Neoseeker : News : Unfinished game on Steam Greenlight abandoned by devs after selling over 200K copies, no refunds
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Shin Ra May 9, 14
Wow that's bad. Can they actually do that and not refund? If that's totally allowed I know I won't be backing any greenlight games!
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Jeremy May 9, 14
You know, if I were one of the supporters, I'd probably not even care. I mean, most of these people probably paid over six months ago. Is it fair that the supporters don't get reimbursed? No. But sadly, the developer dropped the game because he's not making enough money to live on, let alone reimburse thousands of people. It's not like he can magically shit out a playable game, either. It sucks, but shit happens, I guess.
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Fragment of Chaos May 9, 14
Aight. So the game grossed in like 3 million dollars and it hasn't even been finished and the guy just abandons it because he couldn't support himself off whatever large sum of money he got. Even if he got like a dollar for every copy sold, he would have over $200,000.... what?? As a poor college student, I can easily say I would be able to live off of $200,000 for a couple decades. Oh and wtf Towns 2? A sequel to a game that never got made/finished? Will the collectors edition include snake oil? This is practically theft and represents no standards. I personally smell a lawsuit that should be coming any time soon. At least I would hope so, there has to be standards in crowdsourcing whether it be Kickstarter or Greenlight.
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S-I-E May 9, 14
investing into projects always comes with risks for both the investors and the designers. i guess in this case the profit is gone for both sides.
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hastyblader May 9, 14
meh honestly I wouldn't be mad just disappointed with the decision of the developers but like S-I-E said, its a risk for both sides
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Shin Ra May 9, 14
It's a scam though really. I could pretend to be making a game, produce some half-assed shell and release it for preorder promising all kinds of amazing goodies and then once I've raked in the dough I'll just say I've had to cancel the game for whatever reason and I can't refund anyone.
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Justplayingitcool May 9, 14
And that's why I refuse to buy games that aren't officially finished.
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Shadow of Death May 9, 14
"Can't support himself" with this game? Rubbish. Even if he only got 10% in the end, that's still $300K right there.

I actually bought the game on Desura, ages ago (before it was even announced for Greenlight). I played it awhile and it seemed interesting enough, if a bit buggy/unfinished.
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CyberFlux May 9, 14
Shit happens unfortunately.
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Huntereb May 9, 14
I think Valve might do something about this, it's a pretty big deal.
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Insanity Prevails May 9, 14
I was going to mention that this is the risk of early access, but it's not even in early access. So they knowingly released an unfinished game as a finished product, tried to fix it but decided the money flow wasn't high enough to complete the job people were paying for in the first place?
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daveyd May 9, 14
quote Shin Ra
Wow that's bad. Can they actually do that and not refund? If that's totally allowed I know I won't be backing any greenlight games!
The problem here wasn't that the game was Greenlit persay, it's that it was released as an "Early Access" title, although before that was an official thing on Steam. People who bought it knew that it was in an unfinished state. I feel bad for anyone who bought it but they probably should have realized there was risk involved. It's similar to the risk involved when Kickstarting a game; backers should go in knowing that the final product may not live up to the developer's aspirations. But really this is nothing new. Long before digital distribution, games would often be released in buggy states (possibly even after multiple patches); in many cases you can thank publishers for this as they decided to rush the developer or simply decided not to spend the extra money needed to support the game post release.

What I've heard about Towns is they went through several lead developer's over the course of the game's development. The ones who joined the project later on may have been promised a percentage of future sales rather than a set salary. Clearly someone made some money off of this game, but the programmer quoted in this article may not have made much of anything.
Last edited by daveyd :: May 9, 14
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Tenken May 9, 14
Depending on the size of the team, the sales they made would have barely covered a year's salary, so anyone stating it's such a large sum need to understand how many people were likely involved.

Definitely agree with daveyd ,people knew it was unfinished and that difficulties could arise.
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The5thAvocado May 9, 14
The quote from the original dev is hilarious:
quote
I'm really sorry. I'm quite new to indie game dev and I couldn't really see that the game sales were declining that rapidly. I guess if I had more experience I would have seen it coming...
Basically saying, "I have no idea what I'm doing." Well, there goes his career as a developer right there. On another note, this seems like quite a lucrative business to get into: start up major hype for a game, presell thousands of copies and then bail without doing any real work with no repercussions.
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