While on the one hand I entirely agree that DW:U isn't that important in the grand scheme of life and even if it never sees the light of day I will still lead a full and happy life. On the other hand I will agree that it is a shambles how it has been marketed, also it seems society has undergone a radical shift in regards to success and failure that causes me to side with those who are angry about the state of affairs over DW:U.
It wasn't all that long ago where folks would make bold claims as to what they were going to do, how, and when and they would then proceed in said task. If they succeeded they were lauded, if they failed then commiserations were offered. However for those who made bold claims and then not only failed to deliver but did so in a manner that was opaque at best and often downright shady, only ridicule and resentment awaited. I personally have no problem with this sort of thing as it means boys who cry wolf do indeed get eaten thereby making the village stronger as a whole.
I could be incorrect but I believe Matrix Games is a Publisher & Distributor and nothing else. This means they really only have three tasks to perform. Sales, Public Relations, and the growth of developers under their wing. Anyone who has ever worked in any commission only form of sales job will have likely heard "you are only as good as your last sale". In short no one cares what you will do next week and your words mean nothing if you cannot back them up with proven actions.
With this axiom in mind and taking the first idea to hand then the strategy of Matrix and DW:U becomes at best unfathomable and at worst downright kindergarten in it's quality. I have been highly critical of this before using words such as incompetent and dishonest, for this a forum mod suggested I was out of line. I do not know if forum mods are direct Matrix employees or not, but as an endorsed representative of the company on a public forum I regard all mods as part of the Matrix Games structure. As such this seems like a firm taking a personal dislike of an attack on a company and it's procedures as if I had directly insulted a named member of the company.
The simple facts of the entire DW:U are as follows.
1. Distant worlds is probably one of the best selling games for Matrix, I have not been able to find sales figures and do not believe Matrix publish their sales figures (Do not understand why the need to hide such information but another issue). This is based on observing DW to be the third ranking in forum topic numbers for an individual title series. The only two higher are WITP & WITE.
2. Distant worlds is one of if not the most expensive title in Matris Games library at this time. The total cost for ownership of the entire DW series is £65.66 for a digital edition. Other title series do go above this but many of them include stand alone games unlike DW which is made up of expansions requiring the previous to play.
3. There have been (I guess because I am loosing the will to actually verify) less than 10 official posts about DW:U and it has been put out to the larger gaming community of review sites in a zero capacity. The following sites all posted pretty much the same vague information (neoseeker, worthplaying, gamershell, spacegamejunkie, spacesector) on the 13/03/14. These all stated the release date of may '14. Note this is actually the pushed back date from the original one of March '14. This delay was also not notified until a few folks began posting regarding where DW:U was and it was finally admitted to being delayed on 03/04/14.
So if we for a moment put aside all possible issues where the developer was unable to spot a problem and notify Matrix Games of the issue until the 11th hour (a situation I refute on the basis of the developers past performances which have been exellent from the very beginning as such they have gained a large amount of credibility.) then you only have a couple of possible outcomes left logically. Either the information was held back intentionally for reasons we will never know, or someone dropped the ball and made an error in professional judgment (many of us call this incompetence as it fits pretty well into the definition of the term despite folks personal feelings of attack). Since Matrix Games has demonstrated that it (as a company not persons and feelings) does not seem to like to offer up bountiful amounts of information to it's customers then the company cannot complain when said customers decide to pick the only other option. If your actions look bad and you do not try to explain them I will assume they are bad by fact of it is more likely the case.
Take all of this into account with the first two points about how much of a cash cow the Distant Worlds series has been for Matrix Games and it seems like madness boardering on insanity to be taking this course of action. A huge majority of the players and modders of DW on this forum have praised the developers countless times for the sheer quality and potential of the title. Almost all of them I will wager would love to see a DW2 and more from this developer. But right now the sheer incompetence of Matrix Games is potentially harming those chances by not giving the developer the audience they deserve for their work. Since this is the only distribution method for DW then the title is stuck in a void at present. This could also be why many folks are clamouring at things such as a Steam or other distributor release, while I understand this could harm the potential profits of Matrix Games, it seems a little underhand at best to dissuade threads where folks become vocal in their dislike/like of such methods. Intended or not it comes across as a petty attempt to keep a monopoly over the DW series.
If Matrix Games have noticed falling sales in this title and are thinking of shelving it that's fine, but hand off the baton and let someone else try. If that is not the case then someone start doing their job properly the company only really has to do one thing well and it cannot even manage that. If this were the apprentice then Matrix Games would of been thrown out after the first fruit selling round.
< Message edited by feygan -- 4/26/2014 1:06:37 PM >