Sword of the stars 2 and Steam fuckup - mini rant

So after agonising about whether I actually want this game I decide that sure, why not treat myself and buy it as a Friday night diversion.

After the game downloads I start setting it up… only to encounter a horrible buggy mess. The windowed option at start up doesn’t work, the game doesn’t recognise changes to the player profile, the resolution won’t work, and the tooltips are broken. I’m playing a game (or trying to, no tutorial) and wondering what the fuck I’ve been conned into buying. After about an hour of this I decide to read the manual and get a bit more sense of what is going on in the game, so that’s good. Then on a whim I check out the game forums and see scads of complaining threads.

After reading several, it seems that the developers gave Steam the wrong build of the game to sell to people and I’ve been playing (wait for it) the beta version. Hoo-fucking-ray. There are loads of people defending the hard working, tired and stressed developers who were no doubt pushing it to the wall trying to get this product launched in time. My response: boo fucking hoo. If you can’t actually get the finished product in the hands of your customers then you have FAILED AS A DEVELOPER!

That’s it, that’s the last time I buy a full price, launch day version of anything ever again. I’ve had it with this.

Oh okay Skyrim, I’ll make an exception for you.

Yeah, pretty much. Not the first time this kind of thing happens. Sorry you paid good money for somebody’s screwup, though.

It’s rather mind boggling, given Steam’s checks on final builds, how this could slip past.

As someone in the Paradox forums pointed out - this lax approach to release day builds (not just mistakes like this, but rushing out crappy, buggy products) is a huge threat to the industry. As a consumer, why should I pay full price for a game when I know for a fact that it’s going to be a mess and will take three to six months to make decent? Then, of course, under Steam’s model the game will no longer be full price. All I need to do is wait a while for one of their weekend deals and suddenly I’ve got the game at 50 or even 75% off.

The profit the studio/publisher gets is vastly reduced if more people take this approach, and as long as fans who buy on release day are punished in the process that’s going to be happening more. I’m amazed that a publisher/dev like Paradox games, who know that their games are too niche to ever have truly mass market appeal, are so blasé about pissing off the fans they do have and rely on to keep buying their games.

To add insult to injury, the “new version” that was released overnight and which I’ve just finished downloading seems to be only incrementally better than what was released last night, in fact I suspect it’s still a beta version as not all the features are activated (and by features I mean things like the options menu or the opening cinematic!). Words fail me…

Paradox hasnt released a fully working game in ages…Hearts of Iron 3 (an utter disaster)…Rome…and they also have a couple moderators who are utter arrogant a-holes.

I’m inclined to agree with you - particularly after I was also burnt with Elemental given that was released pretty much incomplete too. I’ve been a paradox customer for over 10 years and I’m really saddened that with the release of each product they appear to get sloppier. I can’t see it ending well for them.

Their last release, Sengoku, was remarkably bug free.

Was it? I was tempted to get that but decided to hold off given I was on the fence for it to go down in price. Yet to see any reviews for it too.

In other news Paradox have emailed me back saying they’re processing my request for a refund and will get back to me when they’ve figured out how to do it - under the T&C of steam you don’t get refunds, even if the publisher wants to give one.