Everspace 2

Gunstar One

Spaceman
Hi, longtime lurker here, just wanted to drop a note about Everspace 2 here since I was surprised to find no mention of it around these parts.

It's currently nearing the end of its kickstarter, with some 48 hours left to go from the time of this post, and is promising some major additions/changes to the gameplay as compared to their previous successfully-released game. This time it'll play out in a persistent, open-world series of space and planetary environments as opposed to the original rogue-like randomized areas of space of the first game, for one. It'll also feature HOTAS support alongside its Freelancer-like mouse-and-keyboard setup, among other peripherals.

Another detail (that I found particularly important) is that they've promised, and re-promised publicly and officially that they won't suddenly go Epic-exclusive at any time before or after the kickstarter and that they'll release the final game on all popular platforms at around the same time, specifically such as on GOG (my preference, by the way), Steam, and Epic. They'll be doing early-access on Steam, however, due to their previous experience with it. Link to an article where they double-down on their non-exclusivity (beyond early access on Steam) for reference here: https://www.gamesindustry.biz/articles/2019-09-09-rockfish-interview-everspace-2

I thought other space-sim fans might want to have a look, maybe help kick it over the pledging threshold, of which it's nearing but still needs a chunk to get over: https://www.kickstarter.com/projects/rockfishgames/everspace-2/
 
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Pedro

Admiral
I really do hate the anti Epic fanboy sentiment. The split to developers is far fairer; and if ever you wanted Half-Life 3 the best way is for Valve to feel like they have competition for the first time in a decade; as right now they surely have no motivation to make games.

Still Everspace 2 does look visually impressive - I keep forgetting to pledge, thanks for the reminder.
 
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L.I.F.

Vice Admiral
I really do hate the anti Epic fanboy sentiment.
Epic only has itself to blame for it, with its tactic of extremely aggressive exclusive titles. Exclusivity was one of the worst aspects of consoles, which Epic is doing its utmost to bring to PC gaming. So, not rewarding them for such a move is not fanboyism, simply people voting with their wallets. :)
 

Pedro

Admiral
Epic only has itself to blame for it, with its tactic of extremely aggressive exclusive titles. Exclusivity was one of the worst aspects of consoles, which Epic is doing its utmost to bring to PC gaming. So, not rewarding them for such a move is not fanboyism, simply people voting with their wallets. :)
Oh me oh my, It boggles my mind as to how that narrative became so twisted (I'd hazard a guess it didn't happen by accident however). The argument against exclusives on consoles was having to buy multiple pieces of hardware; what is it here?

The money for those exclusives supports developers, allows them to release their games - to take a fair cut and have money left to go and develop the next title. It's seems crazy to reward a company for not developing or investing in other companies and then taking a huge chunk of change for very little work. Valve don't have exclusives anymore; they don't need them - they have a monopoly and that's not good for anyone.
 
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L.I.F.

Vice Admiral
Oh me oh my, It boggles my mind as to how that narrative became so twisted (I'd hazard a guess it didn't happen by accident however). The argument against exclusives on consoles was having to buy multiple pieces of hardware; what is it here?

The money for those exclusives supports developers, allows them to release their games - to take a fair cut and have money left to go and develop the next title. It's seems crazy to reward a company for not developing or investing in other companies and then taking a huge chunk of change for very little work. Valve don't have exclusives anymore; they don't need them - they have a monopoly and that's not good for anyone.
If Epic was so efficient, they wouldn't need to be so aggressive with exclusivity deals. That kind of attitude they have to go out of their way to poach games and keep them in their own closed market, to stop me from buying them on GOG or Steam? Yeah, no. I'd rather wait until it gets released elsewhere. Plus, it's not as if I didn't have a large backlog of games anyway, so... *shrugs* As for Steam doing very little work, managing to get such an efficient infrastructure to allow the required bandwidth, both for downloads and updates or mods at the scale Steam works - and Epic isn't nearly there yet - is many things, but "very little work" it isn't. Here, I just checked, at one point during the past 48 hours, Steam had to manage a bandwidth peak of 1.4 petabyte per second. If you think that's very little work...

But in any case, as long as Epic acts like an *** with its policy of exclusive games, I'm simply going to vote with my wallet, simple as that. Though it's not as if they need my cash anyway, with this Fortnite thing of theirs. As for the devs, if they think they should not allow me to get their game on more than a single platform for no material reason - say, the availability of special peripherals on specific hardware, for example - then I won't get their game.

You talk about monopolies, but Steam got its "monopoly" because it was better than the competition. Epic is imposing a monopoly on some games by actively making sure the games do not get sold elsewhere.
 
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Pedro

Admiral
If Epic was so efficient, they wouldn't need to be so aggressive with exclusivity deals. That kind of attitude they have to go out of their way to poach games and keep them in their own closed market, to stop me from buying them on GOG or Steam? Yeah, no. I'd rather wait until it gets released elsewhere. Plus, it's not as if I didn't have a large backlog of games anyway, so... *shrugs* As for Steam doing very little work, managing to get such an efficient infrastructure to allow the required bandwidth, both for downloads and updates or mods at the scale Steam works - and Epic isn't nearly there yet - is many things, but "very little work" it isn't. Here, I just checked, at one point during the past 48 hours, Steam had to manage a bandwidth peak of 1.4 petabyte per second. If you think that's very little work...

But in any case, as long as Epic acts like an *** with its policy of exclusive games, I'm simply going to vote with my wallet, simple as that. Though it's not as if they need my cash anyway, with this Fortnite thing of theirs. As for the devs, if they think they should not allow me to get their game on more than a single platform for no material reason - say, the availability of special peripherals on specific hardware, for example - then I won't get their game.

You talk about monopolies, but Steam got its "monopoly" because it was better than the competition. Epic is imposing a monopoly on some games by actively making sure the games do not get sold elsewhere.
This would be the perfect example of the point I was making. Monopolies aren't defined by an exclusive product, but by lack of competing products; infact a variety of different products is the definition of competition. A bunch of companies trying to sell you the same thing at different prices is the mess that is UK privatization of phone companies.
What difference can this bandwidth make to you, what difference can this exclusivity make to you unless you REFUSE to purchase from a store that isn't sporting the colours you've arbitrarily decided to back. These aren't arguments any consumer should be making - and I'm very confused as to whose interests you believe them to be in.
But yes, very little work for the income - that income being 30% of the entire PC market. Work to dollars they are the laziest company on the planet.

And lets be honest, a store is not a platform; it isn't. If you refuse to buy a game on a given store it's not due to hardware or software choices; it's a pledge of allegiance to a sports team or anything else that makes allows people to satisfy their need for an inside and an outside group with no rationale behind it.
 
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L.I.F.

Vice Admiral
This would be the perfect example of the point I was making. Monopolies aren't defined by an exclusive product, but by lack of competing products.
What difference can this bandwidth make to you, what difference can this exclusivity make to you unless you REFUSE to purchase from a store that isn't sporting the colours you've arbitrarily decided to back. These aren't arguments any consumer should be making - and I'm very confused as to whose interests you believe them to be in.
But yes, very little work for the income - that income being 30% of the entire PC market. Work to dollars they are the laziest company on the planet.
*looks at his large GOG library*

1572787624845.png


Hmm, I wasn't aware that I REFUSED to purchase from a store that isn't sporting Steam's colours. Thanks for the information. But, yeah, if you seriously believe that managing the bandwidth Steam manages is very little work, I guess you must also believe that Google does very little work with its data servers either, since the only thing you see from it is the search results.

You're the one who started ranting about people who boycott Epic, but the thing is, we're free consumers and we make our own choices. A choice that Epic wants to refuse us... well, no, scratch that, Epic, as a policy, offers us one choice: "buy here or don't buy at all".

Don't be surprised when people take the second option. ;-)
 

Pedro

Admiral
And is half-life 2 or left 4 dead available on GoG?

Make your own choices; developers are free to choose platforms where they receive support and funding.
Just figure out why you are making your choices; because it really is not clear.
 

L.I.F.

Vice Admiral
And is half-life 2 or left 4 dead available on GoG?

Make your own choices; we developers are free to choose platforms where we receive support and funding (and not hand over 30% of sales for what is VERY LITTLE WORK); and we will continue to do so.
Of course, that's your choice entirely. And don't be surprised if quite a number of people dislike the strong-arm tactics of Epic. As for HL2 and L4D, these are Valve games, and I would have no issue whatsoever with Epic keeping the games it designed on its own platform. It's the whole thing about making third-party games exclusives through sometimes last minute deals which pisses off a lot of people. Though I must say I'm still grinning at the idea that Valve isn't doing much work to keep its service working as it does now.

Just, don't be surprised to see some backlash when you rant because... some other devs decided to NOT have exclusivity and to offer their game through all services. After all, this is exactly what triggered your post, making your claims about developers' choices a bit hollow.

Please respect the choice of the Everspace 2 developers.
 

Pedro

Admiral
But the titles Epic are funding are produced with those funds... so they can't pay 3rd parties? That's a raw deal for us.
If you think that Valve is doing enough work to justify 30% of the PC market that's scary indeed; apparently they are really promoting their work and we are massively underselling ourselves.

I didn't object to those devs chosen direction, but to the OPs focus on where they release. There are a lot of pros to launching on steam; not least their their ability to reach a far larger audience. I would never criticize a developer for such a choice; developers didn't create this mess - they're just caught in the middle of it.
 
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Worf

Vice Admiral
The problem with Epic Games Store is it's incomplete. EGS does not have forums, so if you have a problem, well, if it's on Steam, then they get flooded with EGS support questions. I guess they will soon have a little tag that says if you own the game or not (call it an "anti-piracy" measure) so those who don't own it on Steam will be seen the same as those who pirated it (the Steam DRM apparently is easy enough to bypass).

But they're even missing basics like wishlists and shopping carts - you can't mark a game as something you're interested in, nor can you bundle up games under one purchase - once you click buy, that's it for the game. And then you lose the context for your purchase (perhaps you foudn it as a related game to some other game you were looking at more?).

Anyhow, at least now you don't have to give your credit card info to Epic - Humble Bundle Store re-sells EGS games as well, which can be cheaper than EGS from sales. I only noticed because some EGS exclusive game I was interested in I saw on Humble Bundle So I wishlisted it there to remind me about it. Just think of all the middlemen taking their cut - that 12% take gets a lot slimmer if people are buying through third party stores.

Also means the an EGS bundle isn't too far away. In the end, I'm going to see what happens first - the EGS is still too young for me to be renting games from it. And yes, it's a rental as long as you're bound by an online service to be able to install/download/play it. That, and my general rule of PC games to wait until they're under $10 or so before I'll buy them. After all, I have enough games to play that I don't mind waiting a year or so before it gets discounted.
 

L.I.F.

Vice Admiral
But the titles Epic are funding are produced with those funds... so they can't pay 3rd parties? That's a raw deal for us.

I didn't object to those devs chosen direction, but to the OPs focus on where they release. There's a lot of pros to launching on steam; not least their monopoly and therefore ability to reach a far larger audience.
It's this policy of paying devs to make artificial exclusives which angers many people, and for consumers like me, there is only one way to show our disapproval with such tactics: not buying. Well, that and possibly giving more attention to those devs who make the choice of not going for the exclusive deal. Though, I will also be very clear that I do not pirate the games I choose not to buy. For stuff like The Outer Worlds, Untitled Goose Game and others, I'll simply wait until the exclusivity is over and then I'll buy them somewhere else.
The problem with Epic Games Store is it's incomplete. EGS does not have forums, so if you have a problem, well, if it's on Steam, then they get flooded with EGS support questions. I guess they will soon have a little tag that says if you own the game or not (call it an "anti-piracy" measure) so those who don't own it on Steam will be seen the same as those who pirated it (the Steam DRM apparently is easy enough to bypass).

But they're even missing basics like wishlists and shopping carts - you can't mark a game as something you're interested in, nor can you bundle up games under one purchase - once you click buy, that's it for the game. And then you lose the context for your purchase (perhaps you foudn it as a related game to some other game you were looking at more?).
Yeah, I've heard things about the EGS being pretty barebones., that's another issue. In the end, Steam provides more services, particularly for bigger games. For indie? Maybe EGS is kinda enough. Maybe EGS provides as much as Steam from the dev's PoV - though I seriously doubt it - but it seems that it definitely doesn't for the consumer. Steam's Workshop, for example, was a divine gift for Homeworld modders like me compared to ModDB.
 

Pedro

Admiral
The problem with Epic Games Store is it's incomplete. EGS does not have forums, so if you have a problem, well, if it's on Steam, then they get flooded with EGS support questions. I guess they will soon have a little tag that says if you own the game or not (call it an "anti-piracy" measure) so those who don't own it on Steam will be seen the same as those who pirated it (the Steam DRM apparently is easy enough to bypass)
This is all true; I fail to see it as a reason to boycott a game - but a fair reason to choose one store over the other when a title is on both.
Personally I like the bare bones take; I had more fun when I selected games based on relevance to me rather than user reviews - and the steam wish list is a curse which causes me to buy dozens of titles every sale I could have lived without; but those are all certainly personal preferences.
 

L.I.F.

Vice Admiral
This is all true; I fail to see it as a reason to boycott a game - but a fair reason to choose one store over the other when a title is on both.
It's less the game than the platform itself which is boycotted for this kind of behaviour. Hell, I'd be entirely ready to pay directly the devs for a copy of the game, but I just don't want to give money to Epic and reward them for their policy, so I wait until the exclusivity period is over to buy the game on another platform.

As for the additional features of Steam, the Workshop is wonderful, and the forums are pretty useful for the players. Same, the capability to quickly stream gameplay made for very memorable moments with contacts of mine in From The Depths. These are serious pros for Steam from the players' PoV.
 

ChrisReid

Super Soaker Collector / Administrator
It's less the game than the platform itself which is boycotted for this kind of behaviour.
People keep saying "platform" and comparing it to console exclusivity, but it's not like that, right? I'm asking seriously, because I've never bought a game from either Steam or Epic. Are people mad that this exclusivity is forcing them to open up a different website/launcher/storefront on their same exact hardware to buy/play a game? Seems like excessive internet tribalism forcing a developer to "promise and re-promise publicly and officially" that they'll not go exclusive to one store, especially when it's still super common for games to only come out for one of the big three consoles.

I primarily play games on Mac and Xbox, and Rebel Galaxy Outlaw's Epic exclusivity, for example, isn't the same thing as the game not being available on my *platforms*. I wish all I had to do to get it to run on my best hardware was buy it from the right store.
 

L.I.F.

Vice Admiral
People keep saying "platform" and comparing it to console exclusivity, but it's not like that, right? I'm asking seriously, because I've never bought a game from either Steam or Epic. Are people mad that this exclusivity is forcing them to open up a different website/launcher/storefront on their same exact hardware to buy/play a game? Seems like excessive internet tribalism forcing a developer to "promise and re-promise publicly and officially" that they'll not go exclusive to one store, especially when it's still super common for games to only come out for one of the big three consoles.
For PC gaming, it's a pretty toxic behaviour to force everyone to use one's specific store to buy the games. Steam is omnipresent, yes, but it doesn't force the customers to get a game through their store: it's successful because it offers a better service than the competition (like Origin and whatever Ubisoft has). But even then, Origin, Ubisoft's store or GOG were coexisting pretty nicely, with a lot of games being available on various stores.

But then Epic pulled stuff like getting exclusivity agreements with devs weeks before the planned release of large games as a bid to force people to use their service, which isn't that good to begin with for the players themselves. It's a pretty aggressive business practice and there's a number of people, me included, who simply won't give Epic our cash because of this. I'm not going to review-bomb or whatever nonsense, but I disagree with this kind of action and act accordingly. If they want to get a better market share, I'd rather see them improving their service to be anywhere close to GOG.

Hell, GOG is a pretty good example of competition done well: they don't have the resources to build the network performance of Steam (Valve's work there is a serious performance in terms of data management), so they built themselves a market through oldies, indies and a progressive posture on DRM that ultimately created strong loyalty from their customers. Now, they offer new releases as well and their business model works without pissing off a good part of the market for whom not being in the same situation as XBox/Switch/PS4 was a point of pride.

Epic is getting on the market, but at the cost of a lot of negative backlash. As for "forcing a developer to promise, re-promise", to not go exclusive, I doubt anyone outside the usual Twitter banshees are doing it, if only because non-exclusivity is still the norm and exclusivity an exception.
 

ChrisReid

Super Soaker Collector / Administrator
I'm just not seeing what's so "toxic" or "aggressive" about any of this. I'm looking at people like Howard and Travis, who are not dummies and just trying to do what makes the most sense, and for some games, that means just being on the Epic store. It seems like people have chosen to be horribly offended by that, and I'm still not seeing why. It seems pretty standard on every non-PC platform... and it's not new or even limited to gaming. I'd be more angry at Target for making me shop there to get the special store-exclusive Super Soakers or Taylor Swift albums, because I have to get up and travel farther (...and if I can just get those from their website, it doesn't seem like a big deal).

If that example doesn't resonate, just go back to RGO. If I'm a PC player, what exactly is the problem with creating an account at the Epic store and buying it there? (and helping the developers to a greater degree than at Steam) Compare that to the fact that on consoles they'll just be releasing on PS4 and Switch, so if you don't have those systems, you're just out of luck and can't play. That's real exclusivity. You can't just go out and buy that system for several hundred dollars - adding a new console to the living room is investing in a whole new ecosystem with expensive controllers and a proprietary online service. Being in just one of many PC stores seems like such a low barrier to be upset about in comparison.
 
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Gunstar One

Spaceman
As a consumer, I want the most for my buck. The topic of exclusivity is important to me for a variety of reasons, a major component of which is whether or not the platform a game is exclusive to is worth the hassle.

Disclaimer: I hated being forced to use Steam back in the day, I hated how games on PC suddenly became reliant on a specific digital platform. I'm a PC gamer because I enjoy the open-ended world of PCs; the ability to build my own system, customize it how I like, and to use it as I see fit. So when you constrain me to a digital platform, forcing me to become beholden to it, it grates on me.

Steam has, admittedly, grown since its initial release and is no longer an obnoxious bloatware on my system. It has many features that make it a world of its own. It has ways to build communities, to communicate with developers, to share gameplay with others, etc. etc. etc. Other people have already said as much and more. It no longer grates on me in the way it once did, but my chief concern will always be whether or not Steam will someday end up shutting down and leaving me without access to products I've paid for to enjoy from now till I'm buried.

That's why I like GOG as a platform, personally, because no matter what happens, those DRM-free games will, in some form of fashion, survive long after GOG ceases to exist (barring giant EMP blasts or the sudden extinction of humanity and whatnot). Compared with my massive Steam library, my GOG library still comes out ahead in numbers of games I've purchased over the years (many I've willingly double-purchased on both said platforms, to support the developers and the GOG platform in particular), and will always be the first place I look to for new (or good old) games.

Epic, by comparison, still has nothing to offer me as a consumer. Sure, they keep giving out free games that I already have on two or more digital platforms I use, but that isn't enough to convert me over. The only real benefit is to getting some exclusive, or limited-time exclusive games only currently available on their Epic digital platform. In nearly every other way, it lacks or is completely backwards (years behind, even) on features that are and have been standard on its rivals, Steam or otherwise. Beyond that, there are multiple issues others have with Epic's digital platform, such as whether people's private information is secure, their heavy ties with China-owned Tencent, etc., but I consider these to be icing on the cake compared with the overall lack of user-friendly features.

I understand that, for struggling developers and major publishers who like to see additional dollar signs, getting an exclusive contract offered to them by Epic with a large, undisclosed amount of money to help keep them afloat or flush is tempting and beneficial. But for me, as a consumer, this doesn't exactly translate to me in such a way that makes it beneficial for me to spend money on the Epic digital platform itself. At best, I can wait for them to work out the bugs and release former exclusives on my preferred platforms, especially after seeing how other consumers receive and report on the games. I can also save money by waiting for sales on my preferred platforms after the fact, if I decide to spend money on them at all.

The Everspace developers, in particular, noted that there is a growing distrust between consumers and developers/publishers in regards to several noteworthy events where Epic has, quite literally, swept games out from under other digital platforms despite promises made to release on them years ahead of time. Who wants to back a kickstarter project, for instance, when they aren't sure if the people running it aren't going to go back on their word near the end on important promises made from the get-go? Consumers like their choices, and they have their personal preferences. Promising one thing and providing something else entirely isn't the fastest way to earn consumer trust.

The Everspace developers know how important trust is between them and their fanbase, as well as others interested in their games, and want to ensure their public image remains trustworthy. It's hard to earn money from everyday consumers if they don't trust the makers of the product. They want people, particularly the ones who have already spent money on them, to believe them when they say the game will, in this instance, be available on final release for Steam, GOG, and Epic. It would not be a fun ordeal for Steam and GOG users to find out later down the road that, instead, the game will suddenly only be available on Epic for an indeterminate period of time, especially if they don't want to use the Epic platform in the first place.

In the end, if there are people who want to use Epic or don't care either way and get their games on Epic's platform, that is their consumer choice. But I feel there are better ways of handling the issue than by pulling fast ones on people who have spent money with the expectation that they're getting something specific when they're not. There's more than a few good reasons why I no longer back just any old kickstarter project that tickles my interest (ugh, The Mandate!), and the same goes for pre-orders and even sales. I'm much more careful as a result of past mishandlings.

It remains to be seen if Everspace 2 will truly succeed expectations, but they pulled it off once, so that's something worthwhile to note, and I have no reason to distrust their word and promises for the time being. So they get my backing, and possibly multiple purchases of their game and DLC on alternate platforms if I like what I see later down the line.

Apologies for the wall of text, but that's all I've got to say on that particular subject.

Edit: And I want to add that I'm not singling out any developers who have taken the Epic deal when offered to them, but rather I'm critical of the ones who made promises to be on GOG, Steam, etc. and suddenly reneged on said promises after it was taken for granted. Developers have to do what they have to do to stay afloat, but it shouldn't be at the expense of their consumer base, who are ultimately the ones who might be buying their products to help pay the bills down the line.
 
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Pedro

Admiral
These are the two things that annoy me:

especially if they don't want to use the Epic platform in the first place.
Why? No one has given a good reason why someone would not want to use another store

In the end, if there are people who want to use Epic or don't care either way and get their games on Epic's platform, that is their consumer choice.
And it's the developers choice which platform they put it on. You can't give an essay on the important of choice and then deny developers the same option. If it's on both then that's the consumers choice; if it's on one and they as a result fewer/ more people stumble upon it that's a free market in action.
Actively boycotting a store even for a game you know about and are interested in isn't particularly rational; it's smacks of sticking it to the developers for doing whats best for them and their game (and potentially the only way the game would ever get released) based on a personal attachment.
 

L.I.F.

Vice Admiral
Why? No one has given a good reason why someone would not want to use another store
Noone has given a reason you agree with, but that doesn't mean noone has given a good reason. Epic offers a thoroughly inferior service and has aggressive practices that piss off many people. While you might disagree as a dev, many customers agree with these two core reasons and act accordingly.

In the end, in any form of business, the customer is the ultimate judge of things. So, yes, you have your freedom as a dev', but we have our freedom as consumers, and denying the validity of our reasons to boycott Epic isn't going to make us spend our money there. On the contrary, actually.

In the meantime, I'll be glad to buy RGO, Untilted Goose Game and a few other such titles when they get released on GOG.
 
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