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

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Comments

  • BGLoverBGLover Member Posts: 541
    Osigold, people are indeed free to use whatever criteria they wish when giving a game a score of 0 out of 10, even if that criteria includes malicious and dishonest reasoning. And people are indeed free to encourage others to leave similarly hyperbolic reviews.

    And people are free to undertake concerted efforts to discredit and undermine Siege of Dragonspear.

    And people are free to reject the suggestion that this is what has been happening.

    We are all free to make up our own minds about what has been happening over the last few days - the events have certainly been an eye opener for me, thats for sure!

    IllustairKrotosGenderNihilismGirdle
  • OsigoldOsigold Member Posts: 117

    There's no evidence of a concerted campaign, except for the sheer number of negative user reviews on metacritic - more reviews of SoD than of Batman: Arkham Knight or the Fallout 4 DLC in fact. Which is to say there's rather a lot of evidence of such a concerted campaign, and anyone who's not biased can see it.

    I can see your confusion, but that doesn't imply co-ordination, only controversy. A lot of people heard about content in the game that they thought warranted use of their speech and so they spoke. That can happen spontaneously.

    In fact, it's a big part of the issue that's affecting social media and the internet as a whole right now. We have a lot of ways to amplify a signal (shares, likes, the way some content appears to others based on its popularity) and something can easily escalate to the point where lots of people decide to take the same action independently of each other with an aggregate result that can be pretty intense. There's a lot of examples of this, and I'm afraid we're only going to see more.

    PhilhelmRathenau
  • OsigoldOsigold Member Posts: 117
    BGLover said:

    Osigold, people are indeed free to use whatever criteria they wish when giving a game a score of 0 out of 10, even if that criteria includes malicious and dishonest reasoning. And people are indeed free to encourage others to leave similarly hyperbolic reviews.

    And people are free to undertake concerted efforts to discredit and undermine Siege of Dragonspear.

    And people are free to reject the suggestion that this is what has been happening.

    We are all free to make up our own minds about what has been happening over the last few days - the events have certainly been an eye opener for me, thats for sure!

    You shouldn't use nonsense terms like "dishonest reasoning" to imply actual offenses that haven't been committed. If people were saying things in their reviews that were objectively untrue then that would, in fact, be a malicious act worthy of condemnation. The fact that you don't like the way they think is not the same thing, so do not call it dishonesty.

    There are plenty of sound reasons to give this game a score of zero. If I were to review it, I would've given it a score of zero purely because it went out of its way to insults its own player base. That's unethical and obnoxious, so of course I wouldn't want to have credited the game in any fashion. That's not "dishonesty" its "having principles". Good on the developers for changing their minds on this one, though I for one did not ask or expect them to do so.

    I might also have been willing to give it a score of zero, since I feel that the response options it offers do not facilitate the ability to roleplay a variety of different characters but merely to enact a form of Social Justice theater. I'd say that renders the game unfit for purpose and therefore also deserves a score of zero. There's nothing malicious about it.

    This determination to twist people stating their positions on a piece of content into some sort of malfeasance is really pretty dark.

    MivsanRathenau
  • iassoniasson Member Posts: 101
    edited April 2016
    i would like to add again that the line minsc had that was poking GG, wasnt the problem and i dont think that it should be removed. what made people mad was the specific way dialog and script were leading you in combination with minsc's line. now that the context of (at least one) character -and i hope also some dialog responses in the future- will be modified to be more open to the belief of every gamer, i really think that u should keep the GG joke in the game. thanks one more time for listening to what was frustrating for the majority of the vanilla bg players!

    IllustairRathenau
  • IllustairIllustair Member Posts: 817
    iasson said:

    i would like to add again that the line minsc had that was poking GG, wasnt the problem and i dont think that it should be removed. what made people mad was the specific way dialog and script were leading you in combination with minsc's line. now that the context of (at least one) character -and i hope also some dialog responses in the future- will be modified to be more open to the belief of every gamer, i really think that u should keep the GG joke in the game. thanks one more time for listening to what was frustrating for the majority of the vanilla bg players!

    We may different in opinion, but I'm glad you're all for amicable settlement.

  • BGLoverBGLover Member Posts: 541
    Osigold said:

    BGLover said:

    Osigold, people are indeed free to use whatever criteria they wish when giving a game a score of 0 out of 10, even if that criteria includes malicious and dishonest reasoning. And people are indeed free to encourage others to leave similarly hyperbolic reviews.

    And people are free to undertake concerted efforts to discredit and undermine Siege of Dragonspear.

    And people are free to reject the suggestion that this is what has been happening.

    We are all free to make up our own minds about what has been happening over the last few days - the events have certainly been an eye opener for me, thats for sure!

    You shouldn't use nonsense terms like "dishonest reasoning" to imply actual offenses that haven't been committed. If people were saying things in their reviews that were objectively untrue then that would, in fact, be a malicious act worthy of condemnation. The fact that you don't like the way they think is not the same thing, so do not call it dishonesty.

    There are plenty of sound reasons to give this game a score of zero. If I were to review it, I would've given it a score of zero purely because it went out of its way to insults its own player base. That's unethical and obnoxious, so of course I wouldn't want to have credited the game in any fashion. That's not "dishonesty" its "having principles". Good on the developers for changing their minds on this one, though I for one did not ask or expect them to do so.

    I might also have been willing to give it a score of zero, since I feel that the response options it offers do not facilitate the ability to roleplay a variety of different characters but merely to enact a form of Social Justice theater. I'd say that renders the game unfit for purpose and therefore also deserves a score of zero. There's nothing malicious about it.

    This determination to twist people stating their positions on a piece of content into some sort of malfeasance is really pretty dark.
    Osigold, in my opinion it is dishonest to subjectively review a game and give it a score of 0 out of 10 for reasons other than the game itself, and it is dishonest to artifically mispresent the quality (or otherwise) of a game in order to make wider points. I have actually read threads on this very forum that have suggested Beamdog are part of one side in a cultural war, and are intent on creating and promulgating political propaganda through their games, and then shoving that propaganda down peoples throats, and that they need to be 'punished' for it.

    Now, you might contend these people posting these comments are isolated individuals, and that the vast majority of 0 out of 10 reviews that all appeared within a day or two of the games release had absolutely nothing to do with all the bile and vitriol that has posted on this very forum.

    People might make the accusation that Siege of Dragonspear went out of its way to insult its own player base. People might contend that Beamdogs behaviour was unethical and obnoxious. People might argue that the writing in the game was designed to 'enact a form of social theater' (whatever that means). And after making all those accusations and assumptions a person might conclude that Siege of Dragonspear is indeed one of the worst games ever made and does indeed deserve 0 out of 10. And people are free to do that.

    And from my perspective....

    I have seen the proliferation of 0 out of 10 reviews. And I have read the posts on here. And just as you contend there has been no concerted campaign to discredit and undermine Siege of Dragonspear, I know full well what I have seen and read. I am twisting no-ones stated positions. I have spent all week reading them!

    rorikonGenderNihilismGirdlemoody_magemf2112
  • Stargazer5781Stargazer5781 Member Posts: 182
    This is the best approach you could have possibly taken on each of these issues. I wish you guys luck. This whole thing has been some first class BS.

  • OsigoldOsigold Member Posts: 117
    You see what I'm saying, though, right? People are talking about disagreement in terms like "bile and vitriol", "invasion", "bombing", throwing up in their living room etc. and as people who value the healthy and open exchange of ideas I hope you will at least consider whether that's not the wrong direction to take when considering criticism, even if you do not support the criticism or the manner in which it's being converted into numerical scores.

    MivsanRathenau
  • BGLoverBGLover Member Posts: 541
    Osigold, what would you call a post that singles out one particular Beamdog employee, names them 5 times in the same post, and labels that person and their behaviour as despicable, disgusting, hate filled, and so on.

    What would you call another post, that singles out the same employee, and calls them an expletive that I wouldn't even asterix on here.

    Or what about a post that insults a particular group of people and calls them 'abnormal'.

    This is bile and vitriol, plain and simple.

    Samyrorikoncraymond727GenderNihilismGirdle
  • vanatosvanatos Member Posts: 876
    What really worries me, from the specific cultural inserts, the portrayals of said inserts and public statements of writers.

    Is that the current crop of writer's are mostly immersed in a very small but vocal internet/social cultural group which has the issue's of homosexual/transgender/diversity etc heart and centre.

    The problem is that people nowadays are just fatigued over these issue's and the same viewpoints expressed for them since we are disproportionately exposed to it in social media and mainstream media.

    I think there will always be a backlash if you insert these same issue's in games with the exact same viewpoint's we have heard and read repeatedly for years in reality.


    PhilhelmRathenau
  • Johan332Johan332 Member Posts: 7
    edited April 2016
    @Illustair - this post
    I might well be misunderstanding Amber - which I don't think I am - but that is besides the point. The point is that my concerns aren't/weren't taken seriously and that everyone with concerns is painted with the brush of a petulant childish transphobe.

    If I read reviews, forum posts and an interview, and think "hmm... yes, those might be an issues", followed by going to the Beamdog forums, and read they think they are being attacked because they have a transgender character - no, I don't feel like I'm being taken serious. Ironically, I feel like I'm being marginalized and that my concerns are being swiped under the rug. Besides, there were barely any reviews in when Trent posted that message. After Trent's post, I even went back to Steam and GoG to check if I was going crazy.

    I usually try to get two sides of the story before making a decision. If however one side gives me their argument, and the supposedly professional other gives me nothing, but instead calls them poo-poo head, how am I suppose to take them serious?
    ----------------------------------------------------------------------------------------

    As for Ambers interview, I think she was overly antagonistic, which makes a positive interpretation of what she said very hard. About what you wrote specifically, that might well be how things are, who knows. That is however not what I take away from reading that interview. I am however man enough to admit that I could be wrong. But when the side that is suppose to explain to me what they did mean, just ignores and vilifies the big group of concerned people. What I am suppose to think? Moreover, If i go to the Beamdog (and other) forums to ask what's going on, and all I get is either 1) agreement or 2) your side are crazy racists/sexists/bigots, what I am suppose to think? Sure some people are mad. But Beamdog is suppose to be the voice of reason in this. Sadly enough this voice was not only wholly lacking, it even jumped on the 'you're all bigots' bandwagon.

    But back to the interview:
    If someone calls one of my favorite games sexist, you'd better have some good evidence and/or arguments to back up that claim. If what follows are one or two lines about their personality (and a poor description at that), you've failed in giving a proper reason.

    Underdeveloped characters aren't sexist
    A very generic 'trope' character (for example a nagging wife) isn't sexist
    The personality of a character doesn't make the game sexist.

    Non of these reasons make the game sexist. Sure, the game has many racist and sexist moments, that however doesn't make the game sexist, that makes racism and sexism a theme - and it makes characters the way they are. It looks like she's using in-group terms and rhetoric for a public interview. Very unprofessional if you ask me, and obviously something that will be misinterpreted by people who aren't in your group.
    Where I'm from Sexism still actually means something. And when you call someone or something sexist, that's a serious accusation. If she thinks this is normal, will these in-group definitions of terms also be used in game? - and that's just one of the fears I had after that statement.

    Why didn't she simply say something like: we think several characters are underdeveloped in bg1 and we like to do X, Y and Z. And for that matter, why didn't Beamdog clarify what she meant if people interpret it wrong? That would, instead of worrying me, make me excited and curious. Sure I would be somewhat worried they'd ruin the characters by poor writing. But I wouldn't have the worry of them rewriting characters from a specific political leaning, nor would I be worried about in-group rhetoric and terms that I won't be able to understand.

    Post edited by Johan332 on
    Rathenau
  • CorelliaCorellia Member Posts: 22
    Johan332 said:

    Dantos4 said:

    I will not be purchasing Dragonspear (and likely not BG3) due to this controversy and I shall explain why.

    ...

    In conclusion:

    - I do not like seeing some of my most favourite characters re-written because one writer thought they were "sexist".
    - I do not appreciate the - purposefully or not - calling of any negative reviewer a "small minded individual". I see this as a thinly veiled attempt at silencing critics of a buggy release.
    - I find Beamdog's identity politics attempts at PR an absolute disaster.
    - I find the statement where Mr.Oster calls people "small minded individuals" for having the gall to dislike something to be... frankly, rather small minded in itself.
    - The game is reportedly very buggy at release. Many people claim this is "modern" game development but I call it lazy testing.
    - I find shoe-horning in SJW issues to be mildly irritating, but not something in-and-of it's own enough to dissuade me from purchasing & enjoying the game.
    - I am not a fan of drama at all & this turns me off the studio which has come across lately as behaving in a way befitting to teenage school children (E.g. calling up your friends for support on Twitter, name calling critics).

    Thank you for all of the fantastic work you've done with BG:EE., IWD:EE and BG2:EE. I really, really enjoyed those games - but I am afraid I will be looking at any future projects with a much more cynical light after all of this nonsense.

    I do hope that those people who have bought the expansion genuinely enjoy it. But for me, I will be giving it a miss.

    I completely agree. The biggest problem I have with all this is the way Beamdog communicated after a few reviews mentioned the cleric - I won't be repeating all of my gripes, because I think Dantos4 summed it up very well.

    In this statement - although I have only read the first and last page - I'm also missing an explanation and solution as to why that happened. What is Beamdog going to do about their communication issues? This whole thing could've been largely avoided if:
    1) Amber wasn't so antagonistic in her interview
    2) Trent didn't make 'that' statement <- this is the one that put me over the edge to not buy the game
    3) Although it had already started at this point - Dee wouldn't have have thrown oil on the fire with his tweets.

    I won't be able to trust a company that handled it's customers the way Beamdog did - especially if they don't even recognize the problem. </p>
    What did Dee say on twitter(must have missed it)? His profile is now hidden so it must have been juicy.

  • redkingredking Member Posts: 5
    I've been a fan of BG since the original, and I own BGEE and BG2EE on PC and on Android, so I guess that makes me a bit of an outlier or a fanatic.

    Anyway, so a few days ago I was checking out GOG and I was like "wow, a NEW expansion of BG?!" and immediately went to google to see what this was all about. What I found was... upsetting to say the least.

    Baldur's Gate for me is escapism. In playing it I get to leave behind all the stupid politics that I have been afflicted with in school and then work. I got so sick of what I feel are attacks on my identity that I ultimately threw away the TV and haven't watched TV in 15 years. Now I see that this politics has invaded one of my favorite games so the game designer can score a few points against people like me.

    I will be frank. I do not like the idea of a transexual character, but I could probably live with it as long as it wasn't the main character. I could have lived with Mizhena as an 'insertion' except that it was handled so insultingly ingame that I couldn't possibly support it with my money.

    Why insulting? Because in Baldur's Gate and in RPGs generally you have as a rule a variety of potential responses, often following the pattern of positive, neutral, negative, or sarcastic. In the main character's encounter with Mizhena, only positive responses are available, thus forcing your character to effectively endorse Mizhena. Basic RPG principles were violated to shove this down the throat's of your customers and to force your customers to affirm Mizhena's transexuality ingame. Had you given the option of a negative response, and not just a negative response that makes your main character look like a fool, then you would not be suffering this blowback.

    But lets get to the core of the inappropriateness of a transexual, post-op or pre-op in a fantasy setting in which there is magic to easily remedy these issues. Magic can be used to change the gender, for real, of someone like Mizhena, and thus Mizhena would no longer be transexual. Alternatively magic could be used to resolve Mizhena's gender dysphoria, and make Mizhena's feelings of gender identity match his biological sex. Either way there is no reason for someone like Mizhena to have unresolved gender dysphoria issues unless Mizhena didn't have access to appropriate clerical magic, which is unlikely since Mizhena also happens to be a Paladin.

    Perhaps after reading this some of you may feel that people like me shouldn't be allowed to exist. I mean, how dare I go against the zeitgeist and right-thinking? I see that there are millions like me, however, and most of them are game buyers, especially buyers of RPGs. A little bit of consideration would go a long way.

    Rathenau
  • Johan332Johan332 Member Posts: 7
    edited April 2016
    Corellia said:



    What did Dee say on twitter(must have missed it)? His profile is now hidden so it must have been juicy.

    He already removed his tweets, so lets just leave it at that for this thread. If you really want to know, google "dee beamdog twitter" or something. There is plenty of forum threads on the topic.

  • OsigoldOsigold Member Posts: 117
    edited April 2016
    @Sids1188 See, you just can't resist. You're characterizing the reviews as not being about the game or being based on only two lines of dialogue, but none of the top rated reviews on either Steam or Metacritic are like that, and if a given site wanted more stringent criteria for user posting then they'd have it. It's not a lack of self-awareness to say that you shouldn't demonise other people's opinions of a game.

    Rathenau
  • SamySamy Member Posts: 51
    Osigold said:

    I can see your confusion, but that doesn't imply co-ordination, only controversy. A lot of people heard about content in the game that they thought warranted use of their speech and so they spoke. That can happen spontaneously.

    Please. Just please. The review bombing for Dragonspear is a coordinated effort. That much is obvious to anyone with half a brain.

    rorikonGenderNihilismGirdleAyiekie
  • BGLoverBGLover Member Posts: 541
    I really do have to get back to my no-reload run of BGEE (which is still going strong!), but before I leave to break into Ramazith's tower and happen to accidentally stumble across a rather interesting read, I should like to add I personally have no problem with criticism. I have no problem with people criticising Siege of Dragonspear because of the bugs, or the lack of functionality, or decrying unnecessary changes to the UI, or bemoaning the incompetence of the company in rushing out a product that wasn't ready (I've seen alot of criticism like that levelled at Beamdog on these forums over the years!)

    What I have a problem with is bile and vitriol and abuse and the concerted campaign that has been going on to discredit and undermine Siege of Dragonspear, which to me seemed to have very little (if anything) to do with Siege of Dragonspear itself. A cultural war? Really?

    But at the same time I would never seek to ignore or repudiate a persons right to criticise, and I would like to think I am always open to a healthy and open exchange of ideas. And (to bring my post back on topic) I am glad those sentiments are shared by Beamdog.

    GenderNihilismGirdle
  • Diogenes42Diogenes42 Member Posts: 597
    edited April 2016
    Hello friends. Something to consider for today: if you think Beamdog was wrong or Gamergate or SJWs or whichever collection of people organized or otherwise then perhaps don't react harshly or antagonistically. Instead be like a teacher of choruses who has to sing louder than the rest in order they may get the right note. Be courteous, respectful and constructive.

    GenderNihilismGirdle
  • OsigoldOsigold Member Posts: 117
    edited April 2016
    Samy said:

    Osigold said:

    I can see your confusion, but that doesn't imply co-ordination, only controversy. A lot of people heard about content in the game that they thought warranted use of their speech and so they spoke. That can happen spontaneously.

    Please. Just please. The review bombing for Dragonspear is a coordinated effort. That much is obvious to anyone with half a brain.
    No, people with brains require evidence. Critics of the game have been called conspiracy theorists for suggesting that the game's writing contains things that one of the game's writers say she put in there; Now you're going to call me dumb because I don't jump to conclusions? That's so weak!

    Is your need to find Beamdog to have been in some way "attacked" really that compelling? Can you just not accept the possibility that other people may just think that the game deserves a low score?

    Rathenau
  • Sids1188Sids1188 Member Posts: 165
    @Osigold I can see that you are adamant that the review bombing isn't coming from GG. To me that looks pretty oblivious, but lets assume for the sake of discussion, that it's true. To an outsider looking in it absolutely looks like they are coming from GG, and that's looking really bad for them. If you want to rescue GGs image in all of this, I would advise you get in touch with whoever is prominent in that community and tell them to publically condemn review bombing in no uncertain terms. If people within that community are doing so, or bragging about it, shame them. Inform them they are being detrimental to the group and going against it's ideals.

    Do that and you guys might come out looking alright. Don't and you are leaving yourselves to be typecast as the villains by whatever splinter groups or randoms might be doing it.

    Aside: I'm getting pissy about all this, so I don't think I'll be responding to anything more until I calm down tomorrow. Apologies for that.

    BelleSorciere
  • CorelliaCorellia Member Posts: 22
    Dee said:

    I linked to an 8chan discussion thread where they were saying some especially volatile things about me and my coworkers. I also (perhaps mistakenly) connected that discussion thread to GamerGate, and sent the tweets to Feminist Frequency and (definitely mistakenly) Jezebel Magazine.

    I deleted the tweets when it was pointed out to me that tweeting about the issue was only making things worse, and I made my Twitter account private when I started receiving a flood of abusive tweets in response.

    The tweets were not affiliated with Beamdog, nor is my Twitter account.

    No worries found your tweets as well preserved screenshots, not sure if hiding your profile is making anything better though. At first glance it looks terrible to have a hidden profile, and having searches only giving hateful threads with posted screenshots only fuels that. But your choice. But really you all need to sit down over some hot cocoa and have a lengthy talk on how you are going to deal with this because so far it has not been handled that well, but i'm sure you have more experience with shit storm than me considering Hexxat. Anyways good luck and stay strong.

  • iassoniasson Member Posts: 101
    It wasn't organised. I think what happened is called domino effect. People got bothered and when the first reacted more followed in their trail. It happens a lot even in the real world, not only the Internet)

    OsigoldBillyH666NomphosumusRathenau
  • byrne20byrne20 Member Posts: 315
    @Diogenes42 it's nice to see someone keeping there cool and trying constantly to calm the situation and keep it cival. You seem like a really sensible kind of person :) hats off to you.

    JuliusBorisovGenderNihilismGirdleIllustair
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