Dark Matter removed from sale on Steam and GOG as sources claim development team is no more

Dark Matter

By on October 24, 2013 at 11:11 am

The developers of Nuclear Dawn, who were trying to get their Metroid-inspired sci-fi game Dark Matter off the ground, are now reported to have all been let go from Interwave Studios following controversy over the game’s abrupt ending.

People who purchased the game on Steam and GOG found that the game ended suddenly and what was promised to be 12-16 hours of gameplay was instead 6 or maybe 8. Both GOG and Steam have now been offering refunds, with the game’s publisher appear on Steam to apologise and explain that they were working on a better ending as a patch.

That better ending may never eventuate: Gamasutra is reporting now that Interwave is a “sleeping company” and that the entire Interwave team were laid off well before Dark Matter was even launched. The hope was to use funds raised from the sale of the game to re-hire them, but that is now not going to happen. An external team has been contracted to handle development of the better ending.

There’s some good in-depth coverage of the Dark Matter saga over on IndieStatik.

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23 comments (Leave your own)

It’s pretty shocking that something like this happens. No consumer is treated so poorly as perhaps the gaming consumer.

 

cyrinno:
It’s pretty shocking that something like this happens. No consumer is treated so poorly as perhaps the gaming consumer.

Nor is he more entitled.

 

cyrinno:
It’s pretty shocking that something like this happens. No consumer is treated so poorly as perhaps the gaming consumer.

I agree with Russacky, this is an awfully entitled comment.

You’ve never bought a bad book, bought a bad indie movie, or the likes?

 

Actually I’m on Cyrinno’s side here. I’m sure you’ll never buy a book and they’ve just neglected to add the last chapter, or buy a movie that was released without going through the editing process. It’s more common than should happen, however, where a publisher will release a game with the sentiment that it’s finished, but it winds up a messy shambles. If feeling entitled to a finished product is a bad thing then perhaps the majority of consumers must be bad.

At least in this case they’ve admitted their wrongdoings and are trying to fix the issue. Plenty of games don’t get that opportunity.

 

When you say it ended abruptly, how bad was it.

Just doing a random mission or something and *CREDITS ROLL*?

 

Spoilerific, but…

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=eTPS_GGhMqk

It looks like an absolutely dreadful way to end the game.

 

vcatkiller,

Wow. That has to be the worst ending I’ve seen since the NES days.

 

At least an NES game had some awesome music to accompany said wall of text and maybe some bitmap artwork.

 

vcatkiller,

Well said.

 

Russacky,
rapid101,

Second only to the people who like to smugly point out how entitled everyone else is feeling.

I guess expecting a finished product that you paid for is entitlement now. Looking at the posted video, it’s pretty obvious the game was simply cut at that point rather than being actually finished.

 
Nasty Wet Smear

vcatkiller: Actually I’m on Cyrinno’s side here. I’m sure you’ll never buy a book and they’ve just neglected to add the last chapter, or buy a movie that was released without going through the editing process. It’s more common than should happen, however, where a publisher will release a game with the sentiment that it’s finished, but it winds up a messy shambles. If feeling entitled to a finished product is a bad thing then perhaps the majority of consumers must be bad.At least in this case they’ve admitted their wrongdoings and are trying to fix the issue. Plenty of games don’t get that opportunity.

Now, I respect Vcatkiller. I think he’s a good man but, quite frankly, I agree with everything he just said!

 

vcatkiller,

Yes. However, if you were to buy an incomplete book or see an incomplete movie (personally I believe making these comparisons is asinine) you wouldn’t deem the whole industry bankrupt and pronounce all book buyers and movie goers as the “most poorly treated X”.

That is why gamers in general are seen as entitled. Someone makes an ending of particular game basically a choice between colours and there’s an outcry of inequality and unfairness from a highly privileged group of people who consume this, let’s face it, luxury entertainment medium.

I agree that putting out a shitty/incomplete game is a disagreeable decision but to say that gamers are the most underprivileged because of this is ridiculous.

ottomatic,

This is just as dismissive as my original comment.

 

vcatkiller:
Spoilerific, but…

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=eTPS_GGhMqk

It looks like an absolutely dreadful way to end the game.

lol that guys reaction when it just finished was gold haha. That is the most random/stupid ending ever. No wonders the game was pulled!

 

Russacky,

If this was an isolated incident, I’d be agreeing with you. And if I bought several books and they were all missing chapters, or were filled with misspellings and grammar that made it barely readable I would be calling the book publishing industry a complete joke too.

However this isn’t an isolated incident. There have been many examples of games rushed to market to make a quick buck that were absolutely atrocious. A few this year in fact. Gamers are asked to put up with a lot of rubbish that consumers in other industries are just not asked to put up with. If movie goers were regularly asked to leave the cinema because “I’m sorry this movie isn’t compatible with your 3D glasses” or “we forgot to write the ending”, there’d be some sort of inquiry. We put up with very similar things, and all we get is people crowing “suck it up, you’re just acting entitled.”

So yeah. I’m not going the whole “poor me, I’m so underprivileged” all I’m asking is that if I fork out good money for a game, it’s complete and fully functioning. Is that too much to ask?

 

vcatkiller:
Russacky,

If this was an isolated incident, I’d be agreeing with you.And if I bought several books and they were all missing chapters, or were filled with misspellings and grammar that made it barely readable I would be calling the book publishing industry a complete joke too.

However this isn’t an isolated incident.There have been many examples of games rushed to market to make a quick buck that were absolutely atrocious.A few this year in fact.Gamers are asked to put up with a lot of rubbish that consumers in other industries are just not asked to put up with.If movie goers were regularly asked to leave the cinema because “I’m sorry this movie isn’t compatible with your 3D glasses” or “we forgot to write the ending”, there’d be some sort of inquiry.We put up with very similar things, and all we get is people crowing “suck it up, you’re just acting entitled.”

So yeah.I’m not going the whole “poor me, I’m so underprivileged” all I’m asking is that if I fork out good money for a game, it’s complete and fully functioning.Is that too much to ask?

This. I’ve lost count of the number of times gamers have been dicked around by publishers and developers alike. War Z (or whatever the hell it’s called now), Aliens Colonial Marines, SimCity, Diablo 3 and From Dust are just a few examples.

 

vcatkiller:
Russacky,

If this was an isolated incident, I’d be agreeing with you.And if I bought several books and they were all missing chapters, or were filled with misspellings and grammar that made it barely readable I would be calling the book publishing industry a complete joke too.

“I’m sorry this movie isn’t compatible with your 3D glasses” or “we forgot to write the ending”.

Comparisons like this are just silly. The making of games is far more technically complex than writing a book or making a movie. Feel free to compare a poorly made and rushed game to a poorly made and rushed movie or book but to compare them so literally is erroneous.

Also, based off of the article, if you still wanted to use your invalid example it would be “I’m sorry this movie isn’t compatible with your 3D glasses” or “we forgot to write the ending. Here is your money back.”

I agree it’s shitty but the entitlement comes from the fact that the consumer didn’t get the product, got a refund but still says that they’re the most poorly treated.

I’d also like some examples of the “many examples of games rushed to market” that are comparable to this.

Edit: I’ll finish arguing with you tomorrow.

 

Russacky: The making of games is far more technically complex than writing a book or making a movie

A book maybe. But a CGI film the process is very similar, in many cases even more so. If you’ve seen how much work goes into a CGI film its actually shocking what they have to do. Hence why CGI films require teams of sometimes 100-200 man teams. Compare it to video games were its like 10-20 man teams. This is excluding management. CGI films have huge teams with multiple studios working on the one movie. Game Developers its usually only 1 studio.

 

Russacky,

The reasons I use books and movies as comparisons is another format with a customer base. And as mentioned by GammaD cgi films in particular are still rather complex. In fact, really when you think about it, any movie that goes to cinema is going to be complex. Books maybe not so complex but that would make errors in publication that much worse, wouldn’t you agree?

As to examples, look up to Palzer0′s post. I’d also like to add a few vintage titles, like Enter the Matrix, 2006 version of Sonic the Hedgehog and the PC version of Resident Evil 4. Maybe not so much rushed but still a horrible mess. Oh and Tomb Raider:Angel of Darkness and Bloodrayne 2.

And as previously noted in a previous post of mine:

vcatkiller:
At least in this case they’ve admitted their wrongdoings and are trying to fix the issue. Plenty of games don’t get that opportunity.

Once again I’m not complaining about this issue. My major complaint is every time something like this comes up and people speak up, all of a sudden we’re branded “entitled”. How dare we want a working, finished game? I think this applies to the situation:

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=G2y8Sx4B2Sk

 
 

With that kind of ending, I agree that it should’ve been taken off sale. That’s clearly a case of “well, we’re outta money, that means we’re out of time, throw this image up once the player goes through the door and send them back to the menu, I’ll whip up some text to explain the next 3 hours of game play in 4 paragraphs and lets ship it”.

Though, my sympathy goes out to the developers more than the consumers. Indie scene is tough and requires a lot of backing to do anything that makes waves (99% of the time), these guys probably loved what they were building and then quite literally it just stopped. I could imagine this would feel something like building a house from scratch and then the store only has pink paint left, so you’re forced to shit all over years of work in the final days.

But seriously, $13 and its great up until the end, and people bitching and demanding their money back from a clearly struggling developer… THAT’S where the entitlement complaint comes from. How many times have you wasted $13 bucks on 1.5 hours (1/4) of entertainment on movies that were shit the whole way through?

 
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