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Do game developers owe anything to the people buying their games?


Kyonshi
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A common fallacy from a lot of entitled people is that they believe they own a game because they paid for it and therefore, the devs of such game become the mere servants of those who "own" it and must abide to each of their ordres.

 

From what i know, you dont own a game, nor the intellectual property, when you give money for it. You pay for a right to play that game, if i can put it roughly. Correct me if im wrong.

 

The @%$# storm that happened these last weeks, and also today, when the 7DTD Facebook page posts about the Twitch integration, and the upcoming livestream about it, tends to unleash a horde (lol) of ignorant and entitled people who give an awful amount of crap to the Pimps. Its pathetic to a level that science didnt discovered yet. I know im not the only one to see this. Its either that or the damn console/Telltale debacle that i think i wont see the end of it while im alive.

 

"The Pimps only work on this @%$#ing Twitch thing and they should focus their resources on REAL content"

 

"They didnt deliver anything promised. Case in point, the game is still in Alpha and we'll never see a full release"

 

"The Pimps screwed us all on console and let us down. Its their fault, they shouldnt have cut a deal with Telltale blah blah blah"

 

The minute i reply to one of them (yes, i know, i shouldnt waste my stamina with this) that the Pimps dont owe anything to anyone, i get served the same insanities, ranging from they dont know how to work and of course, as mentioned, "they owe us a complete game!".

 

I know i'll be told that the devs indeed dont owe @%$# to anyone and i do know that. Still, im curious to know what's your opinion about the responsibilities a game developer has toward the community, good or bad, that support their titles and what's the extent of such responsibilities, where are the limits, where does it stop.

Edited by Kyonshi (see edit history)
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  • Kyonshi changed the title to Do game developers owe anything to the people buying their games?

No

 

and imo (keep in mind I have never used twitch nor am I interested in twitch)

do not buy early access if you expect a finished game. Wait for it to be released.

 

that said, I do think the Pimps lack of even a moderately conscience road map and the perpetual “when its done” just encourages fear/uncertainty and ultimately anger.

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55 minutes ago, Kyonshi said:

The minute i reply to one of them (yes, i know, i shouldnt waste my stamina with this) that the Pimps dont owe anything to anyone, i get served the same insanities, ranging from they dont know how to work and of course, as mentioned, "they owe us a complete game!"

 

What? Nobody told you that they hope you get cancer and that a fire kills your entire family? 

 

Weak sauce responses, man...

 

:)

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7 hours ago, Kyonshi said:

"they owe us a complete game!"

That's actually true. There just isn't a date on this because it's game development, not baking cookies.

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58 minutes ago, Gazz said:

That's actually true. There just isn't a date on this because it's game development, not baking cookies.

No, it's not (not legally, albeit morally it's another matter...).

The EA Steam agreement clearly states that the game could even never be finished by the devs... You're buying the product "as is" at the time of purchase.

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Depend on the country the software get published.

Gazz and me are german's and here the developer have to give out patches for their product or the customer got the right to his cash fully back even after the limited refound time.

 

But since 7D2D don't get released so far, they have a special status.

And the customer just got the right to test their product.

 

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Okay there is two ways to see this issue:

The legal view and the moral view.

The legal view is pretty easy to answer:
They gave a statement about what they want to include and worked on the game AND you got what you were promised. At least like to a significant percentage.
Therefor legally, TFPs are in the clear.
If you wanna know how hard it is to actually sue a game, look at chronicals of elyria.
They got millions of $, had years and years of development, but other than a few pretty pictures and a preview of stuff that could have been done in a few days in any engine (with the promise (this is totally on a big server)... and the lawsuit still took a lot of lawyers and many MANY outcries.
Lets see if they can get their money back.

 

 

The "moral" view is a bit more complex.
What did you buy when you bought the game? The right for EA? The completed game? The right to influence like stocks?
There is I think no clear answer.

But I do think that you should not make an EA game, if you do not care for your players opinions.
They TWICE listened to player feedback, and that was the bearmodel and the burning Z model.

There might be instances where they did as well... but not on the MAJOR complaints, again, at least not to my knowledge.

BUT this is their right to do so. I just wished they would go less with "their vision" that changes every two alphas and a bit more open to the community feedback.
 

 

I think any person is entitled to their opinion. No matter how bad it would be for 99% of other players. And if I want to own an icecreamtruck and sell icecream to bandits, then that is my wish.
But all too often I see people wish for something a bit too agressively and beeing hunted down and beeing told "this is not your game!".


So I am in the middle. I accept that it is their game, I still wish they would listen a bit more to the community, since without them their EA game wouldn't have been paid.

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Yeah, quite obivous that we aren´t entitled to anything. Especially as this game gave a lot of us quite the experience already.

 

It´s amazing with what kind of arguments the people demanding quicker development and/or the release come up on the steam forums. That one thread about how long the game is already in early access is hilarious. (poor mods tough, they have a lot of work to do there)

 

@Canute That´s interesting. I should check our laws here. Austrian government tends to have a lot of similar laws from you guys. Not for this game, but that is generally good to know.

 

 

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1 hour ago, Viktoriusiii said:



But I do think that you should not make an EA game, if you do not care for your players opinions.
They TWICE listened to player feedback, and that was the bearmodel and the burning Z model.

There might be instances where they did as well... but not on the MAJOR complaints, again, at least not to my knowledge.

BUT this is their right to do so. I just wished they would go less with "their vision" that changes every two alphas and a bit more open to the community feedback.
 

 

I think any person is entitled to their opinion. No matter how bad it would be for 99% of other players. And if I want to own an icecreamtruck and sell icecream to bandits, then that is my wish.
But all too often I see people wish for something a bit too agressively and beeing hunted down and beeing told "this is not your game!".


So I am in the middle. I accept that it is their game, I still wish they would listen a bit more to the community, since without them their EA game wouldn't have been paid.

They did listen to the community, but in the end, it is their game and their development project.  Just because we purchased an EA game doesn’t mean that they have to implement the feedback from the community.  Listening to feedback is one thing; obligated to make changes based on feedback is something different and not a requirement  for EA games.

Edited by BFT2020 (see edit history)
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I would say legally it is a grey area until tested in court. Between Valve and the developer there is no signed contract (AFAIK), just some rules that may or may not be enforcible (I'm sure lawyers will not be happy about the rather unspecific statements in these rules). One rule states that upon entering EA you should have a working game available for the players, not just a tech demo. This is maybe the only **hard** requirement you can read out of the rules. Quote: "Early Access titles must deliver a playable game or usable software to the customer at the time of purchase". A few other "must" rules are in a FAQ and read more like suggestions, I have my doubts they would hold up in court as hard rules.

 

Besides that abandoning the game is acknowledged as a valid decision of the developer but steam warns it may reimburse players (and then probably try to get back that money from the developer, otherwise it wouldn't be a warning)

 

Between valve and the customer there is a legal sale, but the game is obviously not sold as a finished game. Courts in different countries may give different legal guarantees depending on what they decide the product is, i.e. whether they judge it to be an investment, sale of a prototype, sale of a prototype plus development, sale of damaged good or sale of a product with typical guarantees (last one is very unlikely though).

 

In Germany there is a legal concept of "no surprises" at least for private customers. Therefore whatever Valve promises for EA titles is actually binding, whatever can reasonably be expected as well is a grey area for the courts. One may suspect that further development effort may be expected in EA or not depending on what the judge had for breakfast that morning 😉

 

Disclaimer: No lawyer is me, obviously.

 

 

 

Edited by meganoth (see edit history)
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3 hours ago, BFT2020 said:

Listening to feedback is one thing; obligated to make changes based on feedback is something different and not a requirement  for EA games.

Well if you have 100 requests and only 2 are actually fulfilled... I would not say that they listen (numbers are hyperbolic).
That is more like random chance that they wanted to do it anyways.

Listening is nice, but I feel like (personal opinion) they do not actually take it into consideration... or at least not for long.
Which means listening becomes pointless, because the result is not changed. I can claim a wall is listening to you, but you wouldn't try to convince it of anything.

I don't think they are OBLIGATED to. But I do think that pushing your vision against the paying supporters is not ideal.
And they have done that time and time again. A17 was just the most major one, because it basicially changed the genre, was released WAY too early to be sold in the wintersales and made modding a lot harder to do. It was an all in one FU to the community.
But this was by far the only time. Just with smaller stuff.

And I think TFPs are right on the edge of what I would call acceptable.
They at least do have active moderators that keep us informed and they give us Alpha updates so we know what is coming...

But when it comes to feedback...
They are one of the worst devs of any EA game. There are some that simply abandon the project, they are obviously much worse.
But in all my time here on the forum and on youtube... I have rarely, if ever, seen them take feedback to heart. Because they have their vision and they follow it.
Which is fine... I would still appreciate it if they gave in once or twice.


 

2 hours ago, meganoth said:

In Germany there is a legal concept of "no surprises" at least for private customers. Therefore whatever Valve promises for EA titles is actually binding, whatever can reasonably be expected as well is a grey area for the courts.

How surprising, would you say, would it be if 7d2d became a racing game? 🤔
Food for thought! 😆

Edited by Viktoriusiii (see edit history)
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Objectively speaking I think they have done well enough so far to the original scope on their kickstarter promise and will surpass them in some ways when everything is said and done.

 

As far as how long its taken, that sorta comes with the territory of early access indie development.  Could have things been completed faster? Sure, but my guess would be we would have a lesser game then we have now.

 

 

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3 hours ago, Viktoriusiii said:

Because they have their vision and they follow it.

I for one am SO glad they do exactly this. They've ended up making a game I've poured thousands of hours into and will continue to do so in the future. No other game in my library even comes close. So yes, keep to your vision TFP, it's the right path!

 

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3 hours ago, Viktoriusiii said:

 

How surprising, would you say, would it be if 7d2d became a racing game? 🤔
Food for thought! 😆

 

How surprising, would you say, would it be if 7D2D being a racing game was listed as a goal in the kickstarter? 🤔

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21 minutes ago, meganoth said:

 

How surprising, would you say, would it be if 7D2D being a racing game was listed as a goal in the kickstarter? 🤔

Super Seven Kart.

With power ups like the combat shotgun, the nerdpole and the super concrete destroying zombie hands!

 

Can we have an spinoff? 😆

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I bought this at Alpha 6 when it looked like Minecraft for $15 or so. I have over 700hrs in this, so I pay like 2 cents an hour for fun... That's a damn good deal if you ask me.

 

Roughly speaking;

 

Alpha = not feature complete proof of concept

Beta = feature complete but not polished

 

people need to remember that when they wonder why it's still in Alpha.

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19 hours ago, Viktoriusiii said:

They TWICE listened to player feedback, and that was the bearmodel and the burning Z model.

 

Three times. They listened to the players who asked them to stick to their guns ditching LBD....

 

Kidding aside, they have modified their design many times due to community feedback. It really is mainly when it involves simplifying and unifying and streamlining that they do not listen to the community of hardcore veterans who would love for every new update to add a new layer of complexity so that the game keeps feeling fresh and challenging for them. 

 

Then again, every decision they make will appeal to some and be hated by others. The ones who like the decision will feel listened to and the ones who hate the decision will feel ignored. If you've felt ignored for years then it simply means you were on the wrong side of every issue of the last several alphas but it doesn't mean TFP wasn't listening to feedback. Alpha 18 broke all records for concurrent players and then Alpha 19 broke them again. That is some powerful community feedback saying, "We like the direction the game is going"

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Simple answer: Yes

Complex answer: Yes

Divorcing the unique context of 7DtD's long development cycle and ongoing evolving project nature from this conversation, the strawman of '@%$#baby Gamer entitlement' arose when the botched Mass Effect 3 when IGN and all of their friends in the Games Journalism industry went to bat for Mass Effect 3 and Bioware. You know why? A direct conflict of interest with them, Bioware, and Blizzard to an extent, big shocker. There's many articles covering the myth of 'Gamer entitlement' and a deep dive on the specifics of the incident with many archived sources that people pathologically quote the words of the journalists without knowing the origin and take it all as read.

http://www.reaxxion.com/9160/the-myth-of-gamer-entitlement this is an article from 2015 that touches on the subject.

https://www.forbes.com/sites/erikkain/2012/03/13/mass-effect-3-and-the-pernicious-myth-of-gamer-entitlement/?sh=3eb43a225176 Even Forbes in 2012

http://www.deepfreeze.it/article.php?a=enemy This is the heavily-sourced deep dive on the overall "Gamer Entitlement" incidents, their source, and who was propogating them and why. 

 

 

Sure there might be people with unreasonable expectations of projects, but then people will tend to lump them with the people that have been invested in a project or franchise for years and are disappointed with something as being (unjustly) entitled. The Fun Pimps more than the vast majority of dev teams across the wider industry have taken feedback and implemented it positively within their game that I have seen in my 20+ years of actively playing video games. They've listened to people on the forums maybe hundreds if not thousands of times to directly implement said feedback into the game.

I'd like to think that I directly influenced madmole with the implementation and overall functionality of the workbench. At the time when it was put in it had slightly different secondary functionality (You could combine weapon parts and melee weapons in it to increase their gear score when guns were made of individual parts) but overall my suggestion of it being an independent table that crafted items separately from your backpack with also having a purpose of making advanced and in general crafting things faster was directly implemented into the game. 
 

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16 hours ago, Viktoriusiii said:

Well if you have 100 requests and only 2 are actually fulfilled... I would not say that they listen (numbers are hyperbolic).
That is more like random chance that they wanted to do it anyways.

 

Its more like 1000s and 1000s of requests (just read the Pimp Dreams forum) many of which are completely contradictory to each other and many others beyond the scope of the game and others still just not technically possible (although the requesters often don't understand that because they think programming what they want is probably simple...). The devs have fulfilled way more than just the two that you mentioned. Its actually hard to take you seriously when you say that the only two items you can think of that the devs did in response to player feedback was the bear model and the lava monster model.

 

16 hours ago, Viktoriusiii said:

Listening is nice, but I feel like (personal opinion) they do not actually take it into consideration... or at least not for long.
Which means listening becomes pointless, because the result is not changed. I can claim a wall is listening to you, but you wouldn't try to convince it of anything.

I don't think they are OBLIGATED to. But I do think that pushing your vision against the paying supporters is not ideal.
And they have done that time and time again.

 

How long are they supposed to consider something? What it comes down to is that if they took a year, three years, or even ten years to consider but then decided not to agree with what you want you would still feel they didn't consider long enough. The fact is that you feel that your ideas and your desires for what the game should be are the gospel and anyone who disagrees must not have considered what you said. There is no defense against that kind of hubris. Any time the developers ever do something contrary to what you want the reason will always be that they didn't listen or if they did they didn't consider or if they did then they bad developers for making the wrong choice.

 

As to pushing their vision against the paying supporters? They are not. They posted their vision for all to see and the supporters paid them to push that vision. They still are pushing that vision and fulfilling all of their promised features and goals and then some. Just because some customers came along during A16 and fell in love with the mechanics of that version and then were disappointed when the developers chose a different mechanic to fulfill the same vision, that doesn't mean that they are pushing against their paying supporters. There are probably many customers who bought the game without ever checking to see what the vision was that they were supporting. That ignorance on their part doesn't mean that the $10 they paid during a Steam sale gives them the entitlement to push a different agenda or dictate what the game should be.

 

TFP has been open about their vision for the game. Some of you thought that LBD was the vision and the game but you were mistaken. It was simply one way to accomplish their vision of player progression and they chose a different way to do that. When those community members gave their feedback that they were against it, TFP chose not to agree. They listened, considered, and made their choice-- and now the game is more popular than it ever was in A16.

 

16 hours ago, Viktoriusiii said:

A17 was just the most major one, because it basicially changed the genre, was released WAY too early to be sold in the wintersales and made modding a lot harder to do. It was an all in one FU to the community.

 

A17 did not change the genre. The game's genre has always been what it still is. The genre descriptor on the Steam store page has remained the same throughout its development and there is no need of a change to its wording because there has been no change to the genre. It has been and will always be an open world zombie survival game with elements of tower defense and roleplaying.  It is Minecraft meets Fallout meets The Walking Dead. That was the elevator pitch for the game back in the beginning and I see nothing 8 years later to change that.

 

That whole bit about A17 being released to coincide with the Winter Sale is just a bunch of hooey. A17 released to experimental on November 19 more than a month before the winter sales after being in development for over a year and a half. There was nothing rushed about it. Alpha 17 went from experimental to stable in little over a month. Alpha 18 went from experimental to stable in a little less than a month. Alpha 19 went from experimental to stable in about a month and a half. There was nothing out of the ordinary about A17's release schedule.

 

A17 was the beginning of xpath and modlets which hugely simplified and streamlined modding. One dev from the TFP team in particular worked together with modders to make that happen. Maybe you mean something different about the difficulty of modding but you'll have to explain further than just the one liner you threw out there which by any measure is just a flat out inaccuracy when you consider how modding blossomed thanks to changes that came with A17. Heck....even I made a pretty nifty modlet pack because xpath made it manageable and accessible to someone like me who had never modded before.

 

There is no doubt that a lot of people were unhappy with the changes that A17 brought. Those people were very loud and persistent in voicing their desire for TFP to abandon what they'd changed and go back to the way things were. TFP listened but did not agree with doing that. I think you are letting your disappointment in the A16/A17 changeover and TFP's insistence on sticking to their changes color your view. I feel for you. I wish you weren't so disenchanted and disappointed. But I also don't think your experience defines the reality of how they interact and listen to the community in many cases and I certainly can't stand by as you attempt to rewrite history with some blatant inaccuracies.

 

16 hours ago, Viktoriusiii said:

I would still appreciate it if they gave in once or twice.

 

lol...I have lost count of the number of threads and posts by angry players who are angry precisely because they believe that TFP gave in to the demands of other players. I do know it was way more than once or twice. I guess what you mean is that you wish they gave in to YOU once or twice. Maybe what you want just isn't in the cards for this game-- or at least the vanilla version. But TFP has most certainly been listening to feedback and implementing it as it pleases them.

Edited by Roland (see edit history)
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