Good Old Games has gone and done it; they've gone and won themselves an internets. Mounting controversy has eclipsed the release of an indie game called Dark Matter. The controversy? The game abruptly ends since the original devs ran out of money and the Kickstarter didn't go through. Gamers raged and Good Old Games responded... responded with refunds.
Blue's News spotted the PR-friendly post from the CD Projekt operated digital distribution outlet, which notes that users dissatisfied with the turnout of Dark Matter can get a refund of their DRM-free copy from Good Old Games...
It's come to our attention that the gamecard for Dark Matter was not quite specific enough about the nature of the game and, as a result, it may be that some people bought the title with some misapprehensions as to how the game's story would end. Since we don't ever want to sell a game to someone because they believe it is something that it is not, we wanted to let you know about this and let you know what we're doing to make it right.
Dang, that's some epic pro-consumer loving right there. I would do another slow clap gif but I already used it during the Wild Game Studio debacle, so instead, GOG.com will get a fast, feverishly excited clapping gif.
Yeah, that's how we get it done around these parts.
The good will on behalf of GOG.com comes mostly from the failings at the hands of the developers (though they didn't have much of a choice) as reported by Gameranx and PC Gamer, where Iceberg Interactive CEO Erik Schreuder explained how they'll handle the game after the fallout following the truncated ending, addressing the community on the forum, writing...
“[Following the failed Kickstarter drive] The idea was then formed to make Dark Matter an episodic series,”...“with episodes selling at a budget price of $14.99. Any further episodes would, however, need to be dependent on the success of the previous installment. The first installment is what has launched recently on Steam and is simply called Dark Matter.”
Gamers were peeved that they weren't originally informed that the game would be episodic – though, really, I'm sure the developers didn't think that either. Iceberg is basically trying to salvage a situation where devs tried pumping out a game that never would have saw the light of day anyway and was mostly unfinished. However, Iceberg should have made it known that the game wasn't properly finished from the start and maybe gave a heads-up beforehand.
I can, however, be a little bit forgiving in this situation because, as Schreuder states, the episodes releasing would only depend on the success of the previous episode, and saying that the game would be episodic but the sales may not have been so great with the first game the publisher would be the awful position of having promised something they couldn't actually deliver. Although, technically they're still kind of in that situation.
Sadly, this is just part of the messy reality of dealing with indie culture. As a developer it's always tough and as a publisher it's all about maximizing what you have to make money. Although, honestly, I do believe that Iceberg should have been more upfront about the dark matter for Dark Matter.