Zombies. Steam key kerfuffle; dev waffles on Steam keys for past purchasers, drama

chubigans

y'all should be ashamed
Dec 7, 2006
27,115
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www.vertigogaming.net
UPDATE 4: Dev officially responds further: http://indiehaven.com/dev-blog-steam-keys-for-corporate-lifestyle-simulator/

As might be expected, I’m a little bit leery to say anything about the situation for fear that it will be taken out of context… but here goes.

Mainly I’d like to call attention to the post on Feb 22 on my facebook page, long before any of this blew up.(https://www.facebook.com/thebignic)

“Corporate Lifestyle Simulator” is the expansion pack for “Zombies.” and will be released on Steam, integrated with the original app. “Zombies.” will not be available on its own. Understandably, Steam keys for this product will be unavailable for anyone who previously purchased “Zombies.” If this seriously bothers anyone, lets chat.

That was shortened for twitter because of obvious restrictions. I honestly believed that the decision would impact a handful of people at best. I specifically left that door open for complaints because I didn’t know how it would be taken and wanted to be able to adjust the decision based on feedback. But that key component “If this bothers anyone, lets chat” was left out on twitter and so the reaction was swift and severe. I got about 200 messages on twitter ranging from name-calling to death threats. Someone wished that I would get cancer.

Those vocal people were the ones that I lashed out at and it was my fault for not setting the context correctly so that supporters and fans didn’t think it was directed at them. I apologized, and that apology is sincere.

The fact remains that the three bundles that were called out last night (GreenManGaming, IndieGameStand, and Groupees Build-a-Bundle) very specifically do not mention Steam keys in their contracts. I have read and re-read them, thinking that I must have missed something but that isn’t the case. GreenManGaming was a FREE promotion and keys were never even discussed. IndieGameStand even took to twitter to confirm that the keys were not promised, but the flaming continued.

I quickly reversed my decision and agreed to give keys to people who had purchased the game. The potential of lost sales isn’t worth getting death threats over. I had to reiterate that decision because the original tweet obviously was unprofessional and insulting.

I value the support of my fans and thought I had been pretty vocal about that, but perhaps I haven’t said it enough. I’m not hiding behind any corporate brand – this is my personal identity that I’m working with. It’s a shame that its tarnished because of misunderstanding, but perhaps that’s just the breaks of being a developer.

I wanted to keep people in the loop about my decision, let them know about the name change, and gauge the response so that I could change the game-plan accordingly. This is exactly what happened and in the end, the voices of the people were heard and their demands were met. We could have reached this accord without name-calling, insults, and threats on both sides.

For my part, I am sorry for my conduct and hope that the internet grants me the grace to continue doing what I love to do. There is no developer without users – there is no artist without patrons.

If there’s any potential for you to get this message out, that would be a miracle and I thank you for it. Anything I say about the issue just looks like I’m backpedaling or asking for pity or digging a deeper grave. At the end of the day, everyone who bought the game in a bundle should get a Steam key when they are available.
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Original OP:



Big thanks to Turfster for bringing this up in the Steam thread.

So during the Greenlight process it's pretty standard fare to promise Steam keys for all those who have previously purchased the game. It's a great way to boost votes and ultimately get your game on Steam.

A game called Zombies. (which is getting a name change to Corporate Lifestyle Simulator for Steam) made that Greenlight promise, as well as a promise in many of the bundles the game was in, that customers would get keys when the game was Greenlit. Here's a list of all the bundles the game was in (thanks topyy):

a long list for this game = =
Groupees Build a Bundle 4
IndieFort Countdown Bundle
Indie Gala Weekly 3
Indie Gala Sigma
indiebundle.org Killer Zombie Bundle
IndieGameStand

Well the game was Greenlit, and now the dev is backtracking, saying that he wanted a list of all personal customer data to manually give out keys instead of giving keys to the bundle websites. To his utter surprise, no bundle website wanted to hand out sensitive customer data over, so no Steam keys for them!



To those who don't know, all the above websites listed have a system that issues keys to customers who have bought a Greenlit game. The dev doesn't want to hand over keys because...he doesn't trust them? Or more accurately, he thinks that might translate to lost sales on Steam.

But hey, if that's the case, then he should be able to give keys to those who bought the game directly from his website since he has that personal data/email info, right?



Whoops, I guess not.

You can see an example of a promised key in this Groupees bundle which advertises a free Steam key, which the dev has gone on record to say he's not going to do.

It makes me friggin' angry when devs try to weasel their way out of promises like this. It's a big giant finger to the small fanbase they've managed to build up. Here's hoping he does the right thing and changes his stance on this.


UPDATE: (read from bottom to top)




UPDATE 2: in regards to whether he's telling the truth about not knowing bundles give away keys?

One of the bundle pages has this on it



Another one, in the same bundle doesn't promise a Steam key if Greenlit.



He had a choice, he misled people and now people are questioning it.

UPDATE 3:



Dev twitter: https://twitter.com/tehbignic
Steamgifts thread: http://www.steamgifts.com/forum/yrH1E/
 

SnakeEyes

Banned
Jul 2, 2013
8,084
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New Zealand
Now I'm not a PC gamer, but am I reading this correctly - People pay for a game, and game dev refuses to give out keys for the game? Or is Steam's Greenlight a Kickstarter sort of deal?
 

Firehead

Member
Oct 6, 2007
3,614
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Hopefully we can get this news to spread. These types of scummy tactics need to stop from devs.
 

Almighty

Member
Jun 4, 2010
4,427
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Well I commented on this in the Steam thread, but I didn't know all the background. That has to be the scummiest thing I have seen a developer pull in a very long time. Talk about being blinded by greed.
 

Bsigg12

Member
Apr 9, 2012
20,743
2
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Oh man, this guy's Twitter feed is about to be an absolute shit show. Get your snacks ready.
 

Dog Problems

Banned
Jan 26, 2010
13,359
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Now I'm not a PC gamer, but am I reading this correctly - People pay for a game, and game dev refuses to give out keys for the game? Or is Steam's Greenlight a Kickstarter sort of deal?
The people who paid already have the game in the form of a DRM-free copy or a Desura key. What this is about is the developer previously saying that if the game makes its way to Steam that anyone who got the game elsewhere would get a key so they have it on Steam as well. Now he's going back on what he said.
 

potam

Banned
May 4, 2013
6,554
0
0
Now I'm not a PC gamer, but am I reading this correctly - People pay for a game, and game dev refuses to give out keys for the game? Or is Steam's Greenlight a Kickstarter sort of deal?
Greenlight is the system where users can view on indie games to be added to Steam. So he promised everyone that already owned the game a Steam key it it made it. Now he's telling them all to fuck off.
 

SnakeEyes

Banned
Jul 2, 2013
8,084
0
0
New Zealand
The people who paid already have the game in the form of a DRM-free copy or a Desura key. What this is about is the developer previously saying that if the game makes its way to Steam that anyone who got the game elsewhere would get a key so have it have it on Steam as well. Now he's going back on what he said.
Oh man, then a shitstorm approacheth. Better grab the popcorn now! :D
 

BiggNife

Member
Aug 15, 2007
9,512
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So his argument seems to be that because he's adding so much new content to the Steam release it's not fair that people who played the original would get that content for free

If that's the case, why not just put the original on steam and offer the enhanced edition as DLC? Why didn't he do that in the first place?
 

Htown

STOP SHITTING ON MY MOTHER'S HEADSTONE
Feb 19, 2008
44,017
0
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Now I'm not a PC gamer, but am I reading this correctly - People pay for a game, and game dev refuses to give out keys for the game? Or is Steam's Greenlight a Kickstarter sort of deal?
Games are often for sale before Valve lets them into the Steam store. This guy said "hey once I get on Steam, I'll give everyone who bought the game elsewhere a key so they can tie it to their Steam account." Promises of this sort are very common among indie game devs, especially those who get their games into indie bundles. It's a way to pull in more sales from people who like having games in their Steam accounts.

This guy said "buy my game now and I'll give you a Steam key when they approve me." Then he got approved and went "lol I lied."
 

beril

Member
Aug 25, 2010
3,993
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Why wouldn't you trust the bundle sites with steam codes if you've trusted them with selling the game? And why would you want to send out all codes yourself when the bundle sites have automated systems for that?
 

Nabs

Member
Nov 3, 2006
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The crazy thing is he is ruining proper word of mouth for future sales.

Indie gaming is all about word of mouth sales.
I've noticed that a lot of newly greenlit devs are out of the loop when it comes to steam and the pc market in general. The ones who play it right (chub, feep) get rewarded... assuming your product is worth a damn.
 

Doctor_Thomas

Member
May 27, 2013
7,372
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I hope his game fails because of this, I really do. Not because of quality, but because you can't do shit like that. Needs to learn the lesson.
 

Green Wiggly

Member
Aug 19, 2011
2,405
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485
So he thinks that all these people he just pissed off are going to turn around and throw money at him on Steam?
 

Mavromatis

Member
Jul 8, 2011
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alphabeticalnes.blogspot.com
This event made me more aware that all these "I'll give you keys when it's greenlit" stuff can easily be a lie and we can't do much about it since the publisher can block most negativity on steam forums and many buyers won't even check that and less will look around and see GAF or some other forum getting mad about this past incidents.