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Crowd funded game, Phoenix Point, bought out by Epic Games


#1

I like strategy games. I especially try to crowdfund games from developers that I trust will actually finish the game. Since I’ve been burned on games that are never finished.

Phoenix Point Had all I needed. A reputable developer, a plan, the goals they wanted to achieve, deadlines. So obviously their crowdfunding goals were met.

It recently came to light that they will be exclusively only on Epic Games for 1 year and not on GOG or Steam as they originally planned. This upset me a bit. Other crowdfunders were more furious. Lots of rumors and speculation I can’t sift through. But they are basically saying Epic Games saw the product was going to be successful (whether because of crowdfunder interest or just evaluating the product) and swiped it from their crowdfunders with more money.

If I remember correctly, there was a graph that showed that, during the life of a game, it produced the most money in the first 6 months before slowly declining. This worries me because if Epic Games did this once to maximize profit…they will do it again.

It is easy for me to now imagine Epic Games going through crowdfunded games and snatching them up to milk them for the first year. These crowdfunded games are by developers that don’t have the money to make it on their own obviously. That’s why they are crowd-funded after all. So they are a bit vulnerable to seeing $$$$ offered as long as they ignore their crowdfunders and put their game on the Epic Games store. This is the only part that really bugs me.

This is a bit of a scandal and minor betrayal. So I’ll probably buy this game…later…on sale…on GOG.

Now I don’t feel confident even in crowd-funding games I can trust if some company can just jump in with more money to buy them out. Yes, I’ll be able to play the game eventually. But I still feel betrayed because that game wouldn’t exit unless we payed first. It would be nice if the developers had some loyalty to the customers that believed in them enough to pay them for a product that doesn’t exist yet.


#2

I’ve also been following this simply out of anger! It’s not a game I have any interest in but it’s a greedy move that betrays their backers and that really bothers me as well. I have also seen a few YouTubers cover this. It’s simply despicable.


#3

I love all things XCOM, and this hurt me so damn much.

Your analysis is spot on: this was my fear when Metro Exodus went under the Epic banner. They’re not helping create a game, like Sony with Uncharted or Ubisoft with The Division 2. They’re poaching games, simple as that. They take games that are almost completed and buy them out.

Competition is good. Unfair competition is not. Valve wins this fight easily because simply put, they’re sticking to morals on this and won’t stoop to that level. They won’t keep games from GOG, Discord, or Epic because they don’t care. Darksiders 3, Super Meat Boy, and such are allowed on the Epic Store without any issue from Valve.

I’ll link my other two posts because I feel I’ve said everything I need to say on this matter, but the TL;DR is this: Epic’s current strategy is appalling and unacceptable. They’re trying to win over consumers by stabbing them in the back.


#4

This is gross, a slap in the face to each one of their backers. Apart from that, I’d be curious to know, how well these exclusive titles do sales-wise.


#5

Don’t know about the game in title, but I was just watching a Gamepedia stream on Hades: Battle out of Hell. It seems to be on Epic Games for $6.99, but the streamer said it was $20.00 and likely going up to $40.00 once out of early Acess.

Is he mistaken or does Epic set prices differently on purpose?


#6

Are you sure? I’m priced in pounds but a conversion gives me a current retail price of $20.49 for Hades on the EGS.


#7

Regional pricing guys, for me it’s $9.99; @Danacscott what region are u in?


#8

I blame the kids that stole mom’s credit card to make Epic Games rich with Fortnite, and the adult-kids as well. Now we have to deal with this shit. Sure sounds good to developers to get a higher cut of their products sales but these business moves from Epic Games is disgusting. I hate all the “exclusive” shit that grew with the console market, now we’ll be seeing it more frequently on PC unfortunately.


#9

@xist I’m in the Caribbean. I’m assuming the $6.99 is USD. Hm.


#10

y it’s USD if it says $ (except for anyone based in a country with a different $ currency ofc); it’s USD for me on both Epic and Steam though im in egypt


#11

An important point is the Devs only see the benefits of the higher revenue split if the publishers don’t just pocket the money. Ideally the dev doing this is their own publisher to see those benefits like with Coffee Stain Studio but even then I don’t want to support exclusively especially on PC. I’m conflicted because I want devs to get as much as they can but not if it means locking a game to a specific launcher. It seems especially pointless when you consider that piracy is available.


#12

Yup, added to cart and it’s definitely $6.99 to me for whatever reason. Perhaps I should just stick to scrimping for DMC 5 and wait until it’s on Steam to get it though.

Not very politically minded and not entirely sure why you guys think that Epic is doing something shady.


#13

YIKES

I just got these links quietly nudged in my direction, and let me tell you, the prospect of this is horrifying.

It doesn’t get more anticonsumer than secretly spying on every single thing you do in your rival’s platform. If this is true, the EGL finds the location of your Steam client and spies on every game you play as well as the contents of your Steam Cloud and your friends list.

This means Epic is weaponizing consumers without their knowledge, using them to collect data en masse about their rival. We’re all unknowingly spying on Valve on their behalf, all because of some curiosity in anything from Fortnite, to the UE4 engine, to even something like Paragon.

This is just atrocious in every sense of the word, not to mention the EU implications. Epic’s a f___ing force of evil that needs to be stopped at this point.

As it stands, I’m fully wiping EGL off my computers now. I don’t care what kind of exclusives they have, I’ll even give up Unreal Engine 4. I was excited to play Thimbleweed Park, now I’m deleting it without a single launch. This cannot stand.


#14

They told the people that funded it that it was coming to steam and gog and then at the very last second they yanked both for an entire year and only gave you the option to get it on Epic. They abused their fans to get the initial funding then sold out to epic. Also their community manager stated that even if 100% of people got a refund they will still have profited from the Epic paycheck alone.


#15

In their eyes, it could also be a calculated risk to provide the better game. Surely they could put that amount of money towards hiring new employees, higher-budget DLC, etc.? I wouldn’t mind the game getting pushed a year back to be better for it.

Don’t blame the developers here, blame the company that’s poaching games for profit and exposure. Oh, and they’re deliberately spying on what you do with Steam, so that’s nice too.


#16

Never installed the Launcher though Subnautica looked really nice and now won’t unless something changes. It sounds essentially like hacking, the spying into Steam bit. Definitely not nice at all.

I guess it’s hard for a developer to say No to ready cash, especially these days, but it’s a harsh one on the fans that did the initial funding.

Hopefully we’re getting a new computer in May, we’ll see. Who knows, maybe Epic will get wise and stop pissing off the fan base.


#17

How are you making that argument?
This is entirely the developers choice, no one was holding a gun to their head and forcing them to take Epic’s deal. They’re not starving dogs finding only Epic willing to provide a meal.

These developers are 100% at fault, in fact I’m not blaming Epic for this one. They may be applying unpleasant business tactics. Poaching games, as distasteful as it is, is not really out of line. Accepting the deal is entirely on you as the developer.


#18

I agree with you to an extent. I don’t solely blame the devs but I hold them to a high standard that you need to be faithful to your fans first. I’m sure it’s just me and I’m probably a naive idealist but I’d rather have an honest dev that I trust with a worse game than get a better game in the end after my trust is betrayed by the developer. I definitely believe in the ‘games should come first’ philosophy but not at the expense of the fans let alone the backers. I just want an honest dev I can love!

Edit: Nevermind I do blame them, I looked it up and they are self published so this was entirely their choice.


#19

It could just be me fanboying, and I totally understand why you’d be upset. Personally, I’m a huge fan of Julian Gollop’s work, and hold him in high regards; I definitely didn’t expect this. In his eyes, he could see it as a way to improve the game without risking anything but ruffled feathers, and if so he’s entirely right.


Quick interruption:
@Fraggles The main point I’m trying to make is that this hand is being extended by a company trying to deliberately undermine competition in an unfair manner, but for a developer, they have no reason to care about this unless their customers overwhelmingly do. This isn’t really the case (yet). Instead, they see it as a profitable venture where nobody completely loses and the game comes out stronger, or their studio is more secure. These aren’t entirely irrational, despite what I may have to say about having to wait a year for a game I’ve been seriously looking forward to.


What I find disgusting is that I know exactly why this deal happened. Epic is only interested because of the game’s excellent development cycle. While I wasn’t able to back the game, I know people who did, and they have overwhelming positivity about the game. Everything I’ve seen of the game so far and secondhand descriptions of the backer-exclusive demo have been glowing with praise for the game. THIS is the only reason why Epic cares. Had the game suffered in development but shown potential, they wouldn’t bother. Had the game been made by developers adamant about sticking to DRM-free trends, they would move along. The only reason they care is because the game is looking like a surefire hit anyway.

Don’t you love it when companies devolve into wannabe evil empires?


#20

I don’t get what your point is.
Of course they only care that the game looks like a good financial investment. Have we at any point confused Epic games for a charity? Who thought they were running a half way home for poor games developers down on their luck, just needing a break to come out of their shells and shine as bright as Epic always knew they could under their loving care and nurturing?

I’m talking very specifically about this one developer, Snapshot games, because they went into a contract with their backers saying “give us this much money and we’ll make this game to these specs and deliver it to you in this particular specifically mentioned manner”. They went back on that deal and not only did they break this contract they, according to what I’m told in this thread, spat in their customer’s eyes

Wow, what the hell is wrong with these people?
I don’t really know these people from before, but at this point I can not by any means respect them. I’ll never buy a game from people who will treat their customers with such disregard.

As for why they should care. The very basics that makes business operations possible in the first place, creating and honouring contracts is why they should care. I would very much like to see people not just accepting a refund for being unhappy with this altering of the deal. This should go to court in some way shape or form, even if it’s just a Consumer Agency case.

Edit: Just as a record, this is still on their Fig main page FAQ section.
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