which took Epic money and launched basically unfinished and a dumbed down version of previous MechWarrior games (though it's Pirahna Games, I don't know what people expected.) Anyone who thinks the 88/12 split that Epic is offering now is sustainable in the long-term is kidding themselves. There's a reason that when Steam just launched an incredible system that allows you to play ANY local co-op or competitive game online, the Epic store is still lacking basic things like a shopping cart. When the Fortnite money rolls out, they won't be able to keep bleeding on their store.

But I'm sure RedEye and the other members of the Epic Defense Force will swoop in soon to tell me what a scumbag I am. They always do.
Parallax Abstraction
Podcast | YouTube | Twitch
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5.
 
Re: Op Ed
Dec 12, 2019, 20:20
5.
Re: Op Ed Dec 12, 2019, 20:20
Dec 12, 2019, 20:20
 
First and foremost, I can't speak for anyone else, everything below is only representative of my train of thought and in no way do I presume that it represents anyone else's, although some may agree in full or in part.

1- "They would instead prefer to go through one service, to pay one bill, to be secure in the knowledge that if their social circles start talking about some hot new series, it will be readily accessible to them without the need to juggle another subscription. In short, they want cable."

No, I think they want real a la carte and an end to artificial segregation of content like you get from easier to access illegal sources, you watch what you want, how you want, when you want, where you want. No BS, no gouging, no juggling, max convenience.

2- "triumph of convenience at all costs."

Someone doesn't understand here... See above^^ This is what a triumph of convenience would be, it's anything but that atm and the trend is going the OPPOSITE way hence part of why illegal access is thriving.

3- "Valve's virtual 'monopoly'"

Yeah let's just ignore the dozen or so other stores out there that are all free to compete ( and some do compete ) on price and features without resorting to anti-competitive practices, np.

4- "you can't expect them to come with a good faith reading for nuance and context."

No, the crux of the issue ( at least for me, although I suspect for many others too ) is that you can't trust the word of someone who, say, is raping people saying it's to eradicate raping. Same as you can't trust someone who engages in anti-competitive practices justifying it by saying it's to promote competitiveness.

Principled people TRUST ACTIONS, NOT WORDS. You want me to trust you want competition? Well, engaging in anti-competitive practices is THE OPPOSITE of what will convince me to trust you. Stop raping people and actually do something to stop rapes and THEN I'll re-evaluate my trust in your pledge about eradicating raping.

"I want to build a better world" *Starts a genocide*

"Oh, you don't trust me?" *Shocked Pikachu*

See how that works?

How utterly gullible you have to choose to act to buy one of the oldest tricks in the book is beyond me.

5- "We asked Epic if we could talk frankly about the situation and they were like whatever."

Which goes to show how they don't give a shit as long as $ flows in. But that's ok, it's a business, it's nothing personal, it's just the nature of the capitalist beast. It doesn't care about principles, it only cares about the bottom line. Well too bad because I do ( see fourth reply above ) have principles, so your bottom line won't get padded by me until you change your ways, sorry.

6- "Exclusivity deals can be annoying and inconvenient, but there's no world in which they would justify the kind of abuse we've seen, or any abuse at all."

I do agree that it's regrettable and I certainly condemn any free will infringing actions if any happen in the future, but if you can't even deal with non-free will infringing actions, you probably shouldn't associate with businesses showing no sign of certain principles. If you do, there's no safe space for you. It's true in gaming as it's true in say the oil sector. You do business say with the Koch Brothers and endorse their methods, don't complain about the consequences. Same if you do business with Epic and endorse their anti-competitive practices, don't complain about the consequences. At least assume your choices, own them, be honest about them.

"Yes we went for the Epic Game Store exclusivity because we needed the money, it's regrettable, but it was either that or 'insert whatever worse consequence here'."

This is a good example of how to do it and despite not agreeing with your choice, It would certainly at least earn my ( and perhaps others ) respect as well as avoid you a lot of backlash.
4.
 
Re: Op Ed
Dec 12, 2019, 19:52
Prez
 
4.
Re: Op Ed Dec 12, 2019, 19:52
Dec 12, 2019, 19:52
 Prez
 
Beyond not adding to it myself, I have no obligation whatsoever to do a damn thing to "prevent it from ever happening again". Especially since it will regardless of what anyone does. Welcome to humanity. If anyone has the power to mitigate it at all, it's the developers themselves by, for example, not making needlessly provocative and inflammatory posts trying to be edgy and clever.
“The greatness of a nation and its moral progress can be judged by the way its animals are treated.”
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