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Beamdog's Official Statement (4-6-2016)

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Comments

  • guizhangguizhang Member Posts: 3
    haven't read the other comments here, but re: the announcement, good call. nice to see you're using it a lesson learned (keep politics out of fantasy computer role playing games, or at least give the players agency to actually role play)

  • AHarmlessGatorAHarmlessGator Member Posts: 3
    edited April 2016
    An interesting post, no sign of apology, which is fine.. just unusual.

    Also the 'targeting' (to call it targeting is just asinine) of specific individuals was a direct cause and effect on the said individuals actions and words. If it was a team call to call a beloved character from the original games sexist and that anyone who had a problem with it should just 'deal with it', well that's kind of screwed up.

    This all comes down to the worry that beamdog as a studio does not have enough respect for the title which there future success is dependent upon. This expansion would not exist if not for the love fans showed it for 18 years. If that makes them a little 'entitled' so be it. They clearly have earned it.

    SharGuidesMyHandRathenau
  • amyaeamyae Member Posts: 65
    I guess the love shown by fans who would criticize the original game's writing and/or would like to see LGBTQ characters represented doesn't count, then.

    GenderNihilismGirdleAyiekieKrotosmf2112
  • jde33jde33 Member Posts: 24
    edited April 2016
    Bah this is silly.. my impression after I hit the so called "scandalous dialogue" was that she was a girl that was RAISED as a boy more so than a trany. Not that I care either way but it seemed more in line with a fantasy setting.

    I'm really not overly sensitive tho, I've learned one can only makes judgements about people based on who they are, their character not on what they are. About what you are I could care less. (Really, don't wear it on your sleeve and tell me in the first two seconds I meet you, cuz I could care less and doing so may make me think less of your character. It's like someone that opens a conversation with "I'm a typical Gemini.." That only tells me that you define yourself by some stereotype and that would be a unappealing character trait to me.)

    I don't think Beamdog did anything wrong and they have nothing to change. Ignore it Beamdog (the damage is done anyhow to those potential customers, they will think what they will regardless of what you do.)

  • Samtheon47Samtheon47 Member Posts: 2
    My sincere condolences for this controversy. I love the expansion, and have had a blast. Well done, I can't wait for your next project.

    GenderNihilismGirdlerorikon
  • GenderNihilismGirdleGenderNihilismGirdle Member Posts: 1,333
    Altair said:

    Well done Beamdog for handling the situation professionally, I believe this was an appropriate response. Hopefully all the buzz created by the controversy will actually have a positive impact on SoD sales, which will improve our chances of seeing one day a BG3 :smile:

    Black Dog, Beam Hound, what's the difference? :D

  • Sids1188Sids1188 Member Posts: 165


    I don't think that parenthetical note is the lesson learned, nor is it a lesson anyone should want to learn.

    The exclusion of transgender characters from video games is just as political as the inclusion of transgender characters. Both are political choices. Writing characters based on sexist tropes is political, as is writing characters not based on sexist tropes.

    You're overreaching.

    Indeed. I constantly hear people insisting that video games should be respected as an art form. And what is the greatest value of art that makes it an essential aspect of a culture? That it can make statements that challenge our ideas and values in a popular forum. Unlike a thesis or political debate, it can find an audience with the masses and encourage discussion of thoughts.

    You can see that in tv shows, movies, paintings, sculptures, poetry, books and everywhere else. There's a reason slapstick comedy tends to be looked down on compared to satire - it can be entertaining, but has no lasting value. If people want video games to be a meaningful thing that the culture at large respects, they should absolutely be open to political or otherwise ideological ideas.

    GenderNihilismGirdleNomphosumus
  • SharGuidesMyHandSharGuidesMyHand Member Posts: 2,471
    Sids1188 said:


    I don't get this at all. Unless there's something I missed, she didn't say the characters were bad or that she didn't like them. She said they were presented in a sexist manner. Which they were. I don't see how that's a controversial idea.

    It is indeed a controversial idea - saying a game is "sexist" because one out of numerous female NPCs is an overt flirt would be like calling the game "socialist" because one of the NPCs (Kagain) was a greedy jerk. The BGs featured a multitude of NPCs with a variety of personalities among both genders.
    Sids1188 said:


    It's possible to give criticsim to things you like. It doesn't mean you hate it. Just means it can be better. Baldur's Gate was a great game. It was neither a perfect nor flawless game. To think that, one would have to have had their eyes closed.

    Likewise, changing/rebooting things doesn't automatically make them "better," either.
    Sids1188 said:


    These days that sort of thing doesn't fly, so they made it more appropriate (actually, I didn't even notice much of a difference, so clearly it was subtle).

    The original BGs remain one of the most well-remembered and highly regarded RPGs of all time, and Safana was one of the most memorable and well-liked NPCs. The whole reason SoD was even able to get off the ground was because of the loyalty and devotion of fans from two decades earlier who bought the EEs. If Beamdog felt compelled to alter any characters to satisfy some sort of modern fad, then it just illustrates how much they took their eyes off the ball. Not only that, but it completely contradicts what was explicitly marketed as the purpose of the game, which was to transition (not alter or reboot) the original games.
    Sids1188 said:

    If you don't want the game enhanced, don't get the enhanced edition.

    Isn't that exactly what the critics of the game are being criticized for doing?

    Rathenau
  • AyiekieAyiekie Member Posts: 792
    Foggy said:

    Did it even occur to both sides in this controversy that a large portion of gamers buying BG are not from North America, and that a large chunk of the US gamers themselves have no interest nor do they care about the cultural wars but are holding out on buying SoD because of the negative reviews and some bad PR decisions from Beamdog that felt like neither the devs nor their detractors really cared about the game itself?

    Does it ever occur to people making this weird point (of which you are not the first even in this thread) that people who do care about this aren't necessarily from North America? I'm not, for instance! The "cultural wars", which is a cutely euphemistic way of putting it, are not limited to the boundries of that continent.

    If you put off buying SoD because of the negative reviews which in over a 10-to-1 ratio are people ranting about "SJW agendas", then I guess you did care about the "cultural wars" after all. The only other common complaint is "bugs", and anyone who plays the EEs (and for that matter, the originals) has clearly come to terms with those if they're still a prospective customer.

    It's also absurd to assert the devs didn't care about the game, given that a) they've been painstakingly patching and enhancing infinity engine games for many years, which shows a lot more caring than any person merely playing them did, and b) several of them were on the fricking team that made Baldur's Gate I/II in the first place. If the devs don't care about Baldur's Gate (I, II, or SoD), then literally nobody cares about it.

    GenderNihilismGirdleNimran
  • Baeloth_JnrBaeloth_Jnr Member Posts: 86
    @Sids1188 “If people want video games to be a meaningful thing that the culture at large respects, they should absolutely be open to political or otherwise ideological ideas.”

    Political views can be expounded without overt cheerleading.
    For instance, Shakespeare can be said to express political views, but those views are so tied to the characters that express them it is impossible to distill Shakey's own political predilection from that of the characters.
    Overt cheerleading for a particular cause rarely produces great or even good art (the great Soviet film makers - Eisenstein, Pudovkin, Dovzhenko - may be an exception to this rule). Even Brecht stages his dramas as a contest of ideas.

    Ardul
  • Baeloth_JnrBaeloth_Jnr Member Posts: 86
    edited April 2016
    @Ayiekie "I feel so...sensual."... What a natural-sounding line that real life female-type humans would utter while walking along in the woods on an adventure!"

    As I recall this is one of those hilarious fourth wall breaking moments when you select Safana by clicking her with your mouse. same with Xzar's (?iirc?) "Stop touching me!" Note how the NPCs responded in character.

  • ProllenProllen Member Posts: 6
    This is just sick! People coming with threats and stuff over a game? There are transgendered people, being upset about that is like being upset that the earth is round rather than flat.

    This is just tiresome, I've been aware this issue but havn't got the energy to engage in this nonsense debate. But guess I should because now you made Beamdog into pushovers.

    I guess you are upset about the Girdle of Masculinity/Femininity in original Baldurs Gate as well and that is just ridiculous.

  • AyiekieAyiekie Member Posts: 792


    As I recall this is one of those hilarious fourth wall breaking moments when you select Safana by clicking her with your mouse. same with Montaron's "Stop touching me!" Note how the NPCs responded in character.

    Nope, it's her normal selection quote. Her other two selection quotes are "Yes, dear?" and "I'll do anything.", which aren't really much better. Her actual fourth-wall breaking quotes include the famous "between two evils I always pick the one I haven't tried" line from (IIRC) Mae West and two other silly ones. How about:

    "I've been looking for strong men, like yourselves."
    (Your party may consist of one man and five women when she says this. Also, remember people are arguing her character isn't sexist.)

    "This city is a beautiful place. So full of the gullible and stupid."
    (What a normal thing to say that real people would do! Also, she's supposed to be neutral, not evil, but whatevs.)

    "I like it when you are nasty to me."

    "You could be... somewhat more creative in your insults."

    "I'd love to see what... other skills you possess."

    "I'm hurt, stop what you are doing and help me right now!"
    (Yelled in the middle of combat - what believable and realistic dialogue!)

    I could go on. Safana's dialogue would fit right in in slapstick comedy or pornography, and not too much else. She is, even by the standards of BG1, not a realistic or well-developed character. She's a one-note joke. So's Xan and Alora, of course - it's hardly limited to Safana. But any full-length use of her character in an expansion was going to have to broaden and deepen it, because there is almost nothing to stay faithful to.

    GenderNihilismGirdleamyaeKrotosrorikon
  • AyiekieAyiekie Member Posts: 792


    Political views can be expounded without overt cheerleading.
    For instance, Shakespeare can be said to express political views, but those views are so tied to the characters that express them it is impossible to distill Shakey's own political predilection from that of the characters.

    That's a pretty bad example, given that like half of Shakespeare's plays are blatant suck-ups to the ruling house of England.

    Like, why does everybody think Richard III was a deformed hunchback who murdered his nephews and was evil, evil, evil? It isn't because that is particularly well-attested in the historical record (well, he MAY have murdered the nephews; it's hotly debated).

    GenderNihilismGirdleillathidKrotos
  • Sids1188Sids1188 Member Posts: 165

    @Sids1188 “If people want video games to be a meaningful thing that the culture at large respects, they should absolutely be open to political or otherwise ideological ideas.”

    Political views can be expounded without overt cheerleading.
    For instance, Shakespeare can be said to express political views, but those views are so tied to the characters that express them it is impossible to distill Shakey's own political predilection from that of the characters.
    Overt cheerleading for a particular cause rarely produces great or even good art (the great Soviet film makers - Eisenstein, Pudovkin, Dovzhenko - may be an exception to this rule). Even Brecht stages his dramas as a contest of ideas.

    Sure. I'm not necessarily saying that Beamdog did a great job of presenting their view in this case. I don't think the Minsc line was ever really appropriate (though I don't really get the fuss about it). My response was to the idea that political positions should be kept out of video games entirely. As long as governments aren't censoring, so we can have both or all viewpoints expressed, I don't see a big issue there.

    If it ruins the quality of the games, then they simply won't be successful. There's the incentive to keep them good. If the position goes too far on the cheerleading, then the other side isn't going to see it and then it's failing at it's purpose of convincing others (only preaching to the choir). There's the incentive to keep it reasonable.

  • PezPez Member Posts: 19
    "The last few days have showed us how passionately many of our fans care for our games. We've had a lot of great feedback from players who love the expansion and are having a great time experiencing the first new Baldur's Gate story in 15 years."

    YOUR games? Don't be delusional, you don't have games. Baldur's Gate is not your game, Icewind Dale is not your game and definitely SoD is not your game. It's a playable mod at best, and not a very good one.

    Understand your place at the table and don't take credit for others hard work.

    Rathenau
  • inethineth Member Posts: 555
    TStael said:

    If comedians are to be the authority on this, then I see your Stewart Lee and raise you a John Cleese:



    ;)

    Silverstarbooinyoureyes
  • EngeeEngee Member Posts: 1
    edited April 2016
    We’ve received feedback around Mizhena, a supporting character who reveals she is transgender. In retrospect, it would have been better served if we had introduced a transgender character with more development. This is a lesson we will be carrying forward in our development as creators and we will be improving this character in a future update.
    It would have been better if you didn't include characters with the seemingly sole objective of reinforcing your political viewpoints, but it is good that you are looking to increase their depth. I think everyone can agree that substantial characters are a good thing, right?
    The last few days have showed us how passionately many of our fans care for our games. We've had a lot of great feedback from players who love the expansion and are having a great time experiencing the first new Baldur's Gate story in 15 years.
    You have also had a lot of great feedback from players who don't love the expansion.
    While we appreciate all feedback we receive from our fans, both positive as well as negative, some of the negative feedback has focused not on Siege of Dragonspear but on individual developers at Beamdog --
    Some of your individual developers deliberately taunted the gaming community with their statements and actions.
    to the point of online threats and harassment.
    I haven't seen any threats against individuals, I think you are a liar unless these have been made privately. The definition of "harassment" is a seemingly free flowing one in the current day and age.
    I just want to make it crystal clear that Beamdog does not condone this behavior, and moreover that it will not have the desired effect as we stand behind all our developers 100%. We created the game as a group, and moving forward we'll work on the game's issues as a group, which I believe is exactly as it should be.
    The more you provoke people and have staff who fail to conduct themselves professionally, the more you will encounter pushback.
    We’ve received valuable feedback around some bugs we failed to catch for ship. We're hard at work right now patching up the issues that slipped through and we're striving to ship fixes and improvements quickly. We will provide a complete list of the issues we plan to address in our next update. Issues of note we are addressing are:

    Multiplayer – We are acting on reports of multiplayer issues and hope to have this fixed in the next update.
    Excellent news for those affected by it
    Minsc – Minsc has a line which generated controversy. Looking back on the line, we agree with the feedback from our community, it has nothing to do with his character and we will be removing the line.
    Thank You
    We hope all our players continue to enjoy Siege of Dragonspear and we look forward to providing an update in the near future.

    Regards,
    -Trent
    This player won't be purchasing your products in the future as you have, up until this post, shown nothing but disdain for the gaming community, and have made it clear that your products are as much about your political values as they are about actually producing something enjoyable, which is something I dislike in "modern" (your definition) products. That said, I personally appreciate the retraction of the line in question and look forward to not doing business with Beamdog in the future.

    Best Regards.

    morph4037Rathenau
  • MadrictMadrict Member Posts: 137
    edited April 2016
    Thank you for a great game, SoD is excellent, as are the updates to the base BGEE and BG2EE games.

    Your hard work is appreciated. Thanks also for taking the negative criticism in your stride.

    You guys have worked hard and delivered a great product. Thank you :)

    GenderNihilismGirdleSids1188Nomphosumus
  • PezPez Member Posts: 19
    shawne said:

    Pez said:

    YOUR games? Don't be delusional, you don't have games. Baldur's Gate is not your game, Icewind Dale is not your game and definitely SoD is not your game. It's a playable mod at best, and not a very good one.

    Understand your place at the table and don't take credit for others hard work.

    Wizards of the Coast licensed these games to Beamdog. BG and IWD are more theirs than they'll ever be yours. So... *shrug*
    I never said they were mine. In that matter I'm much more respectful than Beamdog.

    And they may own the license, but still not their games, they created NOTHING. Just this SoD mod.

  • megamike15megamike15 Member Posts: 1,853
    Pez said:

    "The last few days have showed us how passionately many of our fans care for our games. We've had a lot of great feedback from players who love the expansion and are having a great time experiencing the first new Baldur's Gate story in 15 years."

    YOUR games? Don't be delusional, you don't have games. Baldur's Gate is not your game, Icewind Dale is not your game and definitely SoD is not your game. It's a playable mod at best, and not a very good one.

    Understand your place at the table and don't take credit for others hard work.

    hey i need to clue you in on something. most of the people who work at beam dog are ex bioware employees who worked on the original games. now your right about iwd tho.

    Ayiekiemf2112
  • Diogenes42Diogenes42 Member Posts: 597
    Pez said:

    shawne said:

    Pez said:

    YOUR games? Don't be delusional, you don't have games. Baldur's Gate is not your game, Icewind Dale is not your game and definitely SoD is not your game. It's a playable mod at best, and not a very good one.

    Understand your place at the table and don't take credit for others hard work.

    Wizards of the Coast licensed these games to Beamdog. BG and IWD are more theirs than they'll ever be yours. So... *shrug*
    I never said they were mine. In that matter I'm much more respectful than Beamdog.

    And they may own the license, but still not their games, they created NOTHING. Just this SoD mod.
    Surely they created the excellent game Siege of Dragonspear friend?

    GenderNihilismGirdlemf2112
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