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Thread: A Quick Word from R2Games...

  1. #1

    A Quick Word from R2Games...

    The Apocalypse is Upon Us... Prepare for the End of City of Steam as You Know It... Pay to Win is IN!

    Just kidding…

    Hi guys… evil CEO Jared here from R2Games. I wanted to take a minute or two to address some of the primary concerns brought up in a few of these threads. I think there are some definite misunderstandings about our publishing strategy for CoS, and hopefully, through open discussion with players, we should be able to get everyone back on the same page and excited for the upcoming open beta.

    #1) Regarding the roles of publisher vs. developer

    The main responsibility of developers is, believe it or not, to develop. The developer’s job (Mechanist Games in this case) is to design a game, its core systems, monetization, future updates, etc. The job of a publisher, on the other hand, is to ensure that a game is able to reach as massive an audience as possible. Publishers (R2) are in charge of hosting the servers, marketing, and customer support for their games. Publishers may, based on data analysis and interactions with players, make suggestions about the future path of the game but, in the end, the developers have the final say.

    Now, why do game developers seek out publishers, you ask? Because in a perfect world, developers should be allowed to focus 100% of their efforts on making a fun, exciting, profitable game! Grunt work should be left to the publishers. Publishing a game is a monumental task in itself, and an incredibly expensive one as well. No matter how fun a game is, it is nearly impossible (Minecraft aside) to get a game in the hands of millions of players without a large marketing team and budget (we’re talking lots of millions of dollars). It shouldn’t be Dave or Andrew or anyone at Mechanist’s job to worry about that. Again, 100% of their focus should be on making a great game.

    #2) Regarding R2’s current titles and a tendency towards Pay-to-Win

    I will be the first to admit that some of R2’s current titles give cash players a competitive advantage over players who choose not to spend. Unfortunately, this is how the games were originally designed, and we only have a certain amount of input with the developers to get things changed. With that being said, for anyone who has had the time to look at both the Chinese and Western versions of our games, you will notice that the monetization has actually been tuned down significantly from the Asian versions.

    While, by now, most of you have seen videos of my US/European GDC talks about monetizing whales, I actually give speeches in Asia all the time presenting a completely opposite argument, pleading with Asian developers to create more open, fair games. There is a fine line between keeping a game fun for players and profitable enough to keep our doors open, and I will admit that both R2Games as a company as well as the industry in general have yet to find a perfect balance.

    #3) Regarding me being an evil money-crazy hellspawn

    Yes, I was a gold farmer. This is now a pretty well known fact. Am I proud of it? No. Am I ashamed of it? No. Being a hardcore gamer for as long as I can remember who just so happened to be in China when the RMT industry was at its peak… the job kind of fell into my lap. It was fun. I got to make money playing video games. Can’t complain. Note: I did turn in my resume to Blizzard before getting started in the industry. I never heard back ;( It is important to note that I didn’t like where the industry was headed (with more and more focus on cheats, bots, account hacking, etc.), which was a major motivator for me to leave the space.

    In terms of my work in the browser game industry, I tend to err on the side of players more than some of you guys who have played our previous games may think. We haggle with developers to reduce item costs and remove certain monetization systems much more often than we ask for new ones to be implemented. While I tend not to make public statements often, I do monitor the community and player feedback.

    While I do understand and often talk about the Chinese model of game development, I in no way believe that it is appropriate for every game and every market. In the end, I am not Chinese, but an American who has been playing western games for a long, long time.

    #4) Regarding the direction of City of Steam

    City of Steam will not be a pay-to-win money-fest. Let’s get that off the table right now. Both Mechanist Games and R2 are very clear on the direction we would like to see CoS go, and that is to be the top 3D browser MMO on the market. From its core design, CoS was built by game-centric (primarily Western) designers, and much more resembles a client MMO than a browser MMO. The monetization design will emphasize fairness between paying and non-paying players, and you shouldn’t be expecting some guy who has spent $500 dollars to be able to run around town slaughtering newbies by the masses. The design of the game still resides in Mechanist’s hands, and we have no intention to change the path they have chosen to take. Dave is still steering this boat.

    Our primary concerns right now are working to create a fun Steampunk MMO that will be accessible to a wide audience. We fully believe that, in the end, if players enjoy the game, whether or not we can put food on the table at night is not going to depend on $100,000 whales.

    #5) Regarding the CoS community, moderators, etc.

    The guys at Mechanist have done a fantastic job with community support. Expect moderators and devs to remain active on our forums and website over the coming months. They’re not going anywhere anytime soon!

    I’d like to maintain an open approach to chatting with you guys about City of Steam and its future direction. I will do what I can to maintain a presence on the forums over the next few days to answer some of your questions, and will work with Dave and the guys at Mech to get an open IRC chat scheduled for later this week. Again, we truly see City of Steam as an excellent browser MMO with the ability to compete with some of the best client games out there, and we are committed to staying true to the integrity of the game and avoiding pay-to-win.

    In the end, we are all hardcore gamers ourselves way before being businessmen. Our primary goal is to make City of Steam as fun and entertaining as possible for all players. We hope to be able to obtain your support, and rest assured that everyone from both Mechanist and R2Games are busting *** around the clock to ensure we can deliver a high-quality open-beta to you as quickly as possible.

    -Jared @ R2Games

  2. #2

    Re: A Quick Word from R2Games...

    Thanks Jared, I feel that this should resolve any negative opinions.

    I for one am more positive to the whole situation.
    http://www.images.lazygamerz.org/images/F6Me6ZpD4W.png
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  3. #3
    Mage of Multitudes Timeraider is considered so-so around these parts. Timeraider's Avatar
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    Re: A Quick Word from R2Games...

    Ive been neutral since the start and will say again.. i will see how it goes.

    But go away from Mechanists ideals of how the shops and electrum works atm and we will do anything to drag your company through the dirt.

    yust saying.. i dont care how many other games you guys have ruined, but dont ruin this one.

    If you dont intend to do that.. well.. welcome :P

    I do hope you guys and Mechanist stay in contact alot. Cause usually an company recieving a game from someone else and then going there own way.. wont make it long.

    Also.. please ysut admit you screwed up those games.. stop talking about how you hate the industry for becoming p2w cause you intentionally did the same in your games forcing people to buy 500 dollars of required stuff after which they got hacked...
    dont try to cover up the past, instead show you have changed and go for a better result.

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  4. #4

    Re: A Quick Word from R2Games...

    In the end, both Mechanist as well as ourselves will let the game speak for itself.

  5. #5
    City of Steam Developer CoS_Gab is considered so-so around these parts. CoS_Gab's Avatar
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    Re: A Quick Word from R2Games...

    [quote author=Timeraider link=topic=4262.msg35717#msg35717 date=1358931478]
    I do hope you guys and Mechanist stay in contact alot. Cause usually an company recieving a game from someone else and then going there own way.. wont make it long.[/quote]

    We will indeed keep in close contact; we're not letting anyone traipse away with our baby CoS ;D

  6. #6
    Benefactor Ambrossia is considered so-so around these parts. Ambrossia's Avatar
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    Re: A Quick Word from R2Games...

    Jared,

    I do apologize for any offense that may have been given on my part to this whole thing. I am very passionate when it comes things I care about, CoS falls into this category.
    I do appreciate the time you've put in to "set the record straight," I'm sure a lot of us will still be holding our breaths, but if what you say is true (argue the the opposite point to the Asians), then all I can say is that it's a great relief to hear that this a business of passion for you. AND, Mech and R2 won't have to worry about us fanatics beating down your doors to use the old duct tape method of persuasion on you guys

    To Mech.. congratulations on the partnership, here's to a hopeful and great future for your creation
    Jared, thank you for helping them in this, I hope the two can see this through.
    Fuer grissa ost drauka ~Richard Rahl

    It's fun to do the impossible! ~Walt Disney

    May the sun warm your soul, the moon light your eyes, the fog mystify your mind and the wind carry your spirit. ~Ambrossia Lynn

  7. #7
    Priest of Pontifications Odo is considered so-so around these parts. Odo's Avatar
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    Re: A Quick Word from R2Games...

    I guess we are left taking your word for it. Though your GDC video does make me sick, I like to believe people can change. You mention proposing the opposite to the Asian market... are there any links to these?(just curious).

    As for your gold farming. I guess I can't really say I wouldn't do the same if it meant a job and one that included my hobby at that. You seem to also have some morals as far as the hacking being a bad thing. I loved the bots as I found a few ways of getting the bots to attack me on the opposite faction thus flagging themselves and allowing the community to shut them down until the user came back. :lol: :lol: :lol:

    This partnership may be a good way for you to make a better name for yourself :lol: I certainly have high hopes for CoS as it brings a much needed change to current games. You must have seen the same hence why you decided to publish them.

    [quote author=CoS_Gab link=topic=4262.msg35720#msg35720 date=1358932094]
    [quote author=Timeraider link=topic=4262.msg35717#msg35717 date=1358931478]
    I do hope you guys and Mechanist stay in contact alot. Cause usually an company recieving a game from someone else and then going there own way.. wont make it long.[/quote]

    We will indeed keep in close contact; we're not letting anyone traipse away with our baby CoS ;D
    [/quote] You better! I demand more Gab in a dress pics....... for science.... :tongue

    [glow=green,2,300]Odo[/glow]
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  8. #8
    City of Steam Developer CoS_Gab is considered so-so around these parts. CoS_Gab's Avatar
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    Re: A Quick Word from R2Games...

    [quote author=Odo link=topic=4262.msg35727#msg35727 date=1358933518]
    [quote author=CoS_Gab link=topic=4262.msg35720#msg35720 date=1358932094]
    [quote author=Timeraider link=topic=4262.msg35717#msg35717 date=1358931478]
    I do hope you guys and Mechanist stay in contact alot. Cause usually an company recieving a game from someone else and then going there own way.. wont make it long.[/quote]

    We will indeed keep in close contact; we're not letting anyone traipse away with our baby CoS ;D
    [/quote] You better! I demand more Gab in a dress pics....... for science.... :tongue[/quote]
    Hah, I do have some more plans for that dress, outside the company, but could still be some fun pics to share Question is, should I shave or keep the beard this time?

    Anyway, I'm glad we could put all of this to light. From the beginning, we've been believers in being open with you guys, and didn't want to slip something like getting a publisher under the rug. If you still have concerns, keep the questions coming and we'll tackle them as they come ;D

  9. #9
    Priest of Pontifications Odo is considered so-so around these parts. Odo's Avatar
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    Re: A Quick Word from R2Games...

    [quote author=CoS_Gab link=topic=4262.msg35729#msg35729 date=1358934471]
    [quote author=Odo link=topic=4262.msg35727#msg35727 date=1358933518]
    You better! I demand more Gab in a dress pics....... for science.... :tongue[/quote]
    Hah, I do have some more plans for that dress, outside the company, but could still be some fun pics to share Question is, should I shave or keep the beard this time?

    Anyway, I'm glad we could put all of this to light. From the beginning, we've been believers in being open with you guys, and didn't want to slip something like getting a publisher under the rug. If you still have concerns, keep the questions coming and we'll tackle them as they come ;D
    [/quote] I say keep the beard as it suites you rather nice. Unless you want to look like a lady and grow it back later.

    Edit: *points finger at Gab for trying to derail the thread*

    In all seriousness we should try and keep this as on track as possible so I apologize for making Gab talk about his dress.
    Welcome to City of Chug Steam Pots.

  10. #10

    Re: A Quick Word from R2Games...

    Thanks Ambrossia - and I do apologize for any issues we had with you and the vets program in general. It is definitely something that has not been executed as well as we would have hoped. I know there have been many issues in communication between our vets and our internal staff.. and, with us having a multicultural team, a lot of stuff has been lost in translation.

    My talks are primarily for educational purposes (and to save the $1k plus it costs for a GDC ticket)! I try to pick interesting topics that my audience hasn't heard about (most Western developers have no idea what Chinese game design looks like - while Chinese designers don't understand why their full-out pay-to-win games have been unsuccessful in the West). They tend to be somewhat controversial, which I feel is good, as it allows for introspection and healthy debate in our industry.

    Appreciate the support guys.

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