A note for 2K and devs

Me? I’m on ps4, so the strife over the Epic store is academic to me (even if I am slightly tempted to simply wait for the Steam release in solidarity, but gun lust wins out).

However, because of the state of the industry, I am not nor never intend again to pre-order any game. Ever. I waited after Anthem was released and was still sold a shiny and substandard product.

The entire AAA end of the industry (and even Indies at this point) need to be brought to heel. Abusive work conditions, near fraudulent claims and pitches, damn near defective and incomplete products on ship and CEOs walking away with bonuses yearly is conduct that isn’t sustainable. In the end either the public directly or through their gov representatives will end it. Loot boxes (aka Gambling) is on legislative dockets. Expect more.

I think many players feel the same way.

Gearbox are already guilty (or rather I should say certain staff members) of unacceptable behaviour, the main one being the man in charge. This is closing the stable door after the horse as bolted, i’m afraid.

While I can agree with this sentiment, your post isn’t going to change anything. I’m voting with my wallet by not pre-ordering, nor buying BL 3 from the Epic Store; I’ve waited 7 or so years for BL 3, I can wait 6 more months.

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@BarryFuller I know. The Sega matter and other stuff, yet generally gbox delivers on games, the one thing to save their bacon.

@Gulfwulf Indeed. It’s important to speak out on the matter though. I don’t preorder anything anymore too and console obviates the Epic store BS for me. Even so, cooling my heals for a couple months in solidarity wouldn’t make me sweat about it either.

Part of the situation resides in player base tolerance for this stuff which is growing thin. And there is legislative action on the more pernicious AAA activities.

Over the last couple of decades, gaming has gone from a niche hobby to, arguably, the biggest entertainment sector. Consequently, it now has all the attributes of any major industry, both good and bad. Unfortunately, because of its meteoric rise, many gamers still remember “the old days” when developers and publishers took pride in their products and served their customers above profit.

And you will find some, all or similar things throughout modern corporations. I’m sure you can think of many examples across many industries. For instance, check out Ben Goldacre’s book, “Bad Pharma” to see the state of the pharmaceutical industry. Drugs that should heal us are far more important than any game, yet are marketed and sold in a near fraudulent manner. Having said that, many of those drugs do work and do save lives. Similarly, amongst the dodgy games released of late, there are good and even excellent examples. I’m hoping BL3 will be one of them.

The question is, should you refuse a drug tha would save your life because of the behaviour of the industry that made it? I wouldn’t. So, will I refrain from buying a game because it is a product of modern industry? Nope and I’ll be buying BL3 on Epic (once I’ve seen the reviews and watched “real” gameplay).

I have been called “complacent” because of my view. In fact, I’m an old, unrecostructed, post-war socialist. I would love commerce to have a social conscience and better serve its customers. But that’s not how the world works presently. To change the games industry, you would have to change how industry works and that’s about politics not gaming.

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Not to put too fine a point on my OP, but I did say I was not pre-ordering out of distrust and disgust with the industry. This is my personal choice.

No where here, did I “demand” or assume that the industry to change itself because of this post.

A lot of you are not very careful readers.

Some people are electing to wait out until it’s available on Steam (Valve themselves remain utterly silent and passive about Epic; Steam itself has issues).

Still this is supposedly the era of customer being king because of the internet, yet I’ve never quite seen so many so readily passively accept whatever crap is thrown their way. Social media has become very good at sculpting a docile and complacent public.

—edit—

on a separate note you are doing the same thing as I, and not pre-ordering.

The thing about pre-order, especially applicable to digital media, is unlike physical media, there is no recourse to a refund. It’s a crap shoot where the customer has zero recourse with a defective product (such as Anthem). Unless these things come with a money back guarantee, people really are putting all the power in the distributor.

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Digital distribution isn’t causing issues with refunding software purchases with a PC title. Most if not all retailers would not accept a PC software title for a refund if it was opened for decades. Ever since PC software started requiring product keys and stores caught on that people were copying the data and the key then returning it to get their money back.

Also when I look at the United States. I don’t see social media as a cause of this docile and complacent public. To me it seems like the main cause is the public education system which seems to be more focused on teaching kids to accept the answers given without questioning why as opposed to teaching them how to actually solve problems and think.

What social media has seemed to do in the United States is give rise to a large group of noisy little snowflakes that lack integrity, and people ruining positive movements for the purpose of trying to get their 15 seconds of fame.

On the whole valve being silent about Epic. They really don’t need to say anything. It can plainly be seen that Epic is vastly inferior in terms of quality of service and features in their store platform and is still using exclusivity deals in an attempt to force people to use their service. They claimed the smaller cut they are taking would make the game cheaper for consumers but it just resulted in the publisher or developer pocketing the extra. They fell flat on their face completely in execution of their first mega sale causing pre-order titles to be pulled because of no opt out ability, pricing issues on other titles due to lack of communication, and users getting temp banned for potential fraud because of the transaction frequency due to not even having a shopping cart. Why come out and state the obvious?

The problem with your arguments about exclusivity is Epic still denies sales to Valve. So long as publishers bite to chase dollars, the playing public gets a markedly worse service/product. Epic offered an inferior service to publishers and devs and chasing dollars, they took the bait and will continue to do so in disregard to player experience. That they do so is in line with much of the behavior on display in the industry: defective and incomplete products, cash grabs and gambling. Player experience or value be damned.

WRT refunds, your argument is unfortunately off point. I’m talking new releases.

Snow flakes always existed, the toxic mix called social media, also known as surveillance capitalism, is a special kind of poison. But that subject is quite far off topic.

Oh lovely - you nailed that one. Critical thinking is not only not taught, it is actively discouraged.

Sigh. I’d like to disagree… but you are accurate.