1) I had NO idea this forum existed, and I am and have been on the internet, and a gamer, for a pretty long time.
2) I've read every single post in this thread since taking off last night from Boston to get to LA. (LA Times, G4 and Kimmel today for the Reckoning launch, Kimmel skit, I think, is hilarious).
I founded 38 Studios over 5 years ago and as much as I'd like to tell you guys this thread is cool, it's way way more than that. That you guys have created this much traffic since our demo is flat out stunning, incredible.
Ya I wish there'd been 52 pages of SOLD!! Day 1 buy here! I totally get it.
Let me start by apologizing. The demo? Ya, it is way way WAYYYYY more buggy than anything ANYONE should ever release, much less a demo.
A demo is supposed to be a DEMONSTRATION of the game. In some ways, for you without buggy demos, it sort of is, but it's just impossible to convey the depth of breadth of a game that has anywhere from 40-50 hours (main quest line play) to 2-300 hours (for completionist) in it at launch. It's like saying you hate baseball after the 1st pitch in the top of the 1st inning.
That was EXACTLY why we argued EA in favor of not having the demo. It's also exactly why I was wrong, and EA was right. Yes there are people that were on the fence who now will not buy it, there were people who weren't buying it anyway, who still aren't, but the massive awareness and the insane amount of 'had no idea about this game, now it's a day 1 buy" and "Was on the fence but am now sold" posts mean EA hit this one perfectly in INTENT.
The demo has been a God send, especially when I realize even in this thread, how many people became aware because of the demo.
In a partnership there is a lot of give and take, and I believe in my team, they are world class, but when you have a publisher there are things happening you'd rather not choose. Shipping old code out 3 months prior to gold master to a 3rd party with no stake in the demo success can be problematic. I am sure they made the best demo they could but as a studio packed to the gills with gamers, we refuse to believe code has to be unplayably buggy at launch, it doesn't.
So to those that have had a horrid demo experience, I'm sorry, it's on us, our name is the name on the box we care about.
I promise you, my word, that demo from a bug perspective is in NO WAY representative of the final code or product.
That is not going to change your demo experience, that is likely not going to make you buy it if you decided against it, but you spent your time (which is every bit as valuable to us as your money) playing something we made, and we owe you that much.
Couple things about me up front. I have thick skin. 10 years in Philly and the last 7 in Boston, I'm a big boy, I've heard most everything. I have a 12 year old son with Autism, the word retard offends me, deeply. I'm married to an insanely beautiful woman (so far over my ski's it's embarrassing) and have 3 other kids, 16, 14 and 9. The boys (3 of them) are gamers, oldest is a hard core gamer/athlete (like dad) and a ranked SC2 player.
I was a gamer LONG before I owned a game company, just like I was a fan long before i played in the big leagues. I so desperately WANT to post as a gamer and fan, but understand it just isn't going to happen.
For that my PR and Marketing folks have each other on speed dial, and sweat constantly...
I've lived my life being very open and very honest, and that's been as good as it has been bad. It's usually pretty easy to tell where I stand.
The thing that has changed over these past few years is that when I post in forums like this, FoH, Tribal Wars, our Reckoning forums, is that I represent over 400 people and their families, and that's a pretty huge deal.
Generally people that post the real bad stuff about me are Democrats and Yankee fans, and that's cool, I get it. But you Yankee fans, keep hating, that's cool, I understand. Please don't come here and post 'You" have 27 or 28 rings or whatever, unless your Derek Jeter because YOU have none, I have 3, I was honored to play with 3 very special groups of men and be a part of 3 World Championships, and that made some folks mad...
I keed. In all seriousness this forum, this very place, like FoH and the others, is where 38 Studios becomes the next great gaming company, or not. Everything we become is literally 100% dependent on you. You'll either love our stuff and want it bad enough to buy it at full price (pre orders and week 1 sales are EVERYTHING to a company like ours) or you won't, but there will be no BS here.
We're a studio of 400 hard core gamers who want to make awesome games we want to play, for gamers. That's our secret sauce, that's the thing we MUST hold onto as long as we can. When that stops i'll likely walk away.
It's why, even though it's painful, reading the good WITH the bad is essential. If you don't listen to players you stop making games players want to play, and that sucks.
It's also why I have finally come to grips with the fact that in a forum like this one post can start "Art sucks, hate it, derivative..." to "Amazing art, the world is vibrant and alive!" and both can be right. It's 100% subjective. Even though I watched this world come alive and I have seen the personal sacrifice hundreds of people have made over hundreds of thousands of hours, some people aren't going to like it.
What I can assure you is there was and never will be one short step, or short cut, to ANYTHING we do or make. People that bought our CE and SE are going to realize that even more, as both are way beyond anything, quality wise, I've ever purchased.
Quality trumps all, saying that after the demo may sound hollow and you might call BS on me and us for it, but I promise you where we control 100% of the work we will set a bar that will be insanely challenging to meet, and continue meeting it as long as we're around.
So again, thanks for this, this thread took up my entire flight out, 6 hours and 11 minutes, but it was worth it because we're prepping for a new sort of 'Opening day" and threads like this don't pop up for games people aren't interested in. It's the same thing I told young players walking into Yankee Stadium, be good enough to get boo'd because Yankee fans are highly intelligent, they don't boo players that suck.
I'm sure we'll be chatting more, just wanted to say thanks and we hope you think Amalur is as awesome as we do.