Evolve Dev: "I Don't Like People Thinking We're Doing Dirty, Underhanded S***"

Steven Bogos

The Taco Man
Jan 17, 2013
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Evolve Dev: "I Don't Like People Thinking We're Doing Dirty, Underhanded S***"


Evolve director Phil Robb is tired of people thinking his game's DLC policies are "underhanded".

Ever since Evolve dev Turtle Rock Studio's co-founder Chris Ashton said that the game would be Destructoid [http://www.escapistmagazine.com/news/view/136058-Evolve-Will-Have-Lots-of-DLC].

"I don't like people thinking we're doing underhanded, dirty shit," Robb said, referring to Ashton's initial "DLC-vehicle" quote. He added that his co-worker's choice of words was "unfortunate," and the fan furor that followed was "hugely disheartening" for him.

Robb went on to clarify what Ashton actually meant by that initial quote, stating "We have the game set up in such a way that we can expand upon it if that is the desire. Our plan is one we pushed for as consumers. Never split the community, no pay to win, all that kind of bullshit that are hallmarks of DLC plans specifically made to leech money out of people."

While he admitted that there are of course, bills to be paid and money to be made with DLC, "If we're going to make money we want to feel good about the way we've done it," Robb stressed. "We don't want to feel like we've hoodwinked people."

However, Robb did say that he didn't "quite understand the knee-jerk negative reaction to DLC. Because I know for me, as a gamer, when I have a game I really love and I play it for a while and I want more, I want more. I'll pay for it. I don't mind." He added that "There are way too many ideas we cannot fit into the box, Budget-wise, time-wise, there's too much cool shit for us to leave it laying there and never do anything with it. But we wanted to be good about it as consumers," which is consistent with his earlier statement that when Evolve ships, none of it's DLC will be finished [http://www.escapistmagazine.com/news/view/139496-Evolve-Dev-Defends-DLC-Practices].

What do you think about Evolve's DLC practices? Can you sympathize with Robb, or do you think that this complicated mess of pre-order/DLC bonuses [http://evolvegame.com/news/the-evolve-digital-versions-breakdown] is about as "dirty and underhanded" as it can be?

Source: Destructoid [http://www.destructoid.com/evolve-director-on-dlc-i-don-t-like-people-thinking-we-re-doing-underhanded-dirty-shit--284514.phtml#EZWWrxtTEAmrkwbH.16]

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Aug 1, 2010
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Ok, cool, sounds great. Then sell the full game at a reduced price.

If he really is being truthful about this and the game is shipping with only a portion of the complete ideas, it should be sold for a portion of the original price.

Valve tried at least. The whole idea behind Left 4 Dead was to sell it cheap, then sell tons of content over the course of its life. The didn't exactly hold up their end of the deal, but at least the intention was there.
 

Story

Note to self: Prooof reed posts
Sep 4, 2013
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Well then don't do it. :p
...
Okay okay probably not fair to say that but the preorder bonuses are a bunch of bullshit especially if you had so little characters already. I like DLC personally, but it has become a dirty word for awhile now, these kinds of DLC methods are the reason.
 

Kopikatsu

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May 27, 2010
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I genuinely cannot understand the outrage about this. Frequently DLC has to be 'built into the game' in that, without framework already being present in the game, stuff can't be added at all. That doesn't mean the DLC has (or could be) finished before the game was finished and is intentionally being held back to be sold later. I hear this a lot from developers of fighting games, who have to set up dummy 'slots' with some data attached in order to add DLC characters later.
 
Sep 24, 2008
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It's quite simple.

If the DLC feels like it should have been apart of the original project, and it is in fact 'Day one DLC', it's underhanded and reprehensible. If it's a monster that you just thought of three months down the line and you think people will like it... it's fine. It's even welcomed.

Getting more of an experience is perfectly acceptable and something we all want. Having everything planned out, done, but then sold to us piecemeal when we bought a fractured product at full price? That's disgusting.
 

Zhukov

The Laughing Arsehole
Dec 29, 2009
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I don't find it dirty or underhanded. I think the automatic hysteria over DLC is a bit dumb.

I do however find it rather tiresome. I don't want to have to look at a fucking flowchart when buying a game.

Just give me everything and put a fucking price tag on it. I shall then decide whether or not I want to pay that price. Bam. Done. Sold. Simple.
 

CpT_x_Killsteal

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Jun 21, 2012
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People have gotten too up in arms. And I'm afraid I've acted like one of them in the course of making up my mind. 2K are the ones jerking their spunk all over the place with the 8 different DLC packages that offer absolutely fucking nothing, as well as the "season pass" that isn't actually a season pass. Get mad at 2K, not at Turtle Rock people.

Another thing to consider is that the maps are given out free, whereas they're usually sold. Turtle Rock probably had to fight to not break up the community. If you add in the maps and the gamemodes along with the DLCs, it adds up to a fair(ish) price.

2K are still a pack of cunts though.
 

Soviet Heavy

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Jan 22, 2010
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Maybe you could have taken a few notes from Valve on building goodwill when they helped you make Left 4 Dead. Those games sold millions on PC alone and all the DLC was free.
 

Steven Bogos

The Taco Man
Jan 17, 2013
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Zhukov said:
I don't find it dirty or underhanded. I think the automatic hysteria over DLC is a bit dumb.

I do however find it rather tiresome. I don't want to have to look at a fucking flowchart when buying a game.

Just give me everything and put a fucking price tag on it. I shall then decide whether or not I want to pay that price. Bam. Done. Sold. Simple.
I completely agree. I just want to pay for a game ONCE and get all of its content. You know, back in the good old days where you bought a game, and any future content was free, released in patches, or bundled with a major, MAJOR amount of content in an expansion pack.

I would have said Blizzard is one of the last devs to still do this, but the pricing structure for Heroes of the Storm is fucking awful.
 

Jadak

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Nov 4, 2008
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Honestly, people are too whiny.

It doesn't even matter if the DLC was done before or after a game is finished. All that matters is clarity, make sure people know what they're buying and what isn't included. That's it. Don't like the value for the price? Don't fucking buy it.

Game companies are a business, and games are just a product. They can choose whatever development and marketing process they damn well feel like. The only objectionable factor in this type of thing is if a company should be deceptive about what they're selling.

For example, if the marketing implies that you get x amount of monsters when you buy the game, when in fact you only get some and the rest are dlc, that's a problem, they sold a product through false advertisements. If that is not happening, then shut the fuck up, voice your opinion on the value of their offerings with your wallet.
 

milijanko

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Nov 19, 2013
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Gameplay DLC and grinding for equipment has always and will allays negatively affect versus MP games. And I just don't have the time or the will to deal with this s*it.
 

008Zulu_v1legacy

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Sep 6, 2009
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If Evolve's devs are reading this, I have an observation followed by a suggestion; You don't want this to be seen as underhanded, but that is precisely as you have presented it. You have advertised DLC before the game has even been released. You have promoted all these (admittedly) cool things, before the game has even been released. You are making grand plans, before the game has even been released. See where we are going with this here? And now for the suggestion; Game development is like poker, never show your full hand. You have shown your full hand before the chips were even put on the table.

How do you recover? Well, you are marketing this as a full game, popular opinion is that with all this DLC, it is not a full game. Don't sell it as a full game. Your hubris has cost cost you, don't make your customers foot the bill.
 

mjharper

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Apr 28, 2013
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However, Robb did say that he didn't "quite understand the knee-jerk negative reaction to DLC. Because I know for me, as a gamer, when I have a game I really love and I play it for a while and I want more, I want more. I'll pay for it. I don't mind."
Seriously, I'm getting sick of this nonsense. We ALL know that good DLC is fun and rewarding, and that there is a desire for it. But if you're the director of a game, and especially one which is likely to have a metric tonne of DLC, it is your responsibility to figure out that some DLC - Day One, or on-the-disc stuff, for example - is problematic. Putting on rose-tinted glasses and claiming that you don't understand means you are not doing your job.

Directors and publishers: stop implying that there is something wrong with us because we don't swallow this nonsense without question, and do your goddamn jobs.

(The cynic in me realises they are doing their jobs. People like this are intentionally courting controversy by firing up the fanboys to support them against the more rational complaints of saturation, and they've figured out that a cursory statement along the lines of 'We're not planning to do what we're planning to do, honest!' is all the protection they need. It's too early in the morning for this. I need coffee.)
 

DrunkOnEstus

In the name of Harman...
May 11, 2012
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While I'm sure that some of the reaction was toxic, I can't call it a "kneejerk reaction". When gamers have spent the last few years dealing with massive pushes for pre-ordering and retailer exclusive pre-order DLC, season passes that don't include all the DLC or include half of it on the disc already, every game having a season pass of some kind, and even "we swear that it wasn't finished when the game went gold" (though I don't know why that's such a hot button) DLC being way over-priced as far as the entertainment-to-dollar ratio goes compared to the "base game" (fuck this has gotten ridiculous), hearing "the game was built from the ground up for DLC" just sounds like someone saying something suicidal from a PR standpoint (There's a run-on sentence for ya).

I get the idea that if a game is good some people might want more of it, or that some people make stupid amounts of money (TB spending $12,000 or so on Hearthstone cards comes to mind), but one has to realize that when discussing DLC, especially the idea of building your game around the presence of a large amount of it, it should be common sense that not many people are going to take the "I'd like more of a good thing" route. I'm not interested in Evolve, but talk like this immediately makes me think I should just wait until the GOTY (even if it isn't declared game of the year there's a fucking GOTY) so that I feel like I'm purchasing a complete game, not buying the 1.0 before 17 patches and DLC packs and bypassing the server and balance issues.

I feel I should also add that it probably isn't wise to even acknowledge the idea that you are or aren't doing "dirty, underhanded shit", or saying that you don't like what your potential consumers think. Someone should probably avoid diving directly into the notorious "official game forums" and taking what goes on in there personally, because their public response to it all is making me really not consider Evolve.

Side-Side note: If your game has gone gold, then people playing before launch is not a "beta". I'm pretty sure Destiny pulled this shit. It's called a "multiplayer demo". Unless the rules of software development changed while I was distracted.
 

RedDeadFred

Illusions, Michael!
May 13, 2009
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Personally, I find the amount of advertising for the DLC of the game to be quite off-putting. I swear I've heard more about the different pre-order bonuses and DLC than the actual content of the game. This has me skeptical about how many hours of play I'd get before getting bored and wanting all of the extra stuff.

Also, I don't really get the amount of corporate apology that's going on here. When other publishers do things like this, people get rightfully annoyed with them. Is it because Turtle Rock used to work with Valve?

Maybe I just don't get it. In my eyes, it's a game that's being built with the F2P micro-transactions while also charging full price for the game itself. It'd be like if League of Legends started charging 30 bucks (obviously Evolved does have higher production values so I wouldn't compare them both as 60 dollar games) for the game itself while keeping all of the micro-transactions.
 

Zhukov

The Laughing Arsehole
Dec 29, 2009
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Steven Bogos said:
Zhukov said:
I don't find it dirty or underhanded. I think the automatic hysteria over DLC is a bit dumb.

I do however find it rather tiresome. I don't want to have to look at a fucking flowchart when buying a game.

Just give me everything and put a fucking price tag on it. I shall then decide whether or not I want to pay that price. Bam. Done. Sold. Simple.
I completely agree. I just want to pay for a game ONCE and get all of its content. You know, back in the good old days where you bought a game, and any future content was free, released in patches, or bundled with a major, MAJOR amount of content in an expansion pack.

I would have said Blizzard is one of the last devs to still do this, but the pricing structure for Heroes of the Storm is fucking awful.
Thing is, I don't actually mind them carving up their games. Especially when it's Free-to-Play (which this isn't). Their game, their pricing model, their choice.

But I just wish they'd include an Absolutely Everything Pack. They can price it at whatever they think it's worth.
 

Weresquirrel

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Aug 13, 2008
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I'm reminded of a line from Lucky Number Slevin:

"The first time someone calls you a horse, you punch him on the nose. The second time someone calls you a horse, you call him a jerk. A third guy calls you a horse, well maybe it's time you started shopping for a saddle."

I was semi-interested in the game after the beta, I wasn't sure a game could carry off what it was doing for too long without getting stale, but the same could've been said for L4D, and I played the crap out of that. But honestly, charging as much as they are has killed my interest.

If the base game was a lot cheaper and supported by these, I could respect that. If the game itself was (slightly) more expensive but came with free content updates for the life of the game, I could respect that. But this? No thank you. Maybe when it inevitably goes 75% off in a steam sale I'll have another look.
 

War_Dyn27

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Jan 22, 2014
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I agree with the sentiment that Turtle Rock Should have taken more pointers when they were part of Valve.
I mean look at Left 4 Dead 2, which got the entire first game's maps and characters ported into it for free, along with 2 free (on PC at least) smaller DLC campaigns with 'The Sacrifice' and 'The Passing'.
Hell, another of Valve's games; Dota 2, doesn't lock of important content like characters (or any thing gameplay related) behind paywalls and its a F2P game, where you expect this shady butchering and parcelling out of content.

So yeah If you don't want people complaining about your shady DLC practices Turtle Rock, don't have shady DLC practices.