inXile / RPG Codex Gamescom Interview Scuttled

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Zombra
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inXile / RPG Codex Gamescom Interview Scuttled

Post by Zombra » August 12th, 2016, 2:59 pm

I’ll try to keep this to the point.

inXile is doing a closed demo of TTON at Gamescom this month. Private invitations were sent out to certain RPG sites and the press, including RPG Codex, a website I frequent for its sophisticated reviews, analysis, and discussion of CRPGs. Included in the invitation, sent out sometime last month, was a note about the upcoming cross-platform release announcement, and a request not to prematurely divulge this information.

Now. Later in July, an RPG Codex staff member mentioned the upcoming Gamescom demo, the fact that Gamescom exists and that TTON would be there. (That was it. Not a word about the console release.) Based on this purported confidential leak, the Codex was notified by the booking agents (whose email included screenshots of the offending mention) that their invitation had been withdrawn, and their interview slot canceled.

Drama has ensued.

In my opinion the drama is justified. The requested confidential information was not revealed; therefore canceling the interview was blatantly out of line.

Is this a big deal? We can’t really know unless it’s understood why this happened. This could have been the work of a dumb intern, overzealous PR person, or harried scheduler desperate to free up a time slot.

Why else might this have happened? Does someone, somewhere, want to edge out RPG Codex’s hard-hitting reporting? Ridiculous, but hang on a second.

The announcement of TTON’s cross-platform release of TTON, and Techland taking over as publisher, was not well-received among the “harder core” elements of the community. There was a bit of pushback right here on the forums, and as you might imagine, much outcry and disappointment on the Codex itself.

After the reveal and during the ramp-up to Gamescom, the Codex interviewer asked the community for questions. Among the questions proposed for the Fargo interview included a tough look at the console releases. Is it possible that someone wanted to avoid this face-to-face indictment of “consolization”? Silly, right? OK, sure.

When contacted unofficially for comment, Brian Fargo reportedly replied,
Brian Fargo wrote:Sorry to hear about Gamescom but I am not in charge of my scheduling and Techland has me booked solid. I do know that breaking embargo is a felony for PR so I would definitely suggest the codex be careful. As for me, I didn't even know I was supposed to be afraid of being interviewed by the Codex. Aren't all their questions cynical? ;)
OK, now even if everything before this paragraph is dumb conspiracy theory, this reply all by itself is disturbing. It reveals a Fargo beholden to his publisher in a way that fundamentally opposes the impetus behind inXile’s Kickstarter rebirth, the very foundation of everything we pledged for starting four years ago. Am I overstating the case a little? Maybe ... but it leaves a bad taste to see that Techland is calling the shots about who Brian will and will not interview with.

So why am I posting all this? I don’t know. As a loyal member of both communities, I hate to see this kind of conflict. Basically I want to see Mommy and Daddy make up. I also felt that with the strength of the Codex’s reaction, this item deserved at least a mention on the official inXile forum.

What would I like to see happen? An apology from inXile may be too much to hope for - particularly as this may have been Techland’s decision in the first place, not theirs (which is a whole ‘nother conversation) - but it would be great to see an effort made to reinstate or reschedule the interview the Codex was screwed out of. A lot of hard work had already gone into developing it when the cancellation came ... and more to the point, I want to read the interview!

Full details and drama available here. Wear your protective goggles - looking directly at the Codex may be harmful to your health.
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Re: inXile / RPG Codex Gamescom Interview Canceled

Post by Bester » August 12th, 2016, 3:06 pm

The Codex got what it deserved for divulging privileged information. It wouldn't be the first time. I'm surprised they haven't blacklisted your site entirely ages ago.

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Re: inXile / RPG Codex Gamescom Interview Scuttled

Post by Sacred_Path » August 12th, 2016, 3:08 pm

There will be things to remember about this game and its development, and it won't be the Codex drama.

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Re: inXile / RPG Codex Gamescom Interview Scuttled

Post by oldmanpaco » August 12th, 2016, 3:16 pm

I don't even know why we allow people from that site here. All it is racism and hate and bad grammar.

I visited that place once but never again.

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Re: inXile / RPG Codex Gamescom Interview Scuttled

Post by Drool » August 12th, 2016, 6:56 pm

Brian Fargo wrote:Sorry to hear about Gamescom but I am not in charge of my scheduling and Techland has me booked solid. I do know that breaking embargo is a felony for PR so I would definitely suggest the codex be careful. As for me, I didn't even know I was supposed to be afraid of being interviewed by the Codex. Aren't all their questions cynical? ;)
Zombra wrote:OK, now even if everything before this paragraph is dumb conspiracy theory, this reply all by itself is disturbing. It reveals a Fargo beholden to his publisher in a way that fundamentally opposes the impetus behind inXile’s Kickstarter rebirth, the very foundation of everything we pledged for starting four years ago. Am I overstating the case a little?
More than "a little", dude. That you're instantly jumping to Techland being this Dark Puppet-Master who is now forcing Brian to Give Up All He Holds To Be True perhaps with a side of Questioning The Very Concept of a Loving God means you really need to take a step back, grab something sturdy, and take several deep breaths.

They're managing his interviewing schedule, not holding his family hostage. You don't need to look for embedded Morse code in his blinking pattern.
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Re: inXile / RPG Codex Gamescom Interview Scuttled

Post by Goral » August 12th, 2016, 10:32 pm

lol
Of course it's outrageous and here's why: http://www.rpgcodex.net/forums/index.ph ... st-4682865
Bubbles wrote:I don't think it's that interesting, but it's still eating at me, so I might as well pull out all the info:

12th of July: I ask Techland if Torment would be at Gamescom. 3 hours later, Techland PR confirms their presence and promises to get in touch to book us a slot once the invitations are ready.

19th of July: we receive the invitation through the third party PR agency, asking us not to reveal any information about the console release. Infinitron confirms in the forums that Torment will be present at Gamescom. (note that he waits a full week, until the official invite, to reveal this)

26th of July: we successfully book the presentation and interview with the agency (waiting times are long with Gamescom bookings)

4th of August: Torment is officially confirmed for a console release. Infinitron publically states that we had known about this since July.

10th of August: we receive the question about Infinitron from Techland at 16:22 Berlin time. I politely ask for the reason behind this request at 17:54. We are informed of the cancellation of our interview and presentation slot at 18:22.
They got the invitation as one of the bigger backers and the only RPG site that is significant, a week later it becomes official and they are asked to not reveal that Torment will be released on consoles, some guy says that Torment will be present on Gamescon (no shit Sherlock, what a surprise) and nothing else, not revealing anything that they said not to reveal, and suddenly, almost three weeks later (just after the negative response to Torment being "consolized" could be seen) they are denied this the reason being... nothing. No one revealed anything that wasn't known to anyone with half a brain, no NDA was breached, not even an etiquette was breached since this guy has said nothing of substance. So yeah, there is a reason to be upset especially when the response from inXile guys is something along the lines "we can't do anything about it, Techland decides". That's just A-level of hypocrisy on inXile's side considering how they were slurring publishers left and right making them evil and responsible for decline in RPG world. Now look at that?

As expected inxiledrones response accordingly

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Re: inXile / RPG Codex Gamescom Interview Scuttled

Post by Gregz » August 12th, 2016, 10:44 pm

Drool wrote:
Brian Fargo wrote:Sorry to hear about Gamescom but I am not in charge of my scheduling and Techland has me booked solid. I do know that breaking embargo is a felony for PR so I would definitely suggest the codex be careful. As for me, I didn't even know I was supposed to be afraid of being interviewed by the Codex. Aren't all their questions cynical? ;)
Zombra wrote:OK, now even if everything before this paragraph is dumb conspiracy theory, this reply all by itself is disturbing. It reveals a Fargo beholden to his publisher in a way that fundamentally opposes the impetus behind inXile’s Kickstarter rebirth, the very foundation of everything we pledged for starting four years ago. Am I overstating the case a little?
More than "a little", dude. That you're instantly jumping to Techland being this Dark Puppet-Master who is now forcing Brian to Give Up All He Holds To Be True perhaps with a side of Questioning The Very Concept of a Loving God means you really need to take a step back, grab something sturdy, and take several deep breaths.

They're managing his interviewing schedule, not holding his family hostage. You don't need to look for embedded Morse code in his blinking pattern.
I'm not sure you guys understand the magnitude of goodwill lost here. Not only by Techland's extremely clumsy course of action, but more importantly, inXile's apparent indifference to that action.

Before the kickstarter phenomenon, inXile spent 10 years staying afloat making third-rate flash games and forgettable console titles after the tepid reception of The Bard's Tale in 2004. The Wasteland 2 kickstarter was a watershed moment for the Codex and inXile. The Codex saw an opportunity to support, in every way we could, a fantastic classic title. We banded together in support of not just helping to fund the sequel, but putting in word-of-mouth support to RPG fans and industry insiders. Folks like us really know what makes a good cRPG tick, some of us have been playing them for over 35 years, and I would argue that feature suggestions, player feedback, and word-of-mouth marketing played a very important role in making WL2 the success it is.

You guys have a couple nostalgic remakes left in you, and they may carry you through another 5 years, but burning bridges and biting the hand that feeds you will not serve you in the long-term. I would very carefully reconsider how you interact with your core fan base in the kickstarter paradigm, especially after we've enabled you to make decent games again. With this kind of treatment, I would not expect communities like ours to be there when you need them. We'll be backing studios like Larian, who appreciate how much the tide has changed with regards to project funding.

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Re: inXile / RPG Codex Gamescom Interview Scuttled

Post by Bester » August 12th, 2016, 11:21 pm

Gregz wrote:Before the kickstarter phenomenon, inXile spent 10 years staying afloat making third-rate flash games and forgettable console titles after the tepid reception of The Bard's Tale in 2004. The Wasteland 2 kickstarter was a watershed moment for the Codex and inXile. The Codex saw an opportunity to support, in every way we could, a fantastic classic title. We banded together in support of not just helping to fund the sequel, but putting in word-of-mouth support to RPG fans and industry insiders. Folks like us really know what makes a good cRPG tick, some of us have been playing them for over 35 years, and I would argue that feature suggestions, player feedback, and word-of-mouth marketing played a very important role in making WL2 the success it is.
Oh, wow, please stop with these delusions of grandeur. Yeah, right, inXile owns its success to some unknown shady forum full of angry bigoted old nerds who never grew up. You need to get off your fantasy pony. You're not even W2's target audience, your average age is like 50+ over there. You should be thankful for all the attention Fargo gives you, like answering your emails and twitter, but that's only a courtesy that he's according you because you're a "backer". I'm sure he's cringing every time he has to deal with you lot. He's only doing it because he's too polite to decline. Finally his publisher cut all ties between inXile and you, and for an obvious breach on your part, I say it couldn't happen too soon.

Your 10k don't mean anything in the grand scheme of things, it's just a drop in the ocean, not some heroic act. Fargo is the blacksmith of his own success, him and the team of superstar game designers and writers behind him.

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Re: inXile / RPG Codex Gamescom Interview Scuttled

Post by FeelTheRads » August 12th, 2016, 11:56 pm

:lol:

Is this Bester the same one from the Codex?

If not and he's serious, then jesus...

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Re: inXile / RPG Codex Gamescom Interview Scuttled

Post by Goral » August 12th, 2016, 11:58 pm

Do you really need to ask seeing heavy handed fragments like these:
Bester wrote:(...)
Your 10k don't mean anything in the grand scheme of things, it's just a drop in the ocean, not some heroic act. Fargo is the blacksmith of his own success, him and the team of superstar game designers and writers behind him.
:lol:

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Re: inXile / RPG Codex Gamescom Interview Scuttled

Post by IHaveHugeNick » August 13th, 2016, 12:01 am

Codex is a nasty place, I tried posting there once but they didn't respect my prefered pronouns.
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Re: inXile / RPG Codex Gamescom Interview Scuttled

Post by undecaf » August 13th, 2016, 12:30 am

Hah, the Codex drama migrates.
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Re: inXile / RPG Codex Gamescom Interview Scuttled

Post by Goral » August 13th, 2016, 1:40 am

No matter how you look at it inXile is breaking bad and becoming the "evil publisher" they were talking about in the Kickstarter pitches. Another example is how they treat other indie studios leaving Bethesda or Activision alone for the same thing because they're too weak to bully AAA publishers. Add to that that they're bringing their games that were supposed to be PC exclusives to consoles and you have a shitty company as a result.

Brian Fargo is a liar and the embodiment of an evil publisher, there's no way to deny it:

http://www.gamesradar.com/player-choice ... n-fargo/2/

[quote="Brian "The liar"Fargo"]However, we’ve gone to the crowd and they’ve given us money for a very specific purpose, which is to put our games on the PC, Mac and Linux. So that’s where we’re expending 100% of our efforts. We don’t spend any of our time wondering whether it can or can’t be done on consoles, because that isn’t our charter. Our charter is to deliver these first versions.[/quote]

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Re: inXile / RPG Codex Gamescom Interview Scuttled

Post by Sacred_Path » August 13th, 2016, 2:40 am

Bester wrote:You should be thankful for all the attention Fargo gives you, like answering your emails and twitter, but that's only a courtesy that he's according you because you're a "backer". I'm sure he's cringing every time he has to deal with you lot. He's only doing it because he's too polite to decline.
:lol:

+1

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Re: inXile / RPG Codex Gamescom Interview Scuttled

Post by valcik » August 13th, 2016, 6:08 am

What's wrong with Techland selling their commodity (dev's time) to a site generating higher assumed revenue? Blaming Infinitron for not wearing red boots is pretty childish though.

As for Faran Brygo, we all know he's crime lord, right? He promised no console ports financed via KS, he screwed you backers badly, be smarter next time. Nothing to see here citizens, move along!

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Re: inXile / RPG Codex Gamescom Interview Scuttled

Post by IHaveHugeNick » August 13th, 2016, 9:43 am

Isn't that's kind of the point? Cancellation in itself probably isn't that unusual. Maybe they wanted to make room for more respectable outlet than the Codex. More respectable outlets than the Codex include Goatse.cx, FlatEarthSociety.com, and WordPress blogs with one post that weren't updated since 2003. So no surprise there.

This wouldn't be worthy of so much popcorn if the reason Techland gave for cancellation wasn't total bullshit.
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Re: inXile / RPG Codex Gamescom Interview Scuttled

Post by Black » August 13th, 2016, 9:53 am

Fool me once etc.
Ciao, Fargo :lol:

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Re: inXile / RPG Codex Gamescom Interview Scuttled

Post by Drool » August 13th, 2016, 12:19 pm

Goral wrote:No matter how you look at it inXile is breaking bad and becoming the "evil publisher" they were talking about in the Kickstarter pitches.
You're adorable. I want to put you in my pocket.
"...who were trying to extort them while violating IP rights". It's much less sinister if you finish the sentence.

[quote="Brian "The liar"Fargo"]However, we’ve gone to the crowd and they’ve given us money for a very specific purpose, which is to put our games on the PC, Mac and Linux. So that’s where we’re expending 100% of our efforts. We don’t spend any of our time wondering whether it can or can’t be done on consoles, because that isn’t our charter. Our charter is to deliver these first versions.[/quote]
And hey, that's still the case. Which is why they farmed out to another company the console version. inXile isn't spending their time and money on a console version, Techland is.
Gregz wrote:I'm not sure you guys understand the magnitude of goodwill lost here. Not only by Techland's extremely clumsy course of action, but more importantly, inXile's apparent indifference to that action.
It was Techland's call to make. Not sure why you're pissy at inXile. Hey, Codemasters is also indifferent to Techland's action. You gonna go protest them, too?
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Re: inXile / RPG Codex Gamescom Interview Scuttled

Post by Goral » August 13th, 2016, 1:17 pm

Drool wrote:(...)
"...who were trying to extort them while violating IP rights". It's much less sinister if you finish the sentence.
(...)
Extort? What proof do you have of that? Just because Brother None says so it doesn't mean it is so. As for violating IP rights, that's just petty behaviour on their part. And for some reason they didn't sue Activision or Bethesda for using Wasteland in their titles, I wonder why...

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Re: inXile / RPG Codex Gamescom Interview Scuttled

Post by oldmanpaco » August 13th, 2016, 8:42 pm

The Codex is overreacting as usual. Some third rate web site bitching about being kicked out of an interview with a AAA game developer is nothing new. And their fears about the game are unfounded. There are plenty of console ports that turn out to be good PC games. I'm sure Torment will be one as well.

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