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Interview Feargus Urquhart and Fredrik Wester on the Pillars of Eternity distribution deal

Discussion in 'RPG Codex News & Content Comments' started by Infinitron, Mar 19, 2014.

  1. IDtenT Contact me for a good time Patron

    IDtenT
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    I enjoy a good straw man just as much as a post I agree with. This time I had the benefit of both; I agree with the post, but disagree with its use in this argument.
     
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  2. Infinitron I post news Patron

    Infinitron
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    Grab the Codex by the pussy Serpent in the Staglands Dead State Divinity: Original Sin Project: Eternity Torment: Tides of Numenera Wasteland 2 Shadorwun: Hong Kong Divinity: Original Sin 2 A Beautifully Desolate Campaign Pillars of Eternity 2: Deadfire Pathfinder: Kingmaker
    Summary of suejak's argument.

    suejak: "Obsidian ran out of money!"
    Infinitron: "But why would they even need to spend their own money on QA and marketing and distribution in the first place? Division of labor argument."
    suejak: "Uh, it's not about the division of labor! It's about how Paradox now has leverage over Obsidian. Yeah."
    Infintrion: "But they don't have leverage because Obsidian could easily replace them with another alternative in which the distributor gains no stake in the final product. See for example inXIle."
    suejak: "But...but...you guys hate Double Fine!!!"

    :lol:
     
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  3. bledcarrot Educated

    bledcarrot
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    I think suejak makes a pretty good point. If the deal was just for distribution for a percentage of profits, so be it, but the fact that it included QA (alarm bells) and kickstarter rewards says to me that they needed Paradox more than Paradox needed them. The whole QA thing doesn't gel as a division of labour issue when in this day and age you can leverage open beta and early access to iron out bugs before release. The danger is always that 'QA' leaks in to 'development duties.'
     
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  4. Infinitron I post news Patron

    Infinitron
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    Grab the Codex by the pussy Serpent in the Staglands Dead State Divinity: Original Sin Project: Eternity Torment: Tides of Numenera Wasteland 2 Shadorwun: Hong Kong Divinity: Original Sin 2 A Beautifully Desolate Campaign Pillars of Eternity 2: Deadfire Pathfinder: Kingmaker
    And that's precisely what they could do, but have chosen not to. If you look at Wasteland 2's reception on the Codex, it's hard to blame them. Obsidian is interested in releasing a more polished beta than other Kickstarter projects have, but if push comes to shove, they don't have to.

    No other Kickstarter project has this level of completeness at pre-release. Certainly not Wasteland 2.
     
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  5. Duraframe300 Arcane

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    They do QA on their own as well. The only thing this means is that Obsidian wants a bigger QA pool.

    I doubt they care all that about potential leaks as well.
     
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  6. suejak Arbiter Patron Village Idiot

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    Infinitron, I don't know where you got confused, but I'll put it into a sentence for you:

    Obsidian, running low on Kickstarter funds, took on an "opinionated" publisher who needs the game to be profitable to gain a return on its large investment.

    The Double Fine thing is just an ironic comment on fanboys, not part of the argument. You're blind and biased.
     
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  7. bledcarrot Educated

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    The question is why have they chosen not to? If the answer is simply that they want to release a more polished beta, then great. But the alternative is that they potentially needed Paradox, Paradox know it, and the polished beta might be polished with their spit....or something. OK that analogy kind of petered out. Anyway I don't necessarily think this is the case, I just think suejak raises a good point that the potential for that scenario is there.
     
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  8. Infinitron I post news Patron

    Infinitron
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    Grab the Codex by the pussy Serpent in the Staglands Dead State Divinity: Original Sin Project: Eternity Torment: Tides of Numenera Wasteland 2 Shadorwun: Hong Kong Divinity: Original Sin 2 A Beautifully Desolate Campaign Pillars of Eternity 2: Deadfire Pathfinder: Kingmaker
    Suejak: You are aware that Paradox hasn't actually given Obsidian any money, right? You can't pay your developer's salaries with QA and marketing services.

    If Obsidian had a money crisis two weeks ago, they still have it now.

    What other reason could there be? It doesn't cost much to put your game up on Early Access and start swimming in cash. Obsidian's choice to use Paradox's services is a luxury, not a necessity.
     
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  9. Roguey Arcane Sawyerite

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    How much profit Obsidian is getting out of this seems completely irrelevant to the enduser imo.

    Josh is a pretty straight-forward person and has never been deceptive. Your armchair accountancy is wrong.
     
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  10. bledcarrot Educated

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    But maybe you're right and they wanted a polished beta all along. Maybe they had kickstarter funds allocated to QA and distribution all along, with this in mind, and they've now come up short on dev, and instead of going early access with a turd, they've sought to free up those funds by bringing in Paradox to polish it. So yes, you can pay your developer's salaries with QA and marketing services by freeing up previously allocated money. Look, I have no idea if this is the case. But in my opinion the potential for complications arises when 'middle men' have creative influence, and QA is one potential way in which they can. They should be distributors and that's it, as far as I'm concerned, to avoid these kinds of potential problems.
     
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  11. Duraframe300 Arcane

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    As mentioned before:

    Obsidian can tell Paradox to go fuck off. Immedialty. They don't have to listen to ANY QA design input. Paradox design influence is actually less than the backers. THIS HAS BEEN CONFIRMED

    If Obsidian force-changes something they believe to be good and it goes negative into the game than that is OBSIDIANS OWN FAULT. Then they suck at their jobs, because they can just as well say NO.
     
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  12. Infinitron I post news Patron

    Infinitron
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    bledcarrot That's fair. I'm not so worried about Paradox's QA guys though. Heck, Paradox is a less mass market/less popamole company than Obsidian. I'm not worried about them asking for anything to be dumbed down. That's more likely to come from Obsidian's own QA guys. :lol:
     
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  13. Roguey Arcane Sawyerite

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    Josh has written down "Working as designed" in response to QA feedback on more than one occasion. :M

    Plus as a I wrote down on the last page "The main changes are that Paradox will handle the QA for things like localization and compatibility testing - things that Obsidian would have to outsource anyways."
     
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  14. bledcarrot Educated

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    Yeah I've gotta say, the fact that it's Paradox who are the other party in this deal offsets most of my concerns. I think it'll work out fine.
     
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  15. kris Arcane

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    I already paid for a boxed version when I finded the kickstarter. I sure hope that it is more than a "possibility"
     
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  16. suejak Arbiter Patron Village Idiot

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    I don't know how many times I need to explain the economics here. Maybe this is why the PR is so effective -- people, especially fanboys, just don't understand the math. Infinitron responded to my last post on this topic with an irrelevant opportunity-cost analogy that got brofisted to all shit, so I must not be a good educator.

    Taking on another studio's costs is a form of investment. Paradox is losing money from this, in the present. Obsidian is reducing costs on this project, and hence its remaining cash will last longer. This is fundamentally the same as writing a cheque to Obsidian (in exchange for a cut of future profits).

    Let's assume you pay rent every month. $400/mo = 12*$400 = $4800/yr. Now if somebody offered you $4800 in cash, that's one thing. In this case, Paradox offered to make your rent $0/mo. Because they are paying the rent for you. You have $4800 more in your pocket, and they are -$4800 in the hole.
     
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  17. Infinitron I post news Patron

    Infinitron
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    [​IMG]
     
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  18. Duraframe300 Arcane

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    I think he means an actual retail version.
     
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  19. kris Arcane

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    I know he means that, but I am saying a boxed version was always planned. which mean its design and production will happen.
     
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  20. Arkeus Arcane

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    That's actually wrong- Obsidian has decided to do its own Q&A in-house and with the Beta for PoE, the Q&A done by Paradox is almost solely when it comes to localizations.
     
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  21. tuluse Prestigious Gentleman Arcane

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    I disagree. A consumer should do his or her part to avoid products made from an inequitable agreements.
     
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  22. 80Maxwell08 Arcane

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    Actually Double Fine got attacked because they ran the incredibly halfassed massive chalice kickstarter then waited for it to be over before telling anyone they ran out of money.
     
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  23. suejak Arbiter Patron Village Idiot

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    It has less to do with why they were attacked and more to do with the phrase "ran out of money."

    This phrase implies incompetence that sends fanboys screaming. But Double Fine and Obsidian both "ran out of money" in the exact same sense.

    Double Fine self-publishes but releases "early access" to fund the entire vision. Obsidian gets publisher funding to fund the entire vision.
     
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  24. Xor Prestigious Gentleman Arcane

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    Codex 2014 PC RPG Website of the Year, 2015 Codex 2016 - The Age of Grimoire Divinity: Original Sin Torment: Tides of Numenera Wasteland 2 Divinity: Original Sin 2
    They were always going to produce a certain number of boxed copies to satisfy backer demands. There's 0 risk in those copies because they've already been paid for. Extra copies of the game for actual retail does constitute a risk because they might not sell, though, and it makes sense that it would be up to Paradox since they'd be the ones paying for the extra copies. We'll get our boxed copies whether they produce extras or not.

    Just because Obsidian has formed this partnership doesn't mean that they've run out of money, and it doesn't mean it will impact the quality of the game in a negative way. There is no reason to just assume that it's the end of the world and the game will suck now
     
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  25. Volrath Arcane Patron

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    Your paranoia is amusing.
     
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