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LemonyNebula

My take on the Timed Exclusivity deal.

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Look, I understand exactly why a studio, especially on the smaller side, would take a timed exclusivity deal. And I honestly believe in terms of funding for the game that it is often the right thing to do.

The problem is, it can also be the worst thing to do, dependant on the reasoning behind it and simply how it is handled. So communication is Everything. But when working with deals, communication suddenly becomes difficult in itself.

 

Here is how I would like to think this deal has gone down. A more honest scenario with the game in mind:

(TLDR; they had the game at heart and are stuck in agreements for positivity and unable to give info)

Imagine being Chromatic and getting your project, your work baby, funded for the first time and the elation that brings. You throw out all kinds of promises that you intend to keep, one of them often being the platforms you can make it for and other support. By this point, you don't want exclusivity, you want to be fan headed and are probably a little upset you did not reach all the goals as you want to make them the best game but are trying to manage this as realisticly as possible. Being funded at all is a blessing.

You all start working on the project, some things falling behind, some things possibly being ahead of schedual, but nothing is as concrete in a prediction on how the development will go. You see the fans, your fans spilling their guts about what they love and don't love and you are constantly in talks about the direction of the game beyond the initial plan to your team. You want to work and shove as much stuff in but the further you go the more unlikely it is. Not only is time not on your side with your release prediction, but the funds you raised are being stretched for things you could not even consider. You remain confident you are able to make this game and even what you promised, but it is going to be tight. Real tight.

During development you are suddenly given the option to have an injection of cash, which you know instantly willl be able to pay for and effect so much more on this development, than any after release updates could ever do. This is money to spend now, and that should lead to a better product, happier fans and better sales. Missed stretch goals? added, More content? added. You know you can make the game the best it can be without sacrificing you or your teams lives. You can tie it in to a delay and basically give yourself not just the development time you need to make the game well, but the time you need to make it great.

It seems a no brainer to you, you were asking for as much funding as you can get via kickstarter, you are sure the fans would understand if that injection comes at a cost of a release delay on a couple of the platforms. They still get the game and it won't be tooo long, it's not full exclusivity. I mean they care for the game too right?

You want to tell the backers but part of the deal comes with an NDA or other agreements. Nintendo did not just pay money for timed exclusivity, for your company to just go spilling the beans before a decent announcement, let alone treat the agreement as a negative thing via an apology. Being in the indie showcase is practically an honor, one that nintendo wouldn't want besmirched with negativity.

They would be more than unhappy if you went to your backers and apologised for an necerssary evil, making out the deal to be bad in the first place.

So your hands are tied. You accepted the deal, but now you cannot tell your backers, or even apologise. You can only explain in a positive light after the news has been broken through a third party announcement trailer. You can't just make new promises either as you should be 100% certain on what you can do before you go making them and it is still too early to tell. Tough place.

(End of scenario)

 

This is where we are at. This is where it all goes wrong. The problem is, that positive light will not go down to well to those who feel lied to. That information is needed so we know that this is for a benefit to the game and not just a way to line your pockets. We have already had drama with the delivery issues, we have already mentioned how there needed to be more communication, and now out of the silence, we are told that some of us have to wait longer than others, like some are worth less than others, via a third party trailer.

The first kickstarter update since should have been thought out so much better. We needed more than just a single paragraph that tells us not only nothing but the word 'polish' but just jokes and brushes it off.

I can guess your hands are tied with how you could announce it, but we have seen first hand how other studios can say a lot more than you have and I think more emphasis on what this can do for the game, and a mention of 'potential' additions to it, would go a long way even with nothing concrete.

Will we get those extra goals? will we have new modes? levels? items? characters?. What improvement will this make to the stuff we DO have? There has to be something in it for those you sold down the river for them to understand the decision, or you just threw your backers under a bus to save money, just like it came across when you expected your backers to pay unexpected and ridiculus delivery costs because your deal with a delivery firm failed. Don't let them think you have lined your pockets at their expense!

Be positive, but let us know what we get from this. The deal will always upset people, some will understand and others will not, but how can anyone if they don't know what this means for them.

You don't have to make promises, just give us a direction that this deal has led you. Help us understand a little.

 

I don't mean to come across negative, as I honestly try to understand. It doesn't even affect me as I have the Switch and PC version. But I don't like seeing unhappy people who feel like they have been betrayed, especially when the potential outcome is actually good for all. But then as someone who is unaffected, I'm going to find it easier to deal with.

I fully back and support you and am damn excited for the game. But please sort this mess out a bit before you lose fans. Treat them like the supporters they are and give a little back. They are worth everything to you.

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Posted (edited)

I read about midway through and kept thinking about when you said

Quote

It seems a no brainer to you, you were asking for as much funding as you can get via kickstarter, you are sure the fans would understand if that injection comes at a cost of a release delay on a couple of the platforms. They still get the game and it won't be tooo long, it's not full exclusivity. I mean they care for the game too right?

and kept thinking "did he at least back the game for xbox1/ps4"? Jumped on the poll thread about what version people are gonna play on and saw that you said
 

Quote

Pc fo' sho'

which in itself to me is saying PC of course since it's the best and everything else is worse.

Lost interest and skipped at the end where you say the version you actually got. Anyway for what I read, your scenario was very plausible and is probably similar to the truth. It's not like game studios are actually trying to rip off their fans when they're making their game.

It's a bit funny that you finish by saying "and give a little back" because a couple hours ago I thought "how about they have nintendo give them a couple Switches to giveaway to xbox1 and playstation 4 backers". I mean yeah they didn't try to lie to us and "scam" us on purpose but it would have felt a lot better if they had seemed to be trying to make up for it even just a bit. Couldn't you guys come up with anything? Like switches giveaways, maybe timed exclusive dlcs on xbox1 and ps4 when the switch timed exclusive is lifted or something else..

Edit : The more I think about it the more I feel like they could have at least done something towards the ps4/xbox1 backers to try and make up for it. Things like get a couple Switches in the deal to giveaway to ps4/xbox1 backers along with a key for the game, Ps4/Xbox1 timed exclusive dlc/content (probably unlikely if their deal with Nintendo goes beyond the exclusivity deal), the first one or two DLCs for free for Ps4/Xbox1 backers. There could be other things like exclusive in-game skins for Ps4/Xbox1 backers but those would be irrelevant to me over not having to wait longer than everyone else. We might be jumping to conclusions too quickly but shouldn't they have had something already ready to communicate to us. Also, them already refunding people because of the timed exclusive leads me to believe otherwise. 

Edited by Windex
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2 hours ago, Windex said:

which in itself to me is saying PC of course since it's the best and everything else is worse.

You look into that a bit too much. Saying a comedic "Pc fo' sho'" doesn't mean what you claim at all. For a start, I am more looking forward to it on switch which is very much not PC. But thank you for putting me in a platform camp for some reason like I am waving a flag because I see some benefit in the deal if used correctly.

But as you said, I also clearly state the platforms I have gotten it for in the post anyway to be clear that it annoys me regardless, so the sleuthing over to the poll wasn't really necessary...

I can also saftely say that if it was Sony or Microsoft that got the timed exclusive, and both the Switch and PC platforms had to wait, I still would think exactly the same as I do in this case. Mostly due to what I state in the post that you lost interest in which is nice of you to ensure you mentioned. Backers are being treated like they are second class without even a reason why. The choice wasn't given it was taken, and people paid to support this. They should be thanked, not thrown to the side like a commodity to trade in a deal.

 

But yes, as I stated, because I care regardless of the platforms I got it on or the post wouldn't exist by the way, they need to give something back to the backers who had to suffer a bit for this. They need to be clearer and more honest. It's not for me to show possible scenarios, we should know the scenario through them and what they are going to do for it.

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Posted (edited)

I feel like I have a foot in both camps as so far I have 2 Pc keys, 2 PS4 keys and 1 XBox 1 key. The split of those keys goes as follows myself and one son will have PC and PS4 keys and my other son will only have the Xbox1 key. It puts me I think in a difficult position as I can play it first on PC and when released on PS4 take my existing save there if i wish, so i feel kinda lame trying to ask the community to be a little more calm in how they respond to this timed exclusive. Even though I will be playing on PC first I am more looking forward to play something akin to DD1 on PS4. I felt so bummed on PS3 when I found out consoles were not getting the new heroes, Nightmare or even the changes to survival and defenses PC got. I was one of those asking for a remake of DD1 for PS4 and Xbox1, when I heard that DDA was going to be a re-imagining of DD1 and on console I backed straight away. Like @LemonyNebula I am sympathetic to Chromatic and going through "valid" reasons for how CG may of ended up with a timed exclusive for console. The problem is the severe lack of information even simply knowing how long is the timed exclusive for should be reasonable for them to tell us. I stuck with them despite the delivery charges I paid, still stayed patient with their poor communication and even still trying to stick with them. I have invested $170 which with disability benefits wasnt easy, but still I am willing to see how the game turns out. I guess it all depends whats most important to you as a gamer. For me personally I I care about what we get at the end - how good is the gameplay, will consoles just get left with bugs for ages, will consoles get every dlc, will I have to buy DLC for both my ps4 and my PC version? I can forgive them for getting into problems during development, but if I end up with an unplayable mess or not able to play X or Y hero bc its not on PS then you will sure see me vent.

Edited by dizzydiana
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26 minutes ago, dizzydiana said:

For me personally I I care about what we get at the end - how good is the gameplay, will consoles just get left with bugs for ages, will consoles get every dlc, will I have to buy DLC for both my ps4 and my PC version? I can forgive them for getting into problems during development, but if I end up with an unplayable mess or not able to play X or Y hero bc its not on PS then you will sure see me vent.

Yeah, that would be my main focus too. As soon as it affects the game negativley, I wouldn't be so forgiving.

I also like that you mention that it is down to what people find important themselves, as I think it's an important point. Even if someone understands why Chromatic made this choice, it doesn't mean they have to accept or be happy with it if they find they care deeply about broken promises or being let down. I would never blame someone for wanting a refund for example, as situations like this can be negative if trust is a big thing. It's peoples money and they backed for a variety of reasons, with the industry today being full of things that screw over the consumer for money, something like a deal made behind our backs in a kickstart, that is meant to be strongly based on trust in the first place, is enough to put people off. I certainly would never tell people how to feel for example.

I guess I just think it is at least important to have both sides clear so people can decide if they can live with the change or not, as a company doing it to line their pockets is a whole different situation for some than them trying to find another avenue to improve the game, but maybe not so different for everyone.

It's why, as you say a lot too, clarity is so important and they really need to just 'talk' to us at the very least.

I hope we find out that this deal will mean so much for the outcome of the game and the additions and quality will speak for itself. I really think it can at least hold on to those not already put off. If they can do something for those affected I will be more than happy.

Just come on guys, let us know already! Before people consider this a bad omen on priorities and back out expecting the game to be a money trap.

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I just wanted to say that this is a stellar example of how to properly express your feelings about a situation, and super props to you for the clear and respectful manner of your posting.
 

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I do feel allot like a broken record at this point asking Chromatic to handle communication better over and over. I understand that they are a small team and dont have much Public Relation experience, but it is getting tiresome how they dont seem to learn. You would think after that fiasco with delivery charges and how the community found out, they would start to be a bit more proactive, but nope. They dont talk to us first, give a detailed explanation of why until people come here and create havoc. This does nothing to help their image it only adds fuel to the fire and create a larger divide between themselves and the community. I try and try to be fair, but I have to admit its getting really difficult to do so. I have not yet got to a point where I want a refund, but i do understand those who do. I just want people to try to remember the Devs are people too, also trying to feed their families and I dont think they were trying to deceive us from the get go.  

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53 minutes ago, dizzydiana said:

I do feel allot like a broken record at this point asking Chromatic to handle communication better over and over. I understand that they are a small team and dont have much Public Relation experience, but it is getting tiresome how they dont seem to learn. You would think after that fiasco with delivery charges and how the community found out, they would start to be a bit more proactive, but nope. They dont talk to us first, give a detailed explanation of why until people come here and create havoc. This does nothing to help their image it only adds fuel to the fire and create a larger divide between themselves and the community. I try and try to be fair, but I have to admit its getting really difficult to do so. I have not yet got to a point where I want a refund, but i do understand those who do. I just want people to try to remember the Devs are people too, also trying to feed their families and I dont think they were trying to deceive us from the get go.  

Well said. I very much agree.

Each time the lesson is not learned, the pill becomes harder to swallow. At this rate, this may be my last DD game. I can't watch all the mistakes from both games repeat themselves again. I need the company as much as the game to evolve with every step and year.

The move from TE to CG has felt like a backwards step in several aspects. All communications, forum involvement, and Friday Streams took a big hit and have yet to recover to TE levels, let alone surpass old markers. Hard to judge product before we play it, but release delays and a surprise post-campaign exclusive window really did not help the cause. And if you keep putting PS and XB on the back of the bus, we will likely just get off the ride.

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2 things to say
1. I totally agree that the Xbox and PS4 backers should get something in return, CG didn't plan on the timed exclusive, but they can handle it better. However, it can't be anything exclusive to PS4 or Xbox, since cross-saves will kinda ruin that exclusivity, that or it'd be hell to program to make it available on PS4/Xbox but disabled on PC and Switch.

2. Communication. Yes they could have definitely handled that better, but better late than never right? They have the best interest at heart for the game and the players, communication is a difficult thing, especially since a lot of things they want to tell us they either can't because of an NDA with Nintendo about the timed-exclusive, or just don't know yet (for example: people asking how long the timed exclusive will be, a CG member has stated that higher-ups are still figuring that out, that's a lot of back and forth with Nintendo I'd think).

surprise third point. Don't forget to love each other. We are a community, you can be mad sure, but please keep everything civil and respectful. CG are only humans too and as much part of this community as we are, neither can exist without the other.

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