by Counterplay Games
This is extremely disappointing to see a Developer did a bait and switch, despite emphasizing this isn't a F2P game.
Given the new business model, will the people at various tiers still get the "chromatic elements" if they pledged at special tiers?
I did not back a F2P game. I'm sorry, but I will have to ask for a refund. Good luck with your project!
Unhappy that you are planning to break your promise about. It might make business sense but I would not have backed a f2p game. Will contact kickstarter about a refund.
I would not have backed this game if it was described as free-to-play. I am disappointed that you all decided to make this change. I understand having a vision that exceeds your current scope, and I am sympathetic, but your first responsibility here is to fulfill the project you pitched, as you described it originally, on the resources that you *do* have.
Obviously, it's your company, your project, etc. You can make whatever changes you want, I don't have any equity here. But you've lost my trust.
*"because" not before
Hi, I've heard that a lot of people are complaining about the F2P business model.
So, I'm here to say that I've backed your project before I wanted to see this game be real. I don't care if it's a F2P, I've backed to help you develop an alpha, a beta, a release.
Maybe it's our money, but it's your game.
You have my support, I enjoy your game and thank you for make it real.
For those wishing for a refund, we'll have details in our next update. We're still working out the details. Thanks for your patience!
The fact is that the game has been pitched to a market who do not want F2P.
On Kickstarter F2P is impossible to sell.
So, sell to the market who want it - as a fully rounded game.
Then to make more money in the longer term switch to something that will make you more money.
Bait and Switch, of a sort.
This isn't about the game or the backers. It's about money.
You'd have thought with the recent Godus coverage people would think again.
Unfortunately it appears this has been long planned.
[Copying my comment here from the following update, this update should gather the most comments to show that this won't be swept under the rug]
Just to let you know I've already requested a refund via amazon payments. I'm being nice and using their "contact the seller" option first, but rest assured my next step is the amazon resolution team and after that it's my credit card company.
This is a discussion that the community should have been included on. Did you happen to see how Pillars of Eternity handled changes in what they'd promised with regards to their physical rewards tier? They gave the community their options, and took a poll. And that was for a relatively minor issue, affecting only backers at their physical tier. Changing your business model affects every backer, and the game at it's very core. There is no excuse for not involving the community in this decision. Especially since you'd previously promised not to do this very thing.
I find "booster packs" to be one of the most anti-consumer business models in existence. I don't want to gamble my money away for a chance to maybe get something if I'm lucky. I don't think that's how you should treat any customer, and certainly not a backer who made the game possible in the first place. Booster packs actively make a game *less* fun. I don't love F2P to begin with, but at least cosmetics make the game more fun and social. Boosters just prey on your consumers for money. The fact that other games do it does not make it any less slimy of a business practice.
I would love this to be a discussion. I don't want to add another lame "I hate F2P, please refund" to the chorus. However, it seems you have purposely and consciously shut out community from being involved in this decision. Furthermore, you even threw put out another update the next day in what looks like an effort to quell the discussion here and hope this announcement gets lost in the shuffle.
If this is any indication of how you are going to manage your community going forward, I'm not sure I want to be a part of it.
I also wish to clarify that I wouldn't mind if it was F2P if all of us backers got the full-game experience without having to grind or pay for the extras that we're missing. I understand that F2P is a good business model and it makes sense for a company, but it's a big middle finger to those who pledged so that this project could even happen.
Give us the full game experience for our pledge $$$ and we'll [probably] forgive the business decision.
Thank you Rob for pointing out the location of the original statement: https://www.kickstarter.com/projects/keithlee/duelyst/posts/775619
"Most of all, we will *not* be free-to-play nor do we intend to have monthly fees."
This was a blatant lie. And even if the business model did not allow for maintaining servers, you could avoid free-to-play and just release the server application to the public. You could also avoid being lazy, release a finished game, even if short, and move on to the next project while deserving the trust of your backers who would surely have backed it as well. We didn't ask for more cards than factions than you initially promised. A complete game was the only expectation. Instead you chose to spend more time and money on new things no one asked at first, and now the resulting money gap has to be filled by a revolting decision.
Please refund me. You may think or pretend you're doing your best to make it even for your backers, but there's really no other way to describe your decision as not keeping your promise of a "no pay to win" project. Even though not having energy timers is the bare minimum, it is obvious that booster packs make it slower and harder for those who choose not to pay, including the sub-$60 backers who do not get all cards unlocked. I would never have willingly sponsored or funded a free to play in my own life, as this is against my principles. You raised twice the money you expected, yet you got greedy on the back of your backers, the people who made your project possible for you in the first place. This a Molyneux kind of Kickstarter betrayal and it deserves the same PR disaster treatment. It is still time to reverse your decision.
I totally understand the reason why the game is changing to the free to play model, but I don't like this fact at all.
As many backers before me already mentioned, the game as a F2P is not the game we pledged for. Even you could earn all the cards by playing, you will have the same effect as in other F2P. To be at the top you will need special decks and therefore cards, and a lot of people will get them by buying them ...
Now I have pledged/payed for a F2P game and will get a predefined set of cards ... For me this sounds not really like a good deal. Very disappointing ...
@Ryan Seney - See Update 3 (https://www.kickstarter.com/projects/keithlee/duelyst/posts/775619), where they explicitly state that their business model is BUY ONCE and will NOT be free to play (emphasis theirs) .
I do not back free-to-play games, so would not have backed this project if that were the case in the original request for funding. I can understand projects flaming out for whatever reason (and I've backed at least one that has indeed done so), but changing the terms of the deliverable after you've already been funded for "future business reasons" seems to be becoming a common practice for video games on here that needs to be stopped. The funding was for the originally agreed product. Wanting to continue to support the product after release is a fine aim, but it's entirely irrelevant to the product you pitched and were funded for.
This is such a greedy decision in my opinion. Instead of a one-time payment for a full game, now people can and will put as much money into the game as they want to in order to get the best units and win easier... Good for business, bad for the game. So sad :(
So it's a pay to win game now? Really? Why did I even back this?
Oof. Not sure how to process this. The "not Pay-To-Win" bit in the original pitch was part of the reason for my pledge. While I understand the need for going to a F2P model (which in hindsight seems to have been an option that was left on the table since it's NEVER directly stated in the original pitch that F2P was NOT happening) I do wish this wasn't the route being taken. I was really hoping that, as someone who's already invested in several other digital CCGs, that this would be one where I could just play casually without feeling like I need to spend money on a regular basis to enjoy the game. I'm not looking for a refund, but I would be much happier if booster packs were not a part of the F2P model and instead the game relied on cosmetic or prestige items for revenue.
A backer may report this project by navigating to the project page and scrolling all the way to the bottom. There is a 'button' which will allow you to report this kickstarter. I urge everyone concerned to do so.
I would like a refund as well. I would not have backed a f2p game. Also I urge everyone to complain to kickstarter about this. If we got a FULL game and then they switched models maybe I'd be okay but they have essentially misrepresented their product and changed backer tiers after funding.
Would definitely like a refund upon hearing this news. I couldnt care less if the game is good or not,i am not backing this game to be a f2p game.
I am totally not cool with this. I pledged $70 bucks for this game, wanting to support the idea and the development of a cool sounding game. I paid $70 bucks for a game that specifically stated it was going to be pay once, play all. I did not pay $70 bucks just for it to turn F2P. This is bullshit.
Really disappointing news- It's almost the exact opposite of the pitch. I know you already have my money, but you certainly aren't getting any more of it.
Looking at the comments here, you may want to reconsider this move. I don't see many potential microtransaction customers in your backer base. Full price game was your niche If you really think your best bet is to compete with Valve and Blizzard for f2p, good luck.
I think your belief that people who are complaining haven't played the beta is misguided. I've been playing the beta. It's a ton of fun. That doesn't change the fact that Counterplay have broken an an explicit pledge not to make the game F2P. I paid to Kickstart a full game, not a fraction of one.
Disappointed that everyone at the under 40$ mark is getting snubbed by this choice. I get the f2p monetization, but only getting 1/3 for stuff sucks.
Not a huge fan of this announcement even if I could see it coming a mile away from the alpha.
Now that I've had a chance to let the idea settle for a bit, I would absolutely love to get a refund.
Why did we pay for, and take the risk for, something you will give to everyone for free?
This isn't about the game being good or bad.
This is something done without communicating and something I did not back the project for. Thus they are not offering the same kind of product as advertised at the beginning which is one of the rules of Kickstarter and good grounds for getting some kind of class-act laws against them.
Regardless as I said below I feel the direction for the game is not a good one and will simply result in pay 2 win or heavy grind to win (hearthstone but worse maybe).
First, as a Beta tester, I totally agree with the business decision and I'm super excited to see more content for years and years.
The thought that comes to mind when I read these other comments asking for refunds is, You haven't played the Beta.
Because the game is amazing! So amazing that I don't even think about the other Kickstarter rewards. If they gave me no other perks with the release, I'd feel satisfied paying $40 just for Beta access. Truthfully, I wouldn't have felt this way before I played it, but it's awesome. I'm just trying to give you guys some perspective.
Also, I trust that the devs'll figure out different reward tiers that'll satisfy everyone. I think the ideas in this post were just some rough suggestions. If other people have better ones, head over to the forums http://forums.duelyst.com/ and post your idea; they're super receptive.
this f2p movemente IS NOT OK. I funded this game to get a full experience, not some f2p grind. Pvp, CCG and booster packs for real money make games really pay2win you know.
Possibility to get a refund?
Making comparisions to Dota 2 or TF2 in the slightest is just plain weird. Cosmetics are much more visible in those games and those games are already big known names.
Using the same model is pretty much impossible for a small indiestudio so I don't think you wil be able to use the same kind of system nor a proper cosmetic system at all.
I feel this will become a heavy grind to win or pay up kind of game.
As a company I understand the lure of F2P and cash but I feel you are gonna be making a mistake.
Regardless this isn't the product offered to us when the KS started so offering a refund is pretty much a must.
Right business model change, wrong delivery and conveyance to backers. Backers should be getting a full game unlock of the factions they pledged. Getting 1/3 of an unlock (max 3 cards right?) is pretty gross.
Ivan Hlavsa: But kickstarter is also not a place where you make promises and collect money from 3578 people and then change the business modell before you have delivered what you have promised. This is simply cheating.
Kickstarter is still not a pre-order shop. Be happy that this game is even getting finished, if it turns out good then even better.
Also where does it say that F2P gets the same unlocks as backers?
I pledged $25 for a video game that apparently I could get for free. How can we go about getting a refund?
Not happy. Wish there was a dislike button.
Just so everyone knows: one of EVERY Card for a group is 1/3 of the game. Not all of it. Greed much?
Just so everyone sees, because I'm seeing alot of "What about my $X level".
The $40/$50 Level AND UNDER (Meaning $30, $25, $15 levels as well. Don't think the $2 tier counts)
*One of EVERY card for Lyonar, Songhai, Vetruvian, Abyssian, and Neutrals will be unlocked at release.
The $60/$70 Level AND ABOVE (Meaning: anything higher than the $60 level)
*One of EVERY card for Lyonar, Songhai, Vetruvian, Abyssian, Magmar, Vanar, and Neutrals will be unlocked at release for both your accounts.
Just been seeing a lot of people asking, and they said it pretty clear in the update.
I've been out of the loop since I'm too low of a backer to be in the beta, but this definitely caught my eye. Your reasons for going F2P are sound but I think it would all go down a lot smoother if you issued a poll to your backers first instead of dropping the news this way. This business decision has already been made without the consultation of your original backers. It's a bad look.
I assume you guys looked at the content expansion model. Still not sustainable? There was also no mention of what low-end backers get out of this. Despite not liking how this news was dropped I still feel okay about supporting your KS. I'm just concerned about receiving a framework of a game when it's finally ready for prime time.
Deciding to chime in as well. The F2P model makes sense for this type of game. When I saw the Kickstarter video I thought it would be or at least have a similar model. When I read it wasn't going to be F2P or P2W or anything like that, it was definitely a huge selling point. Too many games now are going with the F2P model and they either suffer or have a huge backlash from the community, so getting a full game I can just pay once and enjoy felt fresh in today's gaming scene. Now it makes sense because it is an online multiplayer focused game, even though there is single player, this game is going to thrive based on its online aspects. Games like this don't survive long if it doesn't continue to improve and expand so if it continued with its current model honestly either way it would still be a great game (alpha is pretty solid btw) but it may lose tons of traction probably within a year. The thing is, like many others have pointed out, nowadays I don't have the time or the money to grind out and get new units and such, and honestly I'm probably going to end up playing this casually in my free time, so I wouldn't want every match I play to end up being a face stomp because someone has better units (ie. Heathstone) The art is beautiful so I think being F2P the same way DotA and LoL are F2P using cosmetics for that model makes perfect sense. I've sunk tons of money into skins for LoL and I would probably do the same for a game like this. One of the big reasons I was drawn to this game was the art style. The other way I think they could have gone is akin to MMO's is a subscription based model for the online aspect of the game or even just adding expansions later on like WoW does or the way map packs and such work on other games. If people enjoy the game and want more out of it they can pay for the expansions. The subscription model doesn't entirely fit with this game but it would make sense to continue growing the game. For backers in the lower tiers, it definitely does seem like a slap in the face, some people back projects on Kickstarter with the mindset it is like a pre-order or a investment of some kind and in those cases, even though KS is not that, many people probably would not have backed, at least with those rewards in mind. Depending on how much "boosters" cost, backers at $50 and below or those just getting the game, could have spent less on the same units offered or simply grinded out for the same things, so something should be done in those cases, higher tiers at the least do get additional things, not to say they haven't been misled as well, but I see the entry tiers being the most affected. I guess to end off this long rant (sorry), F2P makes sense, but with Kickstarter it starts and thrives with your backers, if you end up angering them or causing an uproar of some kind, it can come back to bite you. Take a look at the Mighty No. 9 controversy, they ended up having to refund quite a bit back to some backers and I would hate for this to happen here. I would suggest either returning to the original business model, which may be great for backers, but may not be the best for the game in the long run, or revamp these reward changes in a way to make people feel like they mean more (ie. a new Kickstarter exclusive skin or unit or something along those lines, even for lower tiers) It may not solve all the issues being brought forth but it's definitely a way to get the community back on your side. I'm still super excited about this game, (and I need to find more time to play the alpha) but here's hoping everything works out for everyone!
I understand the draw of F2P models due to the success that some companies have, but if you are going to do a complete 180 on project model listed on the kickstarter, you need to reevaluate what you are offering to the backers. The backers are the ones who helped make this project a reality. You don't want to then turn around and burn the group that made your dream a reality.
So can we get refunds? You're backing out of your original promise. I backed this specifically because I thought I was getting a full game, not a F2P. If it's going to be F2P anyway, I'd like my money back if possible...
I backed Duelyst because you would avoid the F2P. I liked the game so far, so I will give the benefit of doubt.
I understand your need to move to a F2P model but I believe that it can be done in a way that does not alienate all of the backers that enabled you to create this game in the first place.
You promised your backers that they would pay once and have a game they own. To move to a F2P model is a complete reversal of your original promise. If you were to commit to providing a proper playset of all cards so that backers who paid for the game actually get the game, rather than an unplayable fraction of it, I think that most backer would be satisfied. To offer 1 of each card is ridiculous and I'm sure you realize that. Can you play the game properly with only 1 of each without investing more money or grinding for unlocks? You know you can't and so you shouldn't be the least bit surprised at the kind of backlash you're seeing here.
Have you had even one comment from a backer that was satisfied with the way you've compensated them? What more do you need to show you that you've made a mistake. Dota and LoL are successful because they are fair with there business model, it's not designed to make you pay or grind in order to play a proper game. If you are serious about modelling your game after their business model, then you really need to rethink what you've offered your backers.
You need an active player base in order to be successful. Have you considered the impact that this treatment of your backers is going to have in that regard? How many of your backers are going to drop the game now that they have to pay in order to play it properly?
We backed a game that we pay for once. Do the right thing, give your backers what they paid for. The reminder next to the Post comment button says it best "Be respectful and considerate."
So, wait. I backed @ $20. I see no mention of what $20 backers get. Which means I paid $20 for a F2P? Can I get a refund?
Do not want. Since you've changed to a viable company with a sustainable product that means you can afford to refund us right?
So I've been watching the writing on the wall for a while, and anyone who had a brief foray into any stage of the alpha knew this was coming too. You can say your game isn't pay-to-win all you like, because strictly speaking, it isn't. But it'll sure take you a lot of time to put together what will inevitably become the competitive builds without spending money.
If I had known from the onset that this game was going to be a hyper-expansive Hearthstone-but-tactics game, I (and I'm sure many others) wouldn't have backed it. If you're going to change your pitch and model, you need to give us an out. I don't want this product, and I've been considering asking for a refund for a while now. Well, like several others below me, it's time to ask:
Where can we get a refund?
I want my money back. No excuses.
Crap, it posted before I was done. You need to give us the complete game. PLEASE GIVE US FULL PLAYSETS OF THE CARDS. And here's why: you now need the core starter kernel, more than ever. You have just alienated many of your backers. Many of the forum writes and new-player mentors. You need that core group of helpers to both ease your new players in, at launch, and to give them something to chase, as well. Giving us full playsets is the only way to not make us bail, en masse. Doing so will help the intro environment, as well.
I am another that backed because you advertised so strongly as not just another chase-the-rabbit CCG. I, too, feel upset about this change. However, I can understand how this could potentially be the best thing for longevity. I play Scrolls, and almost no one else does, because there's a purchase gate. The game is next to dead. I did not want that for Duelyst, but this DOES feel slimy and dishonest.
And the fact that the progression MUST be gated heavily to encourage pack purchase is prohibitive to working adults. I don't have the money to throw down the hole to get he cards I need for competitive decks and I won't have the time for grinding them out at the pace you will inevitably set. You've probably already lost a large portion of your backers, but the only way to keep the rest is to deliver what you promised us in a complete game.