mardi 6 mai 2014

WarZ and Earth : Year 2066 are scaring me

Over the last two years, the dream of many developers, A.K.A. the Steam store, got several sad stories of games that managed to get in.

Two of them are actually scaring me. These games are The War Z (now know as Infestation : Survivor stories), and very recently, Earth : Year 2066.

These games share the same problem : they got in steam, people got really pissed at them, and they got removed.

Both of these games got people angry for the same reasons : stolen copyrighted work, fake description on the store page, fake reviews and terrible customer service. (Earth : Year 2066 is accused of changing people's negative posts to positive posts).

Did they deserve getting banned ? Sure. On one hand, Steam shows that they care about their customers satisfaction and the quality of the products they're selling. But it scares me that a crowd of angry people have the possibility to stop a game from being sold, because I really hope they did deserve it, and they really were looking for easy money and making fun of their customers.

I am a bit naive. I want to make games for people to have fun, or, even better, to be amazed. I want to make money out of it because I want to live to make people laugh, cry, think or rage. I consider myself full of good will. I check if what I am downloading can be legally used in my game, I want to listen to critics, and I surely don't want to lie about what I'll sell.

But what if I was those developers ? What if there's a misunderstanding ?

I can reassure myself by seeing that don't want to do what these developers did, but I can't help but wonder "What if the developer was like me, a naive dreamer ? ".

To me, and probably many other developers out there, the Steam store is an El Dorado.

I mean, seven millions of curious people online daily, half of them checking the recent obscure games, quarter of them clicking on your game, an eighth of them waiting for a sale, and a small percentage actually buying the game. Do the math, that's still a lot of copies for an indie developer !

I don't want to get these people against me. I don't need it, and I don't want it.

Writing this reminds me of Phil Fish.
You are free to think what you want about the man, but FEZ was an incredible experience for me.
The depth of the universe, the sense of detail, the thoughts, the quality of the puzzles, the everything.
Someone couldn't make this game for money or fame only.
I consider him an artist. But, his temper and opinions got him in trouble.
The man was saying what he thinks, and, to be honest, if I ever spend 5 years of my life making a game that gets an IGF award, and somebody angrily tells me that I never released a video game, I would probably want to insult him too.