Larian Studios

Please don't go for a December release.

Posted By: Kiya-Elle

Please don't go for a December release. - 27/04/13 05:59 PM

This came up while chatting in the Kickstarter comments last night (where those of us who have no life/are addicts still hang out hahaha)

There was mention of the fact that the increase in funds might mean a delayed release for the game, and thoughts that Divinity: Original Sin might get a December release instead. sad

Please, please don't release in December

December is usually packed with back to back AAA releases and on top of that you have all the December/January sales to contend with.

If Larian releases in December - even people who are really interested in the game will hold off buying in the hope that they get a discount during the Steam sale, or some other digital game distributors sale - then if there is no discount to be had there will be a whole lot of bitching about it.

As much as I would love to have the game right now, if a release in November is not on the cards, and the money can be stretched that far, it would be better to hold off releasing the game until the end of February.

February is becoming a great month for independent game studios to do a release. There is less competition, people have recovered from Xmas spending, and are beginning to look for good new games. In the last few years Magicka, Terraria, and Kingdoms of Amalur (to name a few) have had great February/early March releases.

(Yes I know the dev studio for KoA went bust but they still made a ton of money first - just not enough to pay for their ridiculously large loans)

The game is also more likely to get press attention with a Feb release with fewer titles at that time that they would want to write about.

The idea that a game must get a release in time for Christmas is a hold over from retail sales and really does not hold true any more in the digital age.

Obviously these are just my opinions, but I hope that if a delayed release is being considered someone from Larian will see this post, and consider them. Thanks.
Posted By: Kingslayer

Re: Plese don't go for a December release. - 27/04/13 06:11 PM

Kingdoms of Amalur isn't indie, it was published by EA. I also don't think it actually sold that well, either, especially not on PC where it only sold 220,000 worldwide. That said, I do see your point. I just wonder if the existence of big blockbusters like CoD and the other usual suspects will really have any impact on the sales of D:OS. They really don't share audiences at all, so I'd only see it as a risk if another fantasy RPG PC exclusive is coming out at the same time. Either way, I'm sure Larian know more than us about this kind of thing. Release schedules are perhaps one of the things they hated about working with publishers before.
Posted By: Singbird

Re: Plese don't go for a December release. - 27/04/13 06:19 PM

If going to December sales means pushing out a half-finished game, then absolutely not. Otherwise I think I'll trust Larian more than myself in this.
Posted By: dlux

Re: Plese don't go for a December release. - 27/04/13 06:20 PM

The guys at Larian are professionals, they know when it's best when to release the game.

Although it is quite possible that the game will be delayed until 2014 in order to get all of the new features in. We'll have to wait and see.
Posted By: Kiya-Elle

Re: Plese don't go for a December release. - 27/04/13 06:26 PM

Originally Posted By: Kingslayer
Kingdoms of Amalur isn't indie, it was published by EA. I also don't think it actually sold that well, either, especially not on PC where it only sold 220,000 worldwide. That said, I do see your point. I just wonder if the existence of big blockbusters like CoD and the other usual suspects will really have any impact on the sales of D:OS. They really don't share audiences at all, so I'd only see it as a risk if another fantasy RPG PC exclusive is coming out at the same time. Either way, I'm sure Larian know more than us about this kind of thing. Release schedules are perhaps one of the things they hated about working with publishers before.


EA only had a retail/origin distribution deal for Kingdoms of Amalur, they were not the publisher. 38 Studios was the developer and they aquired Big Huge Games to manage other aspect of publishing for them - they released independently on Steam.

On March 10, 2012, it was projected by NPD that the game sold over 330,000 physical copies just in the U.S (that's just physical copies mind, the game was #1 for a several weeks on steam alone so who knows how many digital copies were sold) and while I can understand that people might take Curt Schilling's word as suspect, he tweeted that the game had sold 1.2 million after three months.

38 Studios failed because of massive overspending and really bad management they closed with $151 million in debt which is just insane http://www.bostonmagazine.com/2012/07/38-studios-end-game/
Posted By: Estrogen

Re: Plese don't go for a December release. - 27/04/13 06:27 PM

Release when it's ready. Period.
Posted By: boe2

Re: Plese don't go for a December release. - 27/04/13 06:28 PM

classic RPG's are a unique genre, I don't think it really matters when you release it, the people that are interested in these sort of games will buy it.
As long as you get the hype train going in time ofcourse, but I'm sure we can all help out with that smile
Posted By: Asyreon

Re: Plese don't go for a December release. - 27/04/13 06:33 PM

I have no idea why people are so scared of an hypothetical delayed release, Larian clearly stated, numerous times, that they'll hire new teams to work on the new features, and that it'll not influence the release AT ALL.

Relax.
Posted By: LightningLockey

Re: Plese don't go for a December release. - 27/04/13 06:35 PM

This game will do quite well regardless of when it is released. A Larian game has never had this much publicity and the fact it is the fans that help funded the game is a huge plus in their favor. So much information on how the game will function and quests are set up has been leaked that we all know what to expect. Yet none of us really know how the story will play out other then what will be revealed in the demo.

This game won't be buried under AAA titles.

If there is a delay, most of the backers will have support as they will have beta access and can support Larian in the decision to hold the game back for more bug crushing.
Posted By: PenguinTD

Re: Plese don't go for a December release. - 27/04/13 07:04 PM

Actually I don't mind, if they do they can even do a combo deal with D:OS with Anthology. I myself just got it yesterday on steam anyway, and the manual alone is a bit overwhelming after so many years of those no manaul/in game tutorial. I like the forewords most, from their fist Divine Divinity game, since you can see Swen's passion and love put into this game from his words, and it's still the same so many years later from this KickStarter campaign. I feel grateful that I found this studio out from KickStarter, when first DD came out, the country I lived in probably won't even have they on local publisher's radar.(And I was probably doing crazy hours of Quake anyway.)

So I give them full trust, they survived this long with self publishing, now have crowd funding as their tools. I'm pretty sure that they will do good stuff for us first instead of worrying about release window. Those who prefer quick fix of action and bullet spamming will do their own stuff anyway, they won't sit down with a friend to go through hours upon hours of adventure.
Posted By: DoomGaze

Re: Plese don't go for a December release. - 27/04/13 09:12 PM

Release when it's done is obviously preferable and while and delay would probably be supported by the community they still have to consider the extra costs involved.

Hopefully it will be done on time without compromise... Though I wouldn't be surprised if a delay occurred... After all I'm sure they have been a little less productive the past month wink
Posted By: Dexyd

Re: Plese don't go for a December release. - 27/04/13 09:18 PM

I couldn't care less when it will be released. If it is done and more or less bug free then it ready and should be released, not a day sooner.
Posted By: LordCrash

Re: Plese don't go for a December release. - 27/04/13 09:23 PM

Originally Posted By: Estrogen
Release when it's ready. Period.


Agreed.
Posted By: theBlackDragon

Re: Plese don't go for a December release. - 27/04/13 10:03 PM

"It'll be done when it's done."
-- John Carmack

Though they weren't planning to push back the release date for additional features but rather add them later with patches if they couldn't get them in by release.

Rather have a well tested stable game than a crashtastic one, I've been waiting for a good cRPG for so long, a few extra months won't make much of a difference anymore... wink
Posted By: Kein

Re: Plese don't go for a December release. - 27/04/13 10:04 PM

Hmmm, IIRC, Swen mentioned they the ACTUAL Release date was supposed it be October, but they decided to take =1 month as a failsafe measure. And yes, October was predicted for release with all features that KS brought ie in it's original concept (most of addition KS brought were supposed to be in the game if there were enough funds from beginning).

So, umm... I believe they will manage for November?
Posted By: theBlackDragon

Re: Plese don't go for a December release. - 27/04/13 10:07 PM

Originally Posted By: Kein
Hmmm, IIRC, Swen mentioned they the ACTUAL Release date was supposed it be October, but they decided to take =1 month as a failsafe measure. And yes, October was predicted for release with all features that KS brought ie in it's original concept (most of addition KS brought were supposed to be in the game if there were enough funds from beginning).

So, umm... I believe they will manage for November?


He also said that *if* extras wouldn't be done they would add them as patches after release (but don't push back the release date)
Posted By: Catelee2u

Re: Plese don't go for a December release. - 27/04/13 10:17 PM

Game is AAA. I'll be happy whenever release is and hope it has everything as a whole right off the bat rather than in patches.
Posted By: Kiya-Elle

Re: Plese don't go for a December release. - 27/04/13 10:36 PM

I'm not panicking, trying to impugn Larian's professionalism, or even saying that the game will fail if it gets a December release laugh

I think D:OS has the potential to be one of the best RPG's of this generation and I backed it on Kickstarter for more than I have done for any other game.

Swen said several times throughout the Kickstarter campaign that he appreciated our input so I posted my opinion on the possibility of a December release, that's all. smile

I don't think its as simple as saying that this is a niche RPG title that the COD crowd would not be interested in. We are all fans - we are already sold on the game.

For an example I have over 400 games in my Steam library, and while a large selection of them are RPG's, I also play FPS, puzzle games, adventure games, you name it. If it catches my interest I will play it, and I believe there are many people out there who just love great games and will be interested in this one.

I just think that if it does becomes necessary to delay the release, then for all the reasons I have already stated, a February release would be much better than December.


Originally Posted By: Estrogen
Release when it's ready. Period.


That's a great sentiment that I'm sure we all agree with, however while 1 million sounds like a lot of money it is really a drop in the ocean in terms of game development.

I'm sure that Larian will do their utmost to make sure that the game is as great as it can be but they can't work on the same game indefinitely, bills and people's salaries have to be paid - there come's a time when you have to say 'it's done', release it and move on. Setting a release date gives everybody a clear goal to aim for achieving that.
Posted By: LordCrash

Re: Plese don't go for a December release. - 27/04/13 10:51 PM

DKS was made with 6.5M and Swen stated that they could probably have made it with even 4M with better planning etc.


So 1M is not only a drop in the ocean here. It really makes a big impact.
Posted By: Over

Re: Plese don't go for a December release. - 27/04/13 11:00 PM

December is usually a month with little to no new releases. Sure, most people buy games to enjoy christmas holidays (kids, students), gifts, etc. By that time, many people have already spent money in games, gifts, christmas party, etc. So, in December there would be no competition, but it's a poor time for release. OTOH, it might be a time when people indulge themselves a little more and might impulse buy.


I really hope LS keeps the November release date. The game, according to them, is almost complete, all these extra months and funds was to add content and have more time for some extra polish. Also, the Dragon Commander team will be available to help soon.

I'll be disapointed if the game is delayed to 2014.
Posted By: Jaesun

Re: Plese don't go for a December release. - 27/04/13 11:01 PM

Originally Posted By: Dexyd
I couldn't care less when it will be released.


Agreed.
Posted By: henryv

Re: Plese don't go for a December release. - 28/04/13 12:09 AM

I'll really help out larian when alpha release comes out. Bug hunters!
I have exams to worry about but I got to prioritize!
Posted By: Jhonrock

Re: Plese don't go for a December release. - 28/04/13 03:18 AM

I just want them to release the game only AFTER a serious and intense period of game testing. Considering how much extra content was provided by the kickstarter campaign funds, they will need to have extra care with the game to not let it be released with tons of bugs.

Divinity II was a very good game but it suffered a lot with tons of bugs at launch. Now that they don't have a publisher breathing in their necks, they can take their time to polish the game as much as they can, and i think they will need to do it because this game will have a lot of interaction and reactivity, tons of quests, many skills and so on.
Posted By: PenguinTD

Re: Plese don't go for a December release. - 28/04/13 04:05 AM

I just hope the backer with alpha/beta access like myself can really help them out. Instead of just bitching. Yes, you paid for the access, and it is really important to sit down and go through a lot of things together with Larian and get rid of bugs as fast as we can.

To say "when it's done" is quite irresponsible at management level, you have to dealt with the most important resource, time and money. Both are consuming at constant rate, 1mil won't last forever for making it perfect. It's not a excuse to release something plagued with bugs because you want to put in more feature, yet it's Swen and D:OS's producer's responsibility to backers and their employees to get thing out in a time frame with efficient workflow to get things done. Imagine if Swen always wants to release bug free games, Larian will not survive. Employees needs to pay bills, they have family to support, despite all the passions they have toward making best games, they can not defy reality.

I give them full trust, give them the best pledge I could, and will help them during alpha/beta even though I paid to get this game. I want it to be good, and be part of this journey, hope you guys feel the same. smile
Posted By: tarasis

Re: Plese don't go for a December release. - 28/04/13 06:36 AM

You make a good point PenguinTD, they shouldn't keep delaying till its perfect because complex software never will be bug free. (though that's not an excuse to release overly buggy software and fix it post release, as some publishers seem to do)

Given the state of the pre-alpha, given the comments during gameplay about we should do this, that should really do that and all the additional content they need to add, I find it hard to believe they would hit October/November. So unless they have a box production deal that has to hit a certain date (as its already penciled in), then id rather they took a couple of extra months for polish and bug fixing, release in Feb and avoid insane crunch periods that companies seem to do (I don't know if that is typical for Larian)
Posted By: LightningLockey

Re: Plese don't go for a December release. - 28/04/13 07:22 AM

I can easily see this game being delayed as they add stuff. I was just reading the development diary book that came with the Anthology and seeing how much they've cut from their other games makes me ask, "Oh dear, what have we done? This will be a very large game." We all just gave them a million extra $$ to work with.

It is going to be up to us backers to help defend Larian if they delay the final release.
Posted By: Jhonrock

Re: Plese don't go for a December release. - 28/04/13 12:18 PM

Shigeru Miyamoto once said: "A delayed game is eventually good, but a rushed game is forever bad".

If Larian need a few more months to polish their game, i'll totaly back it. I can wait without any complain.

It will be very important for their image, as a indie developer, to show a good game without heavy flaws, it will inspire the community even more to back them in any future project.
Posted By: Sawovsky

Re: Plese don't go for a December release. - 28/04/13 12:37 PM

Larian is indepented developer, but they are not ''indie'' wink
Posted By: Jhonrock

Re: Plese don't go for a December release. - 28/04/13 03:21 PM

Originally Posted By: Sawovsky
Larian is indepented developer, but they are not ''indie'' wink

Isn't "indie" an abbreviation of "independent"?

Well, wikipedia says so:
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Indie
Quote:
Indie is a shortform of "independence" or "independent"
Posted By: henryv

Re: Plese don't go for a December release. - 28/04/13 03:31 PM

Polish it then release it. Release it when bugs are inconsequential.
Posted By: Sawovsky

Re: Plese don't go for a December release. - 28/04/13 04:37 PM

Originally Posted By: Jhonrock
Originally Posted By: Sawovsky
Larian is indepented developer, but they are not ''indie'' wink

Isn't "indie" an abbreviation of "independent"?

Well, wikipedia says so:
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Indie
Quote:
Indie is a shortform of "independence" or "independent"


Yes literally, of course. But colloquilly, indie is used for small, unassered teams, unlike Larian at all.

Do you consider well-known, medium sized, experienced developers, like Obsidian for example, are indie just because they went to crowdfunding?
Posted By: Kiya-Elle

Re: Plese don't go for a December release. - 28/04/13 04:46 PM

@Jhonrock & Sawovsky - no offense, but if you want to have a discussion on the real meaning of indie, please create another thread in the appropriate forum -> http://www.larian.com/forums/ubbthreads.php?ubb=postlist&Board=12&page=1

Don't derail this one, thanks.
Posted By: PenguinTD

Re: Plese don't go for a December release. - 28/04/13 06:09 PM

1 mil won't last forever, Nintendo has huge pocket for Miyamoto to polish their game. If Larian is anywhere close to say, half as big when Blizzard released D2, then yeah, take your time and polish D:OS the way Swen would like it to be. I don't know how well they paid in Larian, but say for average artist would have like 40k/year, that's around 3.3k/person/month. If Larian is sized around 40 people, that's 132k/month, so 1mil will give them around 7.5 months if no new hiring is planed. So guess what? Now it's April, plus additional 7.5 months is around December.

Yes, there will be sales generated by Dragon Commander, and I assume that part of the sale is now in the funding as well if backer choose digital addon or anywhere above specific pledge. So like I said, we can help as much as we can to get rid of those bugs, it's not our responsibility, it's totally voluntary. I just lay the numbers and let you guys see, another "several months" to polish a game is not a easy feat to pull from producer's eyes.

Just to let you guys who have alpha/beta access know, if you haven't participate any of its kind before( stress test is no where like a official beta test), it's quite a lot of work, and might not be as fun as you would imagine. By the time game release, you would probably know the game inside out. Larian would probably avoid spoil story and create sort of scenario tests so we can still work on interface/mechanism/gameplay wise. And there will be milestones to make and work on another aspect even if current ones are not yet perfect(like balance wise, not crashing issues.)

I know everyone would like the game to be perfect, Swen definitely is one of the guy that want it. I personally would say just give them a few more months if they need it, but the reality check side of me would rather get less than perfect product and keep Larian alive, than squeeze them dry and hope D:OS become half as big as Skyrim/Bioshock( even these are buggy, remember?).

Let's help them polish the game we want, shall we?
Posted By: Kiya-Elle

Re: Plese don't go for a December release. - 28/04/13 07:24 PM

I have alpha and beta access and fully intend to do my best to help them hunt down the bugs and polish the game PenguinTD - no worries there. If the budget won't support a couple more months that's the just the way it goes - I did say in my original post '(if) the money can be stretched that far'.

I wouldn't be all that happy about it, but it wouldn't stop me from helping Larian to try and make the game the best it can be ready for that release. cool2
Posted By: LordCrash

Re: Plese don't go for a December release. - 28/04/13 09:59 PM

The whole thread is pointless Kiya.....do you really think that Larian don't know when it's the best time to release a game? I guess they have more experience in making and releasing games than 99,9% of the users here.

Talking about something in great details doesn't give the topic more sense in general I'm sorry. wink

The game should be released when it's done and when Larian thinks that it's the best time to release it. Period.
Posted By: rupuka

Re: Plese don't go for a December release. - 28/04/13 10:54 PM

Originally Posted By: LordCrash
do you really think that Larian don't know when it's the best time to release a game?

Well, they definitely don't know when is the best time to release a kickstarter hahaha
Lack of games released or not, i don't think that the input someone can provide as a consumer is entirely pointless.
Posted By: LordCrash

Re: Plese don't go for a December release. - 28/04/13 11:45 PM

Originally Posted By: rupuka
Originally Posted By: LordCrash
do you really think that Larian don't know when it's the best time to release a game?

Well, they definitely don't know when is the best time to release a kickstarter hahaha
Lack of games released or not, i don't think that the input someone can provide as a consumer is entirely pointless.

Not entirely pointless but mostly subjective and therefore not that much helpful.

Btw Larian made a million dollars with this kickstarter so it was indeed a good time for it..... wink
Posted By: Kiya-Elle

Re: Plese don't go for a December release. - 29/04/13 03:49 AM

I don't believe I have said anywhere that it is anything more than my opinion LordCrash.

You disagree with me and that's fine. however I hope that I would never be so dismissive of someone elses strongly held opinion no matter how much I disagreed with them as to say that expressing themselves in a reasonable manner on a public forum that is meant for such discussions is pointless.

If that is the way you feel about a thread you are always free to ignore it.
Posted By: henryv

Re: Plese don't go for a December release. - 29/04/13 05:47 AM

Originally Posted By: PenguinTD
1 mil won't last forever, Nintendo has huge pocket for Miyamoto to polish their game. If Larian is anywhere close to say, half as big when Blizzard released D2, then yeah, take your time and polish D:OS the way Swen would like it to be. I don't know how well they paid in Larian, but say for average artist would have like 40k/year, that's around 3.3k/person/month. If Larian is sized around 40 people, that's 132k/month, so 1mil will give them around 7.5 months if no new hiring is planed. So guess what? Now it's April, plus additional 7.5 months is around December.

Yes, there will be sales generated by Dragon Commander, and I assume that part of the sale is now in the funding as well if backer choose digital addon or anywhere above specific pledge. So like I said, we can help as much as we can to get rid of those bugs, it's not our responsibility, it's totally voluntary. I just lay the numbers and let you guys see, another "several months" to polish a game is not a easy feat to pull from producer's eyes.

Just to let you guys who have alpha/beta access know, if you haven't participate any of its kind before( stress test is no where like a official beta test), it's quite a lot of work, and might not be as fun as you would imagine. By the time game release, you would probably know the game inside out. Larian would probably avoid spoil story and create sort of scenario tests so we can still work on interface/mechanism/gameplay wise. And there will be milestones to make and work on another aspect even if current ones are not yet perfect(like balance wise, not crashing issues.)

I know everyone would like the game to be perfect, Swen definitely is one of the guy that want it. I personally would say just give them a few more months if they need it, but the reality check side of me would rather get less than perfect product and keep Larian alive, than squeeze them dry and hope D:OS become half as big as Skyrim/Bioshock( even these are buggy, remember?).

Let's help them polish the game we want, shall we?



If they do consolidate the team after DC's release into investing on D:OS resources, I think we'll be fine if the bug hunters (IE us) did their job well. Larian should give a forum badge for those who hunted bugs for this purpose and as a motivation. Unofficial but beneficial for them.

40 employees and estimating half of of them (or a third) only worked for D:OS. If that were to be utilized into a full extent, we'll have no problem since DC is created into a similar engine.

If you've read the blog site of swen, he said the cost the company expended on making DKS was 6m. 2m because of their location (belgium has high labor taxes). 1m will really deplete fast.

On a side note, they should release the game early november before black friday hits if all ends well. We don't want to make the game lose sales in monetary amounts due to holiday discounts. It will also increase their volume of sales once early release augments it with word of mouth before black friday.
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