Should we discuss what happens if BL3 is Epic Store exclusive?

Potentially a good bit, after his constant passing the buck to 2K for the decision.

One of the suits had to be like: “Yo, you can say we have the official final say, but having literally zero influence in the Epic exclusivity deal? FOH.”

I mean, Pitchford is the Gearbox CEO so the “I had nuttin to do wit it.” defense is kinda inherently problematic by itself based on that fact.

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Not to mention the “I support Epic” tweet from last December…

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I have to agree.

I read that comment as a mere overreaction to cheesed-off fans, albeit a dangerous one. I think Randy on some level knows that move (ergo, cutting off business w/ Steam completely) would be career suicide, and he’d be taking the whole of Gearbox down with him.

The Steam community’s reaction to that will make the review bombing look like a food fight.


Everyone: read the forum rules, please, and take the edge off those posts, Ta.


This sounds to me to be very fitting way to describe this situation(developers feeling entitled point):


I think there’s still a massive lack of understanding about how games are made. The extent to which publishers are still conflated with developers is just one aspect of this. It’s a complicated relationship, but the terms are used interchangeably when they’re anything but.

Like, I said, that’s just one thing. I think a lot more education on the nitty-gritty of how games are made, and how much they cost to make, would actually help a lot of things. It’d help folks understand developers more (it’d also help expose the predatory practises in the industry a lot better, I think).

The problem is, it’s perceived as a binary; people being too defensive of a company, or similar. There’s very little nuance - as soon as you start defending developers, you’re perceived as being “against” folks playing the games. Which is weird, because developers also play games. I don’t know how to fix that one.

There’s way too much of an “us vs. them”, and videos like the above really don’t help that. That’s what we call an incendiary tagline, the “war on customers”. It stokes the flames. Language has a purpose, and I refuse to accept that someone who makes that kind of content isn’t aware it’s designed to drive clicks.

The thing is, it also drives up the ante; it exaggerates the situation into something it isn’t. Which some folks take literally, and we start again from that heightened point. De-escalation is a lot harder than escalation, I suppose!


Also, I’ve often been told people don’t need to know how games are made. I get that, that’s fair.

But I argue that if you want to get invested in arguments online about the consequences of making and financing games, then you do. Not everyone does, but it ain’t the blanket defense I’ve seen it used as (not on here, just for the record).


There is lack of understanding on all levels in everything. The solution is finding ways to keep everything as transparent and honest as possible and improving communication. I think this whole issue is rooted within lack of communication. Developers have different point of view on games they’re developing, as publishers have, as customers have. Neither stand above others, the question is about negotiating and finding common grounds.

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I disagree that “neither stand above others”. That relegates the whole discussion to power dynamics.

Developers make the games. Without them, you wouldn’t be able to buy them. It doesn’t work the other way around, because games are made first. The consequence of buying them is that they either don’t get as much support, or they don’t get a sequel.

But likewise, it doesn’t make sense to upset your customers. That’s just dumb. Customers deserve respect too.

However, understanding that you might not understand why a developer does X, or a developer does Y, is not the same as a lack of transparency. Which is what it’s often presented as.

When I say “folks should know more about making games”, I mean generally. Not specifically, with regards to developer-fan interactions. Only if you want to talk about the consequences of such, though.

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I remember Dragon Age 1 sold zillions of copies on Steam. Then DA2 got buried under Origin.

I have nothing against using Epic Store or anything, as long as it’s not exclusive.

The only exclusive method I would agree with is if Gearbox released their own app for their games, as they would be able to directly serve its players (content, promotions, updates, etc).


This is what PR is for.

The gaming industry isn’t immune to its need but they seemed to have missed the memo.

Oil spill occurs (BP, Exxon) : epic fail in public relations. People still are salty about the Valdez debacle decades later.
Tylenol bottles get tampered with in mass quantities. The company pulls all their stock and invents the tamper-proof cap. Huge win for Tylenol.

Gaming companies are selling a product but more than that they should be selling brand loyalty. This is marketing 101.


You’ll forgive me if I find this a bit cynical :stuck_out_tongue:

I mean, you’re probably right. But that’s what I’d want to see things move away from, not towards!

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Same goes for other side. Developers and publishers should be well aware of what reaction from customers they’ll get by publishing game one Epic Store as exclusive. They know that there will be those kinds of criticisms, but this doesn’t require any special knowledge to figure out.

Elitism probably is core reason for this disconnect. It isn’t that devs don’t understand us customers, it’s that they don’t care and consider themselves entitled. They choose to make money over making a product for customers.


Oh sure. But that’s not the world we live in. The gaming industry is now on par with other entertainment media. They’re going to have to start looking at models like Disney or they might end up getting swallowed by Disney.

How’s that for cynical.


You can’t just say “same goes for the other side” when you’re replying to me about possibly not knowing the full extent of what goes on on one side.

Publishers do expect reactions, a lot of the time. This kind of thing is why publishers exist, in addition to developers! If you thought they were unaware of any blowback, especially given the ongoing critical coverage of Epic right now, then I don’t know what to say.

As for your comment about elitism, I don’t know what to say. You’re still conflating developers and publishers as one single entity. I’m wasting words, sorry :stuck_out_tongue:

I do not need to know what happens on other side. My main point is that I want BL3 on steam. My second point is that I don’t want to use Epic Store due to low quality of this platform. Those are really simple and transparent points, that publishers should be aware of, and as you said, they probably are well aware of. *That’s exactly the reason why them choosing to do otherwise is clear sign that they do not care about my desires as customer. They look at me at just another disposable consumer that’ll throw money at them, for they’re big cooproation and I’m just a single individual. That’s just the honest feeling I’m getting, before I quantify that as something that applies on lot of more people than just me.

*edit: I think I just got carried away by flavor of point I was making, because after taking another look at what I wrote I don’t think it’s entirely right. I think I quantify my point and apply it on larger group of people and then look at it as cooporation not caring about us, not me. I’m trying to avoid generalizing stuff and try to think for me only and not represent others, but this example shows that I’ve still not learned to handle this tendency.


I think PC games are a prime target for enhanced marketing techniques.
So, brand identity is a method to get money from the consumer, but this gives them satisfaction, and satisfaction means contentment, which translates to less sales. And so in the industry, brands take turns being the good or bad guys, so that industry as a whole reaps greater profit - since, as a matter of perception they offer as least as possible, while making it seem new, and better - but it is more of the same and can not be anything else, lest it give satisfaction. This ‘leave them wanting more’ assures future sales.

And so, they divert attention away from this practice by creating controversies that limit the scope so that the larger scheme is undetected.

And so PC gamers get the treatment since they spend so much more on hardware than console users. And this is the reason behind the brand A vs. brand B battle. It is marketing that channels consumers into their slot, but it doesn’t matter what they do as consumers (buy, boycott, critque) It just gives them a way to blow steam as they are continually being played by a game of industrial scope.


What’s the example of satisfaction leading to less sales? This might make sense if there was single publisher/platform selling all games, but for individual developer I don’t see how it makes sense.

Satisfaction with a certain brand - like Borderlands - it is a great game you can play for a long time… this means you are unlikely to buy another game as long as you are playing Borderlands. So a great game hurts everyone else in the industry - pocketbook-wise.

So, if games were ‘all-that’ a large part of the gaming populace would be content to play what games they already have. Success is gamings own bane. And so as more brands get into industry, they have to preserve themselves by uniting under a singular purpose - to make profit, and cooperate in playing the consumers. So brands take turns putting out great/bad games just to get as much profit in a organized way that ensures more sales.

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