inXile Entertainment joins Microsoft Studios

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svdp
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Re: inXile Entertainment joins Microsoft Studios

Post by svdp » November 24th, 2018, 9:09 am

Drool wrote:
November 23rd, 2018, 3:33 pm
svdp wrote:
November 23rd, 2018, 3:27 pm
Gone are the days, for instance, that you got DLC's and extra stuff for free
When was this?
Back in the days of morrowind.

kanisatha
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Re: inXile Entertainment joins Microsoft Studios

Post by kanisatha » November 24th, 2018, 9:15 am

svdp wrote:
November 23rd, 2018, 12:33 pm
kanisatha wrote:
November 23rd, 2018, 8:21 am
Crowdfunding backers are a very small group that ends up coercing developers to produce games that are exactly as they want them, with zero tolerance for even the smallest of deviations or creative differences from their absolutist demands. They are far too often whiney and entitled. And these particular backers I speak of are not even representative of all backers; rather, they're a very tiny minority within that small group of backers. But they're extremely vocal and in-your-face, and they pretend that they are the majority voice. They are the reason I no longer bother with engaging in threads on this forum. So I'd much rather see decisions about what games to make and how to make them be made by some dispassionate studio exec than these backers that I speak of.
Luckily you nuanced it a bit at the end, because at the start I would have said: I'm a crowdfund backer, and I didn't make any demands whatsoever. I just wanted to see what they could do, and their enthusiasm was pretty cool, and the genre looked like I like it, so I went with it.
Well, not luckily. As intended. You can see from my forum badges I'm a backer too. But I'm very much a silent backer, and that is, in my view, as it ought to be. The backers, collectively, are important and should be treated with respect. Each backer individually, however, only contributed a tiny, tiny, tiny amount to the project (barring supermegabackers) and should not expect the game to be their personal pet project.

I recently backed Realms Beyond on KS. It has TB combat. I don't care for TB combat and much rather prefer RTwP. But not once have I whined or stomped my foot or in any way demanded the game be changed to suit my preference. I've also backed several RPGs with RTwP. Their forums (incl on KS) are flooded with posts (usually a gazillion repeat posts from the same small group of individuals) demanding that the game be changed to TB because that is what they want, i.e. that is the "correct" way a game should be made.

Look at the "saves" thread on the BT4 forum here where certain posters were literally foaming at the mouth insisting I and others like me should be burned at the stake for the heresy of asking for save anywhere anytime.

Just a couple of examples of why I have become disillusioned with crowdfunding (a model I wholeheartedly embraced and was so very happy about several years ago).

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Re: inXile Entertainment joins Microsoft Studios

Post by svdp » November 24th, 2018, 9:54 am

Woolfe wrote:
November 23rd, 2018, 7:01 pm
Welcome to capitalism at its finest.
I would say of capitalism what Churchill said of Democracy:

"Capitalism is the worst form of economic system except for all those other forms that have been tried from time to time."

I'm no fan of communism and socialism, because those suck even far more, but while I'm pro capitalism, I'm not under the delusion it's a perfect system.

As I see it, we seem to agree on a lot of things, with varying levels. The main difference being, I'm far less optimistic about the 'future' of indies being swallowed up.

You make a valid point asking how they would have fared else - but the problem is, that that is speculation of the past in a 'what-if' context, which can't be answered. It's like saying "what genius might have been born if abortion hadn't been legalized?"... well, maybe the biggest genius of all, more so than Einstein. Or none at all. There is really no way to be sure, and it's not even all that relevant to gauge what is current practice these days.

At the very least one could say, if they went down, they went down because of their own decisions and successes or failures, not because some else messed up and forced them to do stuff they did not want to.

As for you claim "MS changed"... that's been said every 5 years. I've seen some others (more obnoxious) people saying the same, but there isn't actually proof that the promises and assurances now are any worth more than they were 20, 10, 5 years ago. So one would to have to accept that 'on good faith' as an argument, which I'm not really inclined to do, since it's not rational assuming a sudden change of heart, when there is nothing actually backing it up in any definite way. Saying 'they're going the way of a service', for instance, in no way precludes they won't gobble up and meddle with indies they bought. One could claim it would be unwise and not rational of MS to do so, but that, neither, is an actual argument, since they've shown they do exactly that, even if they were irrational or unwise. So none of these arguments really have hard data to back it up, which means one can give very little worth to them, as of yet.

And I'm not saying there 'can not' be a good game being released by big companies. As said, they can. Only, in comparison to the cloud they got, the money they got, the marketing they got, the manpower they got, etc., it's comparatively FAR less than of indies. And that because big ones always play it safe. Novelty is the first thing to go. Because they're mainly concentrated on the money(grabbing), not the game.

And of course, you're right: everyone needs money, also indies. But the focus there is reversed. Larian first makes sure they have a good game, and the, publishes. They almost went bankrupt with the first original sin, but they refused to yield to make a crappy game much sooner. If it hadn't been a success, they would have gone under, that's true. But it's not like big ones can't fail neither. And indies bought up by big ones, even far more, and more often so. The bottomline is, that's you remain master of your own fate, even if there are always constraints (like the funding).

Now, all this is after the facts and won't change anything, of course. Inxile has been bought, that's it. I just think the overly-optimistic viewpoints of some here, are unwarranted, or at least unsubstantiated by the facts, as we know them thusfar. Claiming 'things are *really* different now', when we've heard that same line 100 times before, makes for a weak argument. Talk is cheap, as they say. Yes, maybe a wonder will occur, this time, but prior data shows one should be rather skeptical of such wishful thinking.

The really sad thing, as said, is that even if small ones succeed, if they get big enough, they also turn into the same thing: gobbling up and money-grabbing as primary concern, and slowly loosing the drive for making a real, novel and masterful game. I'm really wondering if this is inevitable. Is there now way to counteract this, except for what you said; staying small, consciously? Ultimately, I think it all depends on the nature/drive of the one(s) in charge, and that is EXACTLY the problem with big corporations: the CEO or the top management has often changed, and doesn't *really* care about any of it. If they get a better paid job tomorrow elsewhere, they're gone. You can't have a game-company with a true zeal that way.

Well: /snip rant. I guess we'll have to hope for the best, but imho, Fargo made the exact mistake he always warned against in his own promo-vids, with his son, snarking against those companies. He's now lost all the remaining IP of any renown and importance he had left. If they're getting screwed by MS, they're screwed for good, this time. Yes, devs will always find work, no doubt. But the indie game-company will be dead, the franchise will be dead - or unrecognizably massacred, a,d the original soul of it will be dead. I really wished he tried to do it like Larian, and tried to make it on his own. Even if it takes 10 years longer, it would be worth it, imho. "Those who would give up essential Liberty, to purchase a little temporary Safety, deserve neither Liberty nor Safety." - I'm pretty much reminded of this.

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Re: inXile Entertainment joins Microsoft Studios

Post by svdp » November 24th, 2018, 10:09 am

kanisatha wrote:
November 24th, 2018, 9:15 am
svdp wrote:
November 23rd, 2018, 12:33 pm
kanisatha wrote:
November 23rd, 2018, 8:21 am
Crowdfunding backers are a very small group that ends up coercing developers to produce games that are exactly as they want them, with zero tolerance for even the smallest of deviations or creative differences from their absolutist demands. They are far too often whiney and entitled. And these particular backers I speak of are not even representative of all backers; rather, they're a very tiny minority within that small group of backers. But they're extremely vocal and in-your-face, and they pretend that they are the majority voice. They are the reason I no longer bother with engaging in threads on this forum. So I'd much rather see decisions about what games to make and how to make them be made by some dispassionate studio exec than these backers that I speak of.
Luckily you nuanced it a bit at the end, because at the start I would have said: I'm a crowdfund backer, and I didn't make any demands whatsoever. I just wanted to see what they could do, and their enthusiasm was pretty cool, and the genre looked like I like it, so I went with it.
Well, not luckily. As intended. You can see from my forum badges I'm a backer too. But I'm very much a silent backer, and that is, in my view, as it ought to be. The backers, collectively, are important and should be treated with respect. Each backer individually, however, only contributed a tiny, tiny, tiny amount to the project (barring supermegabackers) and should not expect the game to be their personal pet project.

I recently backed Realms Beyond on KS. It has TB combat. I don't care for TB combat and much rather prefer RTwP. But not once have I whined or stomped my foot or in any way demanded the game be changed to suit my preference. I've also backed several RPGs with RTwP. Their forums (incl on KS) are flooded with posts (usually a gazillion repeat posts from the same small group of individuals) demanding that the game be changed to TB because that is what they want, i.e. that is the "correct" way a game should be made.

Look at the "saves" thread on the BT4 forum here where certain posters were literally foaming at the mouth insisting I and others like me should be burned at the stake for the heresy of asking for save anywhere anytime.

Just a couple of examples of why I have become disillusioned with crowdfunding (a model I wholeheartedly embraced and was so very happy about several years ago).
Well, I would agree with you you have plenty of whiners. I've said so in my other posts, in my 'patch 4' comment on the tech forum. Some people really feel self-entitled to an astonishing degree. And, you know...even if there REALLY is something wrong with it, just mention it politely and try to help. I had some crashes too; instead of whining about it without end, I made a dxdiag and eventviewer, and send it to them. I had lot's of fun with the game, and everyone can have, but only if one doesn't let any minor or even larger thing get to you. There is a difference between a bug being annoying, and it making it unplayable. Some are just SO f- snowflake pussies. Ironically, it are sometimes the same people praising old-school RPG's (of hearsay, no doubt) that complain about stuff that old-school is rife with. Makes me think they're post-millenials who don't even know what it truly was like, to play old-school. They're just parroting.

But anyway... as said, a small minority makes the most noise, so it isn't really representing the actual backers-community. I think most are like you and me, only: you hear a lot less of us. So the media thinks it's the complaints of the whiners they need to take serious, because it's those that they hear and see everywhere. I do think the devs are aware of that. KS, on itself, is a pretty good system, though, and I wouldn't say 'the absolutist' demands make much direct impact on the decision-level of an indie. In the end, they can ignore it, or at least far more of it, then of one big corporation demanding the same but who holds their money/loans and IP. Right?

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Re: inXile Entertainment joins Microsoft Studios

Post by _noblesse_oblige_ » November 24th, 2018, 1:02 pm

kanisatha wrote:
November 24th, 2018, 9:15 am
Look at the "saves" thread on the BT4 forum here where certain posters were literally foaming at the mouth insisting I and others like me should be burned at the stake for the heresy of asking for save anywhere anytime.
Really? Insofar as I saw people getting upset, it was the people insisting that the game should have unlimited save/restore. They had a really hard time understanding that there are other legitimate ways to make games and not every game has to cater to their desire to have unlimited save/restore.
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Re: inXile Entertainment joins Microsoft Studios

Post by Drool » November 24th, 2018, 2:15 pm

svdp wrote:
November 24th, 2018, 9:09 am
Drool wrote:
November 23rd, 2018, 3:33 pm
svdp wrote:
November 23rd, 2018, 3:27 pm
Gone are the days, for instance, that you got DLC's and extra stuff for free
When was this?
Back in the days of morrowind.
Tribunal and Bloodmoon weren't free.
Alwa nasci korliri das.

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Re: inXile Entertainment joins Microsoft Studios

Post by Woolfe » November 24th, 2018, 4:50 pm

_noblesse_oblige_ wrote:
November 24th, 2018, 1:02 pm
kanisatha wrote:
November 24th, 2018, 9:15 am
Look at the "saves" thread on the BT4 forum here where certain posters were literally foaming at the mouth insisting I and others like me should be burned at the stake for the heresy of asking for save anywhere anytime.
Really? Insofar as I saw people getting upset, it was the people insisting that the game should have unlimited save/restore. They had a really hard time understanding that there are other legitimate ways to make games and not every game has to cater to their desire to have unlimited save/restore.
I thought most of us where saying put in both. Save anywhere with an ironman mode. Or restrictive save with a I'm a wuss mode. :D
It's not too late. Make it Eight!

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Re: inXile Entertainment joins Microsoft Studios

Post by IHaveHugeNick » November 24th, 2018, 11:31 pm

Woolfe wrote:
November 24th, 2018, 4:50 pm
_noblesse_oblige_ wrote:
November 24th, 2018, 1:02 pm
Really? Insofar as I saw people getting upset, it was the people insisting that the game should have unlimited save/restore. They had a really hard time understanding that there are other legitimate ways to make games and not every game has to cater to their desire to have unlimited save/restore.
I thought most of us where saying put in both. Save anywhere with an ironman mode. Or restrictive save with a I'm a wuss mode. :D
From what I remember of the great save game debate, the main concern was that going for both options only ends up splitting the design. Having a restrictive save system is pointless unless the maps are specifically made to work with it. It was the same problem with grid movement. One camp wants it, other camp hates it, but adding both as a compromise is just a fancy and expensive whim. To get the most out of grid movement you need maps that are designed for it.
Drool wrote:
November 24th, 2018, 2:15 pm
Tribunal and Bloodmoon weren't free.
Stop sweating over details and facts while he is trying to find deeper truths and paint the bigger picture.
Two rite whiff care is quite a feet of witch won should be proud.

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Re: inXile Entertainment joins Microsoft Studios

Post by kilobug » November 25th, 2018, 12:03 am

Drool wrote:
November 23rd, 2018, 3:33 pm
svdp wrote:
November 23rd, 2018, 3:27 pm
Gone are the days, for instance, that you got DLC's and extra stuff for free
When was this?
The DC edition of WL2 or D:OS, or the additional mini-campaign in Shadowrun: Hong Kong ? PoE2 also had some free mni-DLC (but since I got the season pass I'm not exactly sure which were free and which weren't).

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Re: inXile Entertainment joins Microsoft Studios

Post by ET3D » November 25th, 2018, 1:06 am

As I read this thread I occasionally want to reply to some interesting points made and then totally forget what I wanted to say when I read some silly bickering.

I'm the unusual kind of backer who just pays some money, tries to encourage dev teams and rarely plays any backed game, nor even activates the game codes. So I rarely weigh in on matters, even though I'm generally for having games on as many platforms as possible (including mobile).

On that front, I'm sure the Microsoft buyout will hurt that. On the other hand, I just recently found out that Microsoft had opened Xbox development to everyone, which makes me more sympathetic towards that console.

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Re: inXile Entertainment joins Microsoft Studios

Post by Woolfe » November 25th, 2018, 1:38 am

IHaveHugeNick wrote:
November 24th, 2018, 11:31 pm
Woolfe wrote:
November 24th, 2018, 4:50 pm
_noblesse_oblige_ wrote:
November 24th, 2018, 1:02 pm
Really? Insofar as I saw people getting upset, it was the people insisting that the game should have unlimited save/restore. They had a really hard time understanding that there are other legitimate ways to make games and not every game has to cater to their desire to have unlimited save/restore.
I thought most of us where saying put in both. Save anywhere with an ironman mode. Or restrictive save with a I'm a wuss mode. :D
From what I remember of the great save game debate, the main concern was that going for both options only ends up splitting the design. Having a restrictive save system is pointless unless the maps are specifically made to work with it. It was the same problem with grid movement. One camp wants it, other camp hates it, but adding both as a compromise is just a fancy and expensive whim. To get the most out of grid movement you need maps that are designed for it.
Then you misunderstood my point. My point was always build the game at the difficulty they want it to be. Then apply a save system after. Hence no expense, because the game is exactly the same in both save systems. If you use the save system to bypass the difficulty, then that is on the player. The game difficulty has not changed.
IHaveHugeNick wrote:
November 24th, 2018, 11:31 pm
Drool wrote:
November 24th, 2018, 2:15 pm
Tribunal and Bloodmoon weren't free.
Stop sweating over details and facts while he is trying to find deeper truths and paint the bigger picture.
With Broadbrush generic statements that aren't actually correct.
It's not too late. Make it Eight!

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Re: inXile Entertainment joins Microsoft Studios

Post by svdp » November 25th, 2018, 3:03 am

Drool wrote:
November 24th, 2018, 2:15 pm
svdp wrote:
November 24th, 2018, 9:09 am
Drool wrote:
November 23rd, 2018, 3:33 pm
When was this?
Back in the days of morrowind.
Tribunal and Bloodmoon weren't free.
And those were expansions, not DLC.

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Re: inXile Entertainment joins Microsoft Studios

Post by svdp » November 25th, 2018, 3:18 am

Woolfe wrote:
November 25th, 2018, 1:38 am
IHaveHugeNick wrote:
November 24th, 2018, 11:31 pm
Woolfe wrote:
November 24th, 2018, 4:50 pm


I thought most of us where saying put in both. Save anywhere with an ironman mode. Or restrictive save with a I'm a wuss mode. :D
From what I remember of the great save game debate, the main concern was that going for both options only ends up splitting the design. Having a restrictive save system is pointless unless the maps are specifically made to work with it. It was the same problem with grid movement. One camp wants it, other camp hates it, but adding both as a compromise is just a fancy and expensive whim. To get the most out of grid movement you need maps that are designed for it.
Then you misunderstood my point. My point was always build the game at the difficulty they want it to be. Then apply a save system after. Hence no expense, because the game is exactly the same in both save systems. If you use the save system to bypass the difficulty, then that is on the player. The game difficulty has not changed.
IHaveHugeNick wrote:
November 24th, 2018, 11:31 pm
Drool wrote:
November 24th, 2018, 2:15 pm
Tribunal and Bloodmoon weren't free.
Stop sweating over details while he is trying to find deeper truths and paint the bigger picture.
With Broadbrush generic statements that aren't actually correct.
No, you're deliberatly interpreting it in a way that tries to focus and nitpick on the details - and in this case, the interpretation isn't even correct.

I spoke about DLC. You're either well aware that bloodmoon and tribunal are expansion packs, and no mere dlc, and thus you're deliberatly trying to misrepresent it to make a case, or you're unwaware of that, in which case you're not very knowledgeable about it.

If you were (the latter), you would have immediately known AND understood about what small DLC's I'm talking about. You can find it on the Morrowind wiki too. It's small stuff, but it was free, and they did it for the fans. Starting with oblivion, for the same kind of small stuff (horse armor, for instance), they asked premium money. That's where the change happened from indie to big. Which is, in fact, true: Oblivion is what made Bethesda really well-know. It was their breakthrough.

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Re: inXile Entertainment joins Microsoft Studios

Post by Jozape » November 25th, 2018, 6:21 am

I found Morrowind complete if lacking in any sort of interesting anything back in 2002 without the expansions packs, but I suppose some people may argue that the expansion packs are not 'extra stuff'.

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Re: inXile Entertainment joins Microsoft Studios

Post by shmerl » November 25th, 2018, 7:56 am

ET3D wrote:
November 25th, 2018, 1:06 am
On the other hand, I just recently found out that Microsoft had opened Xbox development to everyone, which makes me more sympathetic towards that console.
In what sense opened, they don't charge for developer tools like Sony do? That's some improvement indeed (if that's the case), but I'd consider it open enough when they'll allow using open source tools and open cross platform APIs.

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Re: inXile Entertainment joins Microsoft Studios

Post by demeisen » November 25th, 2018, 8:35 am

shmerl wrote:
November 25th, 2018, 7:56 am
ET3D wrote:
November 25th, 2018, 1:06 am
On the other hand, I just recently found out that Microsoft had opened Xbox development to everyone, which makes me more sympathetic towards that console.
In what sense opened, they don't charge for developer tools like Sony do? That's some improvement indeed (if that's the case), but I'd consider it open enough when they'll allow using open source tools and open cross platform APIs.
IMO, a platform does not have open development unless I can create and sell a game without needing permission from the platform owner, either for the creation or for the selling process. By that measure, XBox is a closed platform, as are iOS, PS4, and others. If there's only one sales channel which the platform company controls and holds veto power over, and/or there's no way to publish without giving that company a cut, then it's not an open platform. (I don't keep up with XBox, so I don't know if the changes ET3D talked about have truly made it open, but from the historical pattern of MS's behavior, I'd be extremely surprised).

EDIT: adding another thought: I think MS's binge of purchasing indie game studios is partially a strategic move to crush the former open nature of the platform. Whitebox PCs were an open platform historically, and there are at least 4 competing DRM-free PC game stores today. The more MS can erode the creation and sale of games that don't go through MS-controlled channels, the better (for them). Of course they don't control Steam either, but is a corporate "frenemy": MS wants to shut down the idea that software can be bought and used without having to constantly ask for permission to use it from the company it was purchased from.

And on a different subject, I want to coin a new RPG law: "Eventually, every discussion about any conceivable RPG on any possible medium descends into a debate about save systems." :lol:
Last edited by demeisen on November 25th, 2018, 8:47 am, edited 1 time in total.

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Re: inXile Entertainment joins Microsoft Studios

Post by shmerl » November 25th, 2018, 8:45 am

demeisen wrote:
November 25th, 2018, 8:35 am
IMO, a platform does not have open development unless I can create and sell a game without needing permission from the platform owner, either for the creation or for the selling process. By that measure, XBox is a closed platform, as are iOS, PS4, and others.
Agreed. But there are degrees of nastiness in that. For instance, to even get some access to Sony tools, you need to sign a draconian NDAs and pay a toll. It makes life a lot harder for developers who for example want to make a cross platform engine.

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Re: inXile Entertainment joins Microsoft Studios

Post by demeisen » November 25th, 2018, 8:51 am

shmerl wrote:
November 25th, 2018, 8:45 am
Agreed. But there are degrees of nastiness in that. For instance, to even get some access to Sony tools,
Yeah, no doubt... Sony is among the worst corporate citizens, and has been for a long time.

Industry consolidation seems to fan the flames of such nastiness. I viewed the independence of studios like InXile and Obsidian as a hedge against the worst corporate shenanigans.

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Re: inXile Entertainment joins Microsoft Studios

Post by svdp » November 25th, 2018, 9:31 am

Jozape wrote:
November 25th, 2018, 6:21 am
I found Morrowind complete if lacking in any sort of interesting anything back in 2002 without the expansions packs, but I suppose some people may argue that the expansion packs are not 'extra stuff'.
In my experience, espescially on this forum, many people argue just for the sake of arguing.

Or they lack logic. Or are nitpicking on the details, while they're well aware what is actually meant. Or both.

For instance, saying you got DLC's and similar stuff for free, does not mean it logically follows that everything they ever made was, or should be, free. Nor was the premisse "a gamedeveloper needs to give everything for free, to show it's still an indie not primarily interested in the moneygrab they can squeeze out of fans".

Point is, you did get some free stuff, which nowadays would be called DLC's, while for the same kind of things, you now have to pay premium prices. And it certainly is not because they need it more than they used too. It's just the mentality shifted. Which was my point.

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Re: inXile Entertainment joins Microsoft Studios

Post by shmerl » November 25th, 2018, 10:42 am

demeisen wrote:
November 25th, 2018, 8:51 am
Industry consolidation seems to fan the flames of such nastiness. I viewed the independence of studios like InXile and Obsidian as a hedge against the worst corporate shenanigans.
Yeah. It's not accidental, that independent studios who pursued crowdfunding made some of the best DRM-free and Linux games available. They are a great counterbalance to DRM obsessed publishers who push for lock-in and walled gardens. That's why it's so saddening when someone like MS swallows such studios.

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