Evolve Dev: "I Don't Like People Thinking We're Doing Dirty, Underhanded S***"

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Evolve Dev: "I Don't Like People Thinking We're Doing Dirty, Underhanded S***"

evolve - jan first look screenshots (11)

Evolve director Phil Robb is tired of people thinking his game's DLC policies are "underhanded".

Ever since Evolve dev Turtle Rock Studio's co-founder Chris Ashton said that the game would be built from the ground-up to accommodate DLC, the company has been facing numerous accusations of shady, consumer un-friendly DLC practices. Evolve director Phil Robb tried to defend the practices on his official forums, but alas, to little avail, so now he is venting his frustrations with the community to Destructoid.

"I don't like people thinking we're doing underhanded, dirty shit," Robb said, referring to Ashton's initial "DLC-vehicle" quote. He added that his co-worker's choice of words was "unfortunate," and the fan furor that followed was "hugely disheartening" for him.

Robb went on to clarify what Ashton actually meant by that initial quote, stating "We have the game set up in such a way that we can expand upon it if that is the desire. Our plan is one we pushed for as consumers. Never split the community, no pay to win, all that kind of bullshit that are hallmarks of DLC plans specifically made to leech money out of people."

While he admitted that there are of course, bills to be paid and money to be made with DLC, "If we're going to make money we want to feel good about the way we've done it," Robb stressed. "We don't want to feel like we've hoodwinked people."

However, Robb did say that he didn't "quite understand the knee-jerk negative reaction to DLC. Because I know for me, as a gamer, when I have a game I really love and I play it for a while and I want more, I want more. I'll pay for it. I don't mind." He added that "There are way too many ideas we cannot fit into the box, Budget-wise, time-wise, there's too much cool shit for us to leave it laying there and never do anything with it. But we wanted to be good about it as consumers," which is consistent with his earlier statement that when Evolve ships, none of it's DLC will be finished.

What do you think about Evolve's DLC practices? Can you sympathize with Robb, or do you think that this complicated mess of pre-order/DLC bonuses is about as "dirty and underhanded" as it can be?

Source: Destructoid

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Ok, cool, sounds great. Then sell the full game at a reduced price.

If he really is being truthful about this and the game is shipping with only a portion of the complete ideas, it should be sold for a portion of the original price.

Valve tried at least. The whole idea behind Left 4 Dead was to sell it cheap, then sell tons of content over the course of its life. The didn't exactly hold up their end of the deal, but at least the intention was there.

Then stop doing dirty, underhanded shit.

Well then don't do it. :P
...
Okay okay probably not fair to say that but the preorder bonuses are a bunch of bullshit especially if you had so little characters already. I like DLC personally, but it has become a dirty word for awhile now, these kinds of DLC methods are the reason.

I genuinely cannot understand the outrage about this. Frequently DLC has to be 'built into the game' in that, without framework already being present in the game, stuff can't be added at all. That doesn't mean the DLC has (or could be) finished before the game was finished and is intentionally being held back to be sold later. I hear this a lot from developers of fighting games, who have to set up dummy 'slots' with some data attached in order to add DLC characters later.

It's quite simple.

If the DLC feels like it should have been apart of the original project, and it is in fact 'Day one DLC', it's underhanded and reprehensible. If it's a monster that you just thought of three months down the line and you think people will like it... it's fine. It's even welcomed.

Getting more of an experience is perfectly acceptable and something we all want. Having everything planned out, done, but then sold to us piecemeal when we bought a fractured product at full price? That's disgusting.

I don't find it dirty or underhanded. I think the automatic hysteria over DLC is a bit dumb.

I do however find it rather tiresome. I don't want to have to look at a fucking flowchart when buying a game.

Just give me everything and put a fucking price tag on it. I shall then decide whether or not I want to pay that price. Bam. Done. Sold. Simple.

People have gotten too up in arms. And I'm afraid I've acted like one of them in the course of making up my mind. 2K are the ones jerking their spunk all over the place with the 8 different DLC packages that offer absolutely fucking nothing, as well as the "season pass" that isn't actually a season pass. Get mad at 2K, not at Turtle Rock people.

Another thing to consider is that the maps are given out free, whereas they're usually sold. Turtle Rock probably had to fight to not break up the community. If you add in the maps and the gamemodes along with the DLCs, it adds up to a fair(ish) price.

2K are still a pack of cunts though.

Maybe you could have taken a few notes from Valve on building goodwill when they helped you make Left 4 Dead. Those games sold millions on PC alone and all the DLC was free.

Zhukov:
I don't find it dirty or underhanded. I think the automatic hysteria over DLC is a bit dumb.

I do however find it rather tiresome. I don't want to have to look at a fucking flowchart when buying a game.

Just give me everything and put a fucking price tag on it. I shall then decide whether or not I want to pay that price. Bam. Done. Sold. Simple.

I completely agree. I just want to pay for a game ONCE and get all of its content. You know, back in the good old days where you bought a game, and any future content was free, released in patches, or bundled with a major, MAJOR amount of content in an expansion pack.

I would have said Blizzard is one of the last devs to still do this, but the pricing structure for Heroes of the Storm is fucking awful.

Honestly, people are too whiny.

It doesn't even matter if the DLC was done before or after a game is finished. All that matters is clarity, make sure people know what they're buying and what isn't included. That's it. Don't like the value for the price? Don't fucking buy it.

Game companies are a business, and games are just a product. They can choose whatever development and marketing process they damn well feel like. The only objectionable factor in this type of thing is if a company should be deceptive about what they're selling.

For example, if the marketing implies that you get x amount of monsters when you buy the game, when in fact you only get some and the rest are dlc, that's a problem, they sold a product through false advertisements. If that is not happening, then shut the fuck up, voice your opinion on the value of their offerings with your wallet.

He just sounds like another corporate lapdog.

Gameplay DLC and grinding for equipment has always and will allays negatively affect versus MP games. And I just don't have the time or the will to deal with this s*it.

If Evolve's devs are reading this, I have an observation followed by a suggestion; You don't want this to be seen as underhanded, but that is precisely as you have presented it. You have advertised DLC before the game has even been released. You have promoted all these (admittedly) cool things, before the game has even been released. You are making grand plans, before the game has even been released. See where we are going with this here? And now for the suggestion; Game development is like poker, never show your full hand. You have shown your full hand before the chips were even put on the table.

How do you recover? Well, you are marketing this as a full game, popular opinion is that with all this DLC, it is not a full game. Don't sell it as a full game. Your hubris has cost cost you, don't make your customers foot the bill.

However, Robb did say that he didn't "quite understand the knee-jerk negative reaction to DLC. Because I know for me, as a gamer, when I have a game I really love and I play it for a while and I want more, I want more. I'll pay for it. I don't mind."

Seriously, I'm getting sick of this nonsense. We ALL know that good DLC is fun and rewarding, and that there is a desire for it. But if you're the director of a game, and especially one which is likely to have a metric tonne of DLC, it is your responsibility to figure out that some DLC - Day One, or on-the-disc stuff, for example - is problematic. Putting on rose-tinted glasses and claiming that you don't understand means you are not doing your job.

Directors and publishers: stop implying that there is something wrong with us because we don't swallow this nonsense without question, and do your goddamn jobs.

(The cynic in me realises they are doing their jobs. People like this are intentionally courting controversy by firing up the fanboys to support them against the more rational complaints of saturation, and they've figured out that a cursory statement along the lines of 'We're not planning to do what we're planning to do, honest!' is all the protection they need. It's too early in the morning for this. I need coffee.)

While I'm sure that some of the reaction was toxic, I can't call it a "kneejerk reaction". When gamers have spent the last few years dealing with massive pushes for pre-ordering and retailer exclusive pre-order DLC, season passes that don't include all the DLC or include half of it on the disc already, every game having a season pass of some kind, and even "we swear that it wasn't finished when the game went gold" (though I don't know why that's such a hot button) DLC being way over-priced as far as the entertainment-to-dollar ratio goes compared to the "base game" (fuck this has gotten ridiculous), hearing "the game was built from the ground up for DLC" just sounds like someone saying something suicidal from a PR standpoint (There's a run-on sentence for ya).

I get the idea that if a game is good some people might want more of it, or that some people make stupid amounts of money (TB spending $12,000 or so on Hearthstone cards comes to mind), but one has to realize that when discussing DLC, especially the idea of building your game around the presence of a large amount of it, it should be common sense that not many people are going to take the "I'd like more of a good thing" route. I'm not interested in Evolve, but talk like this immediately makes me think I should just wait until the GOTY (even if it isn't declared game of the year there's a fucking GOTY) so that I feel like I'm purchasing a complete game, not buying the 1.0 before 17 patches and DLC packs and bypassing the server and balance issues.

I feel I should also add that it probably isn't wise to even acknowledge the idea that you are or aren't doing "dirty, underhanded shit", or saying that you don't like what your potential consumers think. Someone should probably avoid diving directly into the notorious "official game forums" and taking what goes on in there personally, because their public response to it all is making me really not consider Evolve.

Side-Side note: If your game has gone gold, then people playing before launch is not a "beta". I'm pretty sure Destiny pulled this shit. It's called a "multiplayer demo". Unless the rules of software development changed while I was distracted.

Personally, I find the amount of advertising for the DLC of the game to be quite off-putting. I swear I've heard more about the different pre-order bonuses and DLC than the actual content of the game. This has me skeptical about how many hours of play I'd get before getting bored and wanting all of the extra stuff.

Also, I don't really get the amount of corporate apology that's going on here. When other publishers do things like this, people get rightfully annoyed with them. Is it because Turtle Rock used to work with Valve?

Maybe I just don't get it. In my eyes, it's a game that's being built with the F2P micro-transactions while also charging full price for the game itself. It'd be like if League of Legends started charging 30 bucks (obviously Evolved does have higher production values so I wouldn't compare them both as 60 dollar games) for the game itself while keeping all of the micro-transactions.

Steven Bogos:

Zhukov:
I don't find it dirty or underhanded. I think the automatic hysteria over DLC is a bit dumb.

I do however find it rather tiresome. I don't want to have to look at a fucking flowchart when buying a game.

Just give me everything and put a fucking price tag on it. I shall then decide whether or not I want to pay that price. Bam. Done. Sold. Simple.

I completely agree. I just want to pay for a game ONCE and get all of its content. You know, back in the good old days where you bought a game, and any future content was free, released in patches, or bundled with a major, MAJOR amount of content in an expansion pack.

I would have said Blizzard is one of the last devs to still do this, but the pricing structure for Heroes of the Storm is fucking awful.

Thing is, I don't actually mind them carving up their games. Especially when it's Free-to-Play (which this isn't). Their game, their pricing model, their choice.

But I just wish they'd include an Absolutely Everything Pack. They can price it at whatever they think it's worth.

I'm reminded of a line from Lucky Number Slevin:

"The first time someone calls you a horse, you punch him on the nose. The second time someone calls you a horse, you call him a jerk. A third guy calls you a horse, well maybe it's time you started shopping for a saddle."

I was semi-interested in the game after the beta, I wasn't sure a game could carry off what it was doing for too long without getting stale, but the same could've been said for L4D, and I played the crap out of that. But honestly, charging as much as they are has killed my interest.

If the base game was a lot cheaper and supported by these, I could respect that. If the game itself was (slightly) more expensive but came with free content updates for the life of the game, I could respect that. But this? No thank you. Maybe when it inevitably goes 75% off in a steam sale I'll have another look.

I agree with the sentiment that Turtle Rock Should have taken more pointers when they were part of Valve.
I mean look at Left 4 Dead 2, which got the entire first game's maps and characters ported into it for free, along with 2 free (on PC at least) smaller DLC campaigns with 'The Sacrifice' and 'The Passing'.
Hell, another of Valve's games; Dota 2, doesn't lock of important content like characters (or any thing gameplay related) behind paywalls and its a F2P game, where you expect this shady butchering and parcelling out of content.

So yeah If you don't want people complaining about your shady DLC practices Turtle Rock, don't have shady DLC practices.

AntiChri5:
Then stop doing dirty, underhanded shit.

Exactly my response. It's like someone saying "I'm not racist, but..." and then completely falsifying the first part of that statement by saying something racist. This guys is basically saying "We're not doing underhanded shit, but we do want you to preorder a special edition of the game at double the price of the standard game because, if you don't, you'll miss out on actually having fun and you don't count as a customer to us."

What a clown.

Oh, you're offended that people who have been screwed over more times than can be counted don't take you at your word when you say the same crap they've been fed time and time again?

Cry me a river. You're the ones who announced DLC before we saw even a single screenshot of the actual game. You are the ones who said that the game was made from the ground up promote its DLC. You are the ones who set it up so I can pay for the game before I know it is worth any money or pay $15 for a single playable character.

You want some good will? ******* Earn it.

Kopikatsu:
I genuinely cannot understand the outrage about this.

The problem is that Evolve is a retail game structured like a Free to Play game.

Buy the game, get the basic starter pack (four humans, three monsters and Daisy).
Want more skins? Pay money.
Want more monsters? Pay money.
Want more human characters? Pay money.
Want to accelerate your XP Grind? Pay money.
Want to skip the grind and get unlocks up front? Pay money.

Want to unlock this extra stuff by playing your full priced retail game? Haha good one.

I feel a bit sorry for Turtle Rock in this situation, they were clearly forced into this by THQ but they are going to suffer most for it. When the reviews come out saying that what's there's good, but there's very little of it and it's clearly a vector for DLC money they'll be the ones missing sales targets and bonuses.

If the game was £15 (or actually F2P) this wouldn't be such an issue, but it's not, it's selling itself at full price, where it won't be staying for long.

And we don't like games built around selling DLC first and being a game second. So I guess we're even, bub.

"We have the game set up in such a way that we can expand upon it if that is the desire."

Well clearly YOU desire it since you are already selling it before the game is even out. When that "cool shit" that you just couldn't fit in is already for sale (completed or not) that IS shady and underhanded.

The fact that you don't "quite understand the knee-jerk negative reaction to DLC" means either you're lying or you really are fucking clueless if you can't even understand why people are up in arms.

And no I'm not going to cut them slack even if it was THQ's idea. After Destiny I'm fucking done with this pay full price for the bare foundation and pay extra for the rest of the game bullshit. They are at the very least complicit to this shady business and no matter who's fault it is it doesn't change the fact that they are doing it anyway.

Maybe if they offer a complete package with everything at a discount then maybe I'll buy it. Cuz I played the early access beta demo and it is NOT that good.

I think the reason why so many people are disappointed with the way Evolve is turning out is due to how interesting the concept sounded.

To have this game you're liking the sound of and enjoying the way it's taking shape suddenly revealed as a DLC heavy and very expensive game is a pretty sure way to dash a lot of hopes.

There's nothing wrong with basing your game around DLC, heck if done right it can be a welcome thing (and by done right I mean that the base game doesn't cost too much and feel like half a game and the DLC isn't overpriced). What is wrong is making it seem like you're selling part of a game and then selling the other stuff later.

Only thing i hear is the DLC. Not heard much about the actual game apart from 4 players against a player controlled monster. They should have released this via PSN/Live/Steam for £25. An then had lots of DLC packs which added extra monsters and characters and weapons. Thing is if the game is great fun then they will sell lots of DLC as people will always want more content for a game they love.

i did raise an eye brow at all the different edition announced and being sold, dlc being announced, pre orders offered before a single screen shot of the game was even released

I like the way that they handling the DLC (ie, not splitting the community, not pay2win etc), but the problem that I have with it is just how much they have peddled the DLC and what you can get instead of peddling the game that isn't even out yet. I think that I'm with RedDeadFred here when I say that I know more about what you are going to release post-launch as opposed to what is actually releasing with the base game.

That and it is starting to sound a lot like a F2P game in how it does it's business model. Get the game and have access to 4 Hunters and 3 monsters, and then any more post-launch content will have to be paid for. That, and DLC saturation is never a good thing. Hell, I used to play a lot of Payday 2, and then I look at the store page now, and there is now £65 worth of DLC content. What on earth happened? I just never want to buy a game, then be faced with a wall of DLC that blocks me off from feeling like I actually own the whole game.

Zhukov:
I don't find it dirty or underhanded. I think the automatic hysteria over DLC is a bit dumb.

People have been burned by terrible companies doing terribly unethical things with DLC just to make a buck. I understand that, but to automatically try to shove anybody who produces DLC into that box makes you just as terrible as those terrible companies. Even if a game is designed for DLC that doesn't make it bad or the company bad.

I've looked over what the DLC polices are for Evolve and find nothing wrong with them in the slightest and the people blindly jumping on the bandwagon that there is something wrong with it I only have one thing to say: You are what's wrong with gamers today. You ARE the problem.

well done. now i really dont want to get the game if thats their business practice.
just put these idea all in and not deliver half a game and ask for more money afterwards for more content that should be already in the game.

The game is being sold at full AAA price and then has the nerve to have 50% more of its content behind a paywall.

People are pissed because they don't accept this level of gouging. Sell the game at a reduced price or include all the DLC with the full game.

You can't eat your cake and have it too.

Their DLC practices aren't the worst thing to me, supporting a game after release with DLC isn't always evil, Payday 2 has done a great job of it, if they didn't do DLC they would probably be on Payday 5 by now. That said, I think the devs did something smart in their implementation of DLC, first off massive amounts of game updates occur when DLC comes out that is free, and often times they alternate paid and free DLC. Plus players can still access some of the DLC without buying it so it doesn't separate playerbase, although I assume Evolve will do this too in some manner.

My biggest problem with Evolve is the preorder mess. I rarely preorder games and Evolve's crap merely reinforces this stance (plus I can't afford full price games anymore).

If Evolve wants to be viewed differently, they shouldn't mention DLC in any specific sense until the game is out, and they should ditch the season pass because they do nothing but make things look shady.

I haven't really been following this game at all, but isn't this the one that asked for pre-order money before a single screenshot was revealed, and did that silly 'lots of diferent pre-order packages' thing? It's not a Kickstarter title, is it?

For me the problem isn't really the post-launch DLC plan, for they have been upfront about it and with that said I wouldn't buy any of it for it sounds overpriced for what it offers. My issue and the reason why I won't be buying the game is how the physical game is being sold, its the same reason why I stopped buying Ubisoft games anywhere near launch for I don't want to feel like I am playing Eve Online trying to figure out what edition I am going to buy. Couple that with a bonus that is exclusive to a specific console you lose me as a customer.

Now with current trends and whatnot, the model I am willing to support is the three version release. The base game, a collector's edition, and a digital edition that has the digital bonuses from the collector's edition. I might not be completely happy with it, but it doesn't feel like I need to buy multiple copies of the game to get what I really want.

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