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Another Reason for Delayed Games #877778
04/02/13 11:26 AM
04/02/13 11:26 AM
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The woes of developing games and earning a living was once shrouded in secrecy from the main stream. Now thanks to those who have the courage to bring these issues to light we can explain some of the "why's" as to why some games seem to take forever to get released. This was a message from Jonathon Boakes the creator of Dark Fall Series and the Lost Crown.


Quote:
Very disappointed in GOG, the game download website. They have been selling my Dark Fall games and refuse to acknowledge me as the creator and copyright owner.

I still own the copyright on games called 'Dark Fall', but they insist some crooks called Nordic Games own them. Nordic say they bought them from Dreamcatcher, which simply isn't true. Dreamcatcher were issued a Cease and Desist years ago! Also, Nordic and GOG have failed to pay any royalties or provide sales figures.

It's very depressing. And, if I can't get paid what I am due, for my work, there is no point making games. It's a real shame, but I'm not sure I want to go through all this every time I make a game. It is soul destroying and makes me feel like I have wasted my time and provided plenty if cash for greedy suits with no morals or honesty.

If you have bought my games from GOG (Dark Fall retails at $5.99!!!) then I am sorry to report that not a cent actually made it to me; the only person credited in making the games.


After this was shared all over FaceBook and on the GoG forums, they did indeed remove it from their catalog this morning, but sadly, it took them publicity to remove it because private discussions were ignored. So many games are not being released because of publishing issues and the lack of payments for previously released games.

How can a developer be expected to make games, especially retail boxed copies which require much more help if they do not earn any money from them?

I am very happy to see these issues being brought out in the open. I see complaints of airing the dirty laundry in public, but sadly, it seems the only way to get any action.

I hope that now, instead of chastising the developers for not releasing games on time, the public may give some pause and consider that their contract negotiations may be what's holding it back and not the development. They just want to earn a living like the rest of us.

Ana


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Re: Another Reason for Delayed Games [Re: BrownEyedTigre] #877780
04/02/13 11:28 AM
04/02/13 11:28 AM
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MaG Offline
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When it is too good to be true, it never is.

Thanks, Ana.

luck to Jonathan. I am sorry you had to go through this also.

There are more developers that have suffered similar fates - big companies and individual striving ones.

Please look at the side of the makers once in a while and not blame them for wanting to protect their rights (DRM or otherwise).

We as gamers will suffer from loss of intellectuals that make high quality games because we blame them for trying to make money and secure their creativity.


Re: Another Reason for Delayed Games [Re: MaG] #877783
04/02/13 11:44 AM
04/02/13 11:44 AM
Joined: Jul 2000
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near Yosemite in California
Marian Online content
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This is appalling. I echo MaG's sentiments. frown

Thanks for bringing this to our attention, Ana.

Re: Another Reason for Delayed Games [Re: BrownEyedTigre] #877784
04/02/13 11:49 AM
04/02/13 11:49 AM
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It is so hard to bite my tongue and not be able to give real answers to people when they question why a long anticipated game is not yet released, especially when they are attacks that are directed towards the developer as though they are just lollygagging with their games. Obviously a developer cannot discuss these issues while the contract negotiations are underway.

The really appalling thing is when the publisher blames the developer for the delays and we know better. So sad and so frustrating.


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Re: Another Reason for Delayed Games [Re: BrownEyedTigre] #877785
04/02/13 12:01 PM
04/02/13 12:01 PM
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United Kingdom
Mad Offline
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And utterly disgusting !! frown


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Re: Another Reason for Delayed Games [Re: Mad] #877829
04/02/13 03:46 PM
04/02/13 03:46 PM
Joined: Apr 2004
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Oakland, Ca.
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This breaks my heart and makes me sick. I love computer games, especially adventures. Jonathan Boakes makes wonderful adventure games. I have purchased every game in boxes from retail stores. I hope he got the payment due him for these purchases. MDNA is another maker of, again, wonderful adventures games and I purchase these also. There are numerous other great adventures games I have purchased and I sincerly hope that the creators of these great games got they due payment. I really appreciate these wonderful people that make these great games and the fact that I can still purchase games in boxes and DVD cases makes me doubly grateful. The cases do not have to be anything fancy, I realize those days are dissapearing, but I really like having a game disc and case and will continue to support these talented and hard working people and I am sure a geat many gamers feel the same. The dishonest companies and people hurt us all. frown


Brick walls do not a prison make, nor iron bars a cage. Give no thought of tomorrow, today was tomorrow and tomorrow will be today.
Re: Another Reason for Delayed Games [Re: kazzmo] #877843
04/02/13 05:21 PM
04/02/13 05:21 PM
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Northeast NJ
Darleen03 Offline
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Unfortuantely...I think adventure games will soon be the adventure of the pass....

Its sad that things like this are happening...We all can't save the developers with donations as it seems that they are still getting the bad end of the stick.... frown


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Re: Another Reason for Delayed Games [Re: BrownEyedTigre] #877844
04/02/13 05:24 PM
04/02/13 05:24 PM
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Adventure games are not going anywhere, if anything Kickstarter has helped them strengthen. But not buying from sources that get money in the pockets of developers is not helping them for sure.


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Re: Another Reason for Delayed Games [Re: BrownEyedTigre] #877864
04/02/13 07:20 PM
04/02/13 07:20 PM
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southeast USA
Jenny100 Online content
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DotEMU still lists Dark Fall, and says it was written by Jon Boakes in the description. Hopefully they are paying him and not Nordic Games.

I'd rather see GOG put Dark Fall back in their catalog and pay Jon Boakes the royalties instead of just removing the games.

Re: Another Reason for Delayed Games [Re: kazzmo] #877868
04/02/13 07:48 PM
04/02/13 07:48 PM
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Alaska
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Very upsetting news! I assumed GOG could be trusted, and maybe they can if they're making it right now. But what a loss for Boakes.

I have his first two Dark Fall games, boxed by Dreamcatcher, which I've played and loved. I also have the boxed version of Lost Crown put out by Got Game, which I haven't played yet. I hope these are the legit versions!


"Dragons were never gone. They were just invisible and very, very quiet." ~ M'aiq the Liar (Skyrim)
Re: Another Reason for Delayed Games [Re: BrownEyedTigre] #877874
04/02/13 08:17 PM
04/02/13 08:17 PM
Joined: Jan 2004
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Unfortunately it took publicity to get it looked into and taken off. It should have been removed immediately.

I am sure he has no problem allowing his game to be sold as long as he gets royalty. You shouldn't keep having to fight over and over the same battles.

Ana wave


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Re: Another Reason for Delayed Games [Re: BrownEyedTigre] #877885
04/02/13 09:03 PM
04/02/13 09:03 PM
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Arcadia (twin world of Stark)
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Wow, that's terrible, and definitely not deserved. sad I played and loved The Lost Crown, and I'm sorry to see that this happened to Jonathan.

Quote:
I'd rather see GOG put Dark Fall back in their catalog and pay Jon Boakes the royalties instead of just removing the games.

I really hope this is what ends up happening. He certainly deserves to get royalties from his own games! And it's really a shame it had to happen at all as GOG is such a great, DRM free resource. I'm sorry to see they were selling his games without his knowledge or benefit. I'm hoping they can get it sorted out somehow. I remember when something similar happened with the developers of Culpa Innata, which is a big reason we may never see a sequel. Hope The Last Crown doesn't suffer the same fate!


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Re: Another Reason for Delayed Games [Re: BrownEyedTigre] #877901
04/02/13 11:02 PM
04/02/13 11:02 PM
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Based on what he wrote on Twitter, it looks like it is going to be resolved smile
https://twitter.com/jonathanboakes/status/319091346545709056
Quote:
Seems me, GOG and Nordic are all looking to get the same thing now; a good resolution. We can sort things out and all be friends again.


I'll be back, one day, when I feel like it.
Re: Another Reason for Delayed Games [Re: PolloDiablo] #877916
04/03/13 01:04 AM
04/03/13 01:04 AM
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Oklahoma, USA
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Were the distributors really concerned with the developers, this type of situation would never occur. These distributors don't realize that they put their business at risk by the way they treat developers. As in this case, if the situation isn't resolved what's to keep other developers from dropping their support for a particular distributor? And also as with this case, even worse, the customer finds out?

As long as the ever living buck is the bottom line, these types of situations are going to continue. And unless somebody is willing, and financially able, to really slap a hand, it will continue.


If something gets your goat, it just proves you have a goat to get.
Re: Another Reason for Delayed Games [Re: BrownEyedTigre] #877923
04/03/13 03:31 AM
04/03/13 03:31 AM
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Wales
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I'm so glad this has been brought to our attention. I am disgusted to hear what has happened to probably the most creative developer around and to others.
I always buy boxed versions of games from what I hope to be reputable sources. One of the reasons I very rarely use download sites is my pathetically slow intenet connection.
I recently used GOG to download an old, presumably out of production, game but I will never use them again. Nor will I buy Nordic games nor any other company that I hear has been involved in such bad practice.
I've made it one of my policies in life to boycott any product or company that has shown to be unethical in its dealings. I can't be bothered with apologies. "Sorry" usually means "Sorry I've been found out" not "Sorry I did it and caused such harm".
If we all, always, voted with our feet we could limit such bad practice.
I hope Gameboomers will, where possible, name and shame the perpetrators of unethical practices.

Last edited by meryl; 04/03/13 03:50 AM.
Re: Another Reason for Delayed Games [Re: meryl] #877929
04/03/13 04:00 AM
04/03/13 04:00 AM
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I tend to agree with you Meryl. The problem is we game players rarely learn of the nasty actions until too late. I will follow your lead as much as I have supported gog I will with hold any future purchases from them until I am satisfied they did the right thing regarding Johnathan. I, don't even own any of his games but recognize his talent and support his right to receive payment for what he has earned.

Re: Another Reason for Delayed Games [Re: BrownEyedTigre] #877933
04/03/13 05:32 AM
04/03/13 05:32 AM
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A
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I feel really badly for Jonathan. He's set the gold standard for horror adventures and is the last person in this industry that should be the victim of something like that.

That said, I imagine a huge part of the problem has been the shift over to releasing games/software through downloads online rather than through the traditional retail boxed versions. I can see inifinite possibilities for copyright, trademark, licensing, IP theft and royalties issues where digital software is involved. It's convenient, it's cheaper, but this is precisely the kind of problem that can happen when developers turn their product over to multiple distributors/merchants that they are never dealing with face to face.


Last edited by Argyle1968; 04/03/13 05:35 AM.
Re: Another Reason for Delayed Games [Re: BrownEyedTigre] #877941
04/03/13 06:10 AM
04/03/13 06:10 AM
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Marlborough USA
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Shame on GOG and all those taking advantage of the likes of Jonathon Boakes. It is so unfair.


Gerry
Re: Another Reason for Delayed Games [Re: BrownEyedTigre] #877956
04/03/13 07:38 AM
04/03/13 07:38 AM
Joined: Sep 2012
Posts: 29
Portugal
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Just my humble two cents on this mess: don't jump into the angry mob yelling "BURN GOG!", because if you do, then you will have to go after these ones two:

Dotemu (Dark Fall The Journal and Dark Fall Lights Out)
Amazon (Dark Fall Lights Out and Dark Fall the Journal)

In both cases, the publisher is the same as in GOG: Nordic Games.

On the other hand, you can find that the Dark Fall games are being sold in at least 3 other digital distribution sites, with Iceberg Interactive as the publisher:

Green Man Gaming
Gamersgate
GameFly

Dark fall Lights Out is also being sold here, but I couldn't figure out who the publisher is in this case.

I'm not very familiar with digital distribution sites, so there might be a lot more out there. This was just a quick search I did.

GOG is one of the best companies in listening to their client base. They care a lot for customer opinions (just an example, Cat Lady, initially rejected by GOG, eventually will be soon added to their catalog, because of fans asking them and campaigning to get the game there). I'm guessing they wouldn't willingly risk getting possible customers against them.

Not only this, but in the past, they have removes games from their catalog, in extremely fast manner (causing customer complains because of that), precisely in situations like this one: publishing rights issues (while other digital distribution sites still kept them available). So they take this kind of things pretty serious.

I'm not aware of the full details of publishing rights, laws, what Boakes might have suffered with previous struggles or what contracts might have been signed, I'm assuming this will be one of hell of a mess to resolve. Hope everything turn's out all right for all of the involved people and we see those games (and the others by Boakes) available in GOG very soon!

Re: Another Reason for Delayed Games [Re: BrownEyedTigre] #877969
04/03/13 08:43 AM
04/03/13 08:43 AM
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The problem is that Nordic bought the Adventure Company catalogue. It is not possible to boycott them without boycotting the whole industry of adventure games...

If I were making a game now, I would sell it myself. I think we are moving towards bypassing publishers with sites like gog, Steam, Windows store, Apple store, etc. I hope.

Publishers used to provide the financing, but now they appear only interested in selling a finished product they have not financed, and collecting the profits. And they don't even pay royalties... Is this a new form of capitalism?

Re: Another Reason for Delayed Games [Re: BrownEyedTigre] #877973
04/03/13 09:14 AM
04/03/13 09:14 AM
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Cape Town
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You need to get your facts in order before blaming anyone, especially GOG.

Last edited by anne2; 04/03/13 10:11 AM.
Re: Another Reason for Delayed Games [Re: BrownEyedTigre] #877974
04/03/13 09:15 AM
04/03/13 09:15 AM
Joined: Oct 2000
Posts: 39,780
southeast USA
Jenny100 Online content
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The biggest problem is with Dreamcatcher, which made a practice of not paying their developers. Detalion, Galilea, Microids Canada, and probably also Kheops, were not paid residuals from sales as contracted and are now out of business. Frogwares was also not paid, and thehood from Frogwares has posted as much here at Gameboomers and other adventure game forums. I don't doubt Jon Boakes wasn't paid either -- and responded with a "Cease and Desist" order claiming Dreamcatcher could no longer publish the game since they'd broken contract by not paying. But that wasn't the end of it because Dreamcatcher sold the rights to Nordic.

I have no proof that Nordic knew there was any dispute about any games in the catalog they'd bought from Dreamcatcher until Jon Boakes wrote them about it. And GOG as well as Amazon and DotEMU probably thought that Nordic owned the rights.

I don't do Facebook, but Barry_Woodward in the ***Dark Fall Creator Dissapointed*** thread over in the GOG forum quoted from Jon Boakes' facebook page
Quote:
"Things are moving on, like I said. I understand GOG's stance, and Nordic. But we are moving on, like I said. It will be great to have all parties happy again. The Curse Of Dreamcatcher - A Developers Tail is drawing to a close. Basically, everyone involved had conflicting info. Soon to be made good again." - Jonathan Boakes

So it sounds like they're working it out. It would be premature to boycott these companies (and possibly Jon Boakes himself) because of something Dreamcatcher did.

The misspelling of the word "Disappointed" in "Dark Fall Creator Disappointed" is how the thread name is spelled over there.

Re: Another Reason for Delayed Games [Re: BrownEyedTigre] #877999
04/03/13 10:11 AM
04/03/13 10:11 AM
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It seems (from what appeared on my facebook wall) that this time it's not the case of "evil publisher" fighting developers but rather a case of bad communication coupled with Dreamcatcher demise and their last blow(and yes Dreamcatcher / Dreamcrusher was evil).

However the key point stays. If I like certain developer, I buy the game from them directly even if it could mean a little discomfort for me. This way the developer gets significantly more money and usually provides me with a DRM free version and better support, too. wave

Last edited by metamorphium; 04/03/13 10:12 AM.

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Re: Another Reason for Delayed Games [Re: Jenny100] #878000
04/03/13 10:13 AM
04/03/13 10:13 AM
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Cape Town
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Thanks Jenny100
A much clearer view of things.

Last edited by anne2; 04/03/13 10:50 AM. Reason: spelling
Re: Another Reason for Delayed Games [Re: anne2] #878012
04/03/13 11:12 AM
04/03/13 11:12 AM
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Originally Posted By: anne2
You need to get your facts in order before blaming anyone, especially GOG.


Are you referring to me? I posted facts.

Originally Posted By: Argyle1968


That said, I imagine a huge part of the problem has been the shift over to releasing games/software through downloads online rather than through the traditional retail boxed versions.


This was going on long before downloads. There were many popular developers that did not receive a cent on retail boxes sold. The only difference is that we weren't allowed to publicly discuss it.

And, as a sidenote, I never requested anyone to boycott GoG, I am merely posting what was transpiring.






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