Scummiest publishers and the practices that earned them that title

Spring-Loaded

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Apr 16, 2012
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Here, "scummy" doesn't have to mean "objectively illegal." This thread's for awful practices that don't necessarily break break contracts or laws. I only hear about this stuff when it's related to projects I'm interested in, so please share examples.

Bethesda's handling of the original version of Prey 2 and HumanHead counts as scummy. GAF thread about HH developer claiming Bethesda lied about Prey 2. Things start to get interesting around post #71 and Jason Schreier can't confirm the user n8rtot's posts, but says they match up with what he's heard in the past. kotaku would later report on the issue: Kotaku - leaked emails suggest Bethesda lied about Prey 2's development.

I should mention it here rather than link to it: (supposedly...) Bethesda's contract with HH required they meet progress milestones. Some HH people said development was progressing fine, yet Bethesda arbitrarily rejected what they had done so far and threatened to cancel development unless HH let themselves be bought by Bethesda, essentially holding their work on Prey 2 hostage. HH refused and Bethesda would go on to report that development wasn't meeting their quality standards (lol). Rumors would arise that Arkane (Dishonored) would be taking over the project and Bethesda reported that those rumors weren't true. Later, it would be revealed that Arkane was in fact starting over from scratch to work on Prey 2.

I feel especially bad since I impulse bought Wolfenstein for me and another person despite hearing all of this ¯\_(ツ)_/¯
 

Sn4ke_911

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Ubisoft, Watch Dogs.
 

me0wish

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Quoting my self from the other thread:

Not many know this, but Rockin Android lied about giving steam keys to previous purchasers twice:

http://m.neogaf.com/showthread.php?p=119283950

I made that reddit post before I joined gaf, I'm a bit sad it didn't gain enough attention on gaf.

The worst part is I used to be a huge fan.
 

Zoned

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Capcom locking on disc DLC's and EA bringing out broken ass BF4.
 

Mr. Tibbs

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Snip.
Bethesda's handling of the original version of Prey 2 and HumanHead counts as scummy.
Well said! I feel exactly the same way. At least Human Head bounced back.

The company's already working on another undisclosed original project, and Gerritsen spent the last Game Developers Conference in San Francisco alerting contacts to new projects the company is working on.

"One of the compliments I get from publishers is that when they talk to studios that have been around for a while, they see this creative downtrend where at first the studio is hungry and they have all these ideas. Then, over time, the industry beats them down, and they're not as creative," Gerritsen says.

He insists that Human Head is different.

"We're always looking. We're not chasing the trends. We're trying to do what excites us. The secret of Human Head over all these years is that we do it our way."
:)

Still, shame on Bethesda for misleading fans, press and developers. We missed out on something special.
 

BPoole

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EA - killing several studios, "catering to a broader audience" for tons of their games, starting Online Passes, forcing Origins on PC, shipping games out that are still in Alpha and probably others I can't think of.
 

whyreggielie

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Nov 25, 2012
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Nintendo, because they steal our games.
They tirrrkk errr games!

Gotta give it to EA with Sim City, they really pissed me off personally with that one. Could not even play the game I bought upon release and it was filled with bugs destroying my cities.
 

Human_me

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Feb 15, 2013
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I think people need to actually give examples of why that publisher is scummiest.

Don't just put down EA or Activision and not a reason with it.

Anyway back on topic.


I vote Ubisoft with Always online DRM UPlay (which is a lot better now admittedly, but still shitty.)
 

Marcel

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Feb 16, 2012
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Capcom for the Megaman Legends 3 fiasco. Crowdsourcing ideas and building up the enthusiasm of fans only to kill the game anyway. At least it blew back on them somewhat.
 

hemo memo

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“it’s a shame the fans didn’t want to get more involved :-( if we saw there was an audience for MML3 people might change minds”
 

Akai__

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Basically every 3rd party publisher, that allows or signs exclusive deals. Activsion is on the top of that list...
 
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Capcom.

"You want to add extra clothes for your characters? No. Put it on the disk but lock it, so we can sell keys to people later to unlock it."

Think it was capcom that got caught doing this ...
 

NateDog

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Apr 4, 2013
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EA for being generally scummy (shutting down servers fairly early compared to other publishers, DLC and micro-transactions, online passes, the darn online passes man), Ubisoft for regularly bullshitting, milking and disappointing, Capcom for on-disc DLC (which is bad in itself, then tie in the lies saying that it wouldn't happen) and other issues, Activision for milking of a franchise like Call of Duty and dropping what ended up becoming Sleeping Dogs so they could put more money into a game which hardly ever changes. I should really mention Square Enix here too, but I suppose they're not "scummy", just idiots and disappointments.
 

TomShoe

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Oct 27, 2013
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EA Access. It's a trojan horse aimed at getting you to buy digital and give up your ownership rights. Never assume corporations are working in your best interest.
 

Sakujou

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Oct 22, 2012
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dlc, f2p,pay2win, online passes,...?

who ever introduces this, deserved to be banned for all eternity and way back.
 

RexNovis

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Sep 8, 2013
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EA

For so many reasons (Day 1 DLC, Season Passes, mandated microtransactions, accusing gamers of "not accepting innovation", etc) but mostly because of Bioware. I will never forgive them for what they have done to Bioware. Ever since they bought Bioware out they've churned out nothing but disappointments. It started with Dragon Age 2 with it's incredibly linear narrative and recycled assets. It continued with The Old Republic that you could just tell they cut funding half way through the character storyline a and then their monetization practices after going free to play are some of the worst I've ever seen. Then they pull that star child bullshit with ME3 and shove a multiplayer component in just to bleed people with bullshit microtransactions.

EA ruined one of my favorite studios of all times and no matter how good Dragon Age 3 might seem I just can't bring myself to believe it actually will be. The fact that I say that about a Bioware game breaks my heart.
 

Jprobes

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EA Access. It's a trojan horse aimed at getting you to buy digital and give up your ownership rights. Never assume corporations are working in your best interest.
Really now? I understand that business's have their own agenda which is usually to make as much money as possible but this is by far the most silly comment I have seen on the EA access.

So by your logic, anything digital is a Trojan horse aimed at removing the individual from material ownership.

I do agree that EA are the worst violators but I would drop the 30 dollars in a heartbeat, but living in doubt about everything is no way to experience life.
 

Steel

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Jun 20, 2013
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EA: Buying up and quickly closing up studios is their worst sin. Closing up multiplayer for games that are technically P2P as quickly as they can get away with is another.

I dislike EA more than any other video gaming company. Period.
 

Mr-Joker

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Mar 7, 2013
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Would Gearbox and the entire Aliens Colonial Marines thing count?

If so my vote is that.
Changed Gearbox to Sega and it works since Sega published two broken piece of games last gen.

It's a joke since that's exactly what people said when Bayonetta 2 became a Wii U exclusive.

Capcom for the Megaman Legends 3 fiasco. Crowdsourcing ideas and building up the enthusiasm of fans only to kill the game anyway. At least it blew back on them somewhat.
The worse part is when they tried to pin the blame on the fans.

“it’s a shame the fans didn’t want to get more involved :-( if we saw there was an audience for MML3 people might change minds”
Well I didn't get involved since I didn't have the skill and I felt that I would be hindering them.

However Capcom had this stupid idea that it was the fans job to make the game.
 

Vilix

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Troll EA stealth thread.

I'm cool with that.
 

thefit

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EA for sure for trying to social engineer this gen by looking extremely one sided but thankfully falling flat on their faces. They're still trying with their subscription service and apparently thats ok with a lot of fokes.
 

draetenth

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Feb 17, 2012
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EA for being generally scummy (shutting down servers fairly early compared to other publishers, DLC and micro-transactions, online passes, the darn online passes man), Ubisoft for regularly bullshitting, milking and disappointing, Capcom for on-disc DLC (which is bad in itself, then tie in the lies saying that it wouldn't happen) and other issues, Activision for milking of a franchise like Call of Duty and dropping what ended up becoming Sleeping Dogs so they could put more money into a game which hardly ever changes. I should really mention Square Enix here too, but I suppose they're not "scummy", just idiots and disappointments.
I share pretty similar thoughts as this post...
 

RevoDS

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Apr 21, 2007
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The shit that Midway pulled with Stainless Steel Studios back in 2005 with Rise and Fall:Civilizations at War was pretty shitty.

1. Agree to publish game
2.Underfund the game, which is inevitably delayed
3.Pull funding entirely, forcing the studio into bankruptcy
4.Take a build of the game that's months old and give it to another studio
5. Release a buggy final game with major features absent.
 

Jonnax

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Jun 23, 2013
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I really feel that Bethesda and lies are synonymous. And it's not only the publisher. The number of straight up exaggerations they used in the pre release marketing for Oblivion and Skyrim should have amounted to some sort of action being taken against them for false advertisement.