One of the reasons I love Kickstarter is because it cuts out this pesky virus known as a publisher. This virus basically feeds on currency of any and all kinds and usually it serves very little purpose other than to sometimes make people aware of a product, but in some cases even then they aren't necessary. Well, one virus – oops, I mean publisher – has decided to take things a step further by denying a developer the necessary funds for their work on the game and in result, a very broken version of Jagged Alliance 2: Wildfire is on Steam right now.
The modding scene for Jagged Alliance 2 used to be pretty big back in the day, so I was surprised to see that a community-favorite project had found its way onto Steam's store called Wildfire, designed by a group of modders going by the name I-Deal Games. However, it's not all roses and daffodils.
There's a pretty blatant warning on the forums about staying away from JA2: Wildfire because the proceeds of purchases will not go toward the developers and that the game itself has some pretty glaring bugs and glitches due to not being properly finished. What's worse is that none of the planned patches have been released due to the hold up in funds.
The Steam forums has a good summary of the breakdown. What's more is that the lead designer, Sergei "WildFire" Popoff, for the Wildfire mod-turned-standalone expansion makes a simple remark on their own forum board, when asked about the progress of the patch...
It doesn't matter. Patch will be released ONLY after payments.
This was from way, way, way back in 2005. Popoff makes a more elaborate explanation on the I-Deal Games website with an extended blog post.
The group of Russian modders have given up work on the Wildfire project, which probably has people asking the obvious question: What about people who pay for this thing and find out it's riddled with bugs? Tough luck.
Topware, the publisher for the project, might think they're being slick pulling a fast one on modders-turned-designers I-Deal Games, but it's a poor showing and hopefully things work out for the guys and gals who actually put their hard earned time and effort into bringing Jagged Alliance 2: Wildfire to life.