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View Full Version : Finally the truth. S2 wanted more money [Official S2 answer]



revan_xp
07-30-2011, 06:53 AM
[S2]Nome on reddit

First things first; as you already likely know, I am employed by S2 Games, and therefore you should come into this topic with tempered expectations. However, if I may, I will ask you to, for the purposes of this thread, take me primarily not as a mouthpiece for my company, but first and foremost a fervent fan of Heroes of Newerth.
When the Early Access Program (EAP) was first announced to the designers several months ago, I was initially apprehensive to the thought. As I sat in Maliken's office along with everyone else, there were a lot of thoughts racing through my mind. I wondered why we were doing this, how the playerbase would respond, and I felt conflicted because I knew that we would effectively be reneging on the avowal of shunning pay-for-power, something every single employee of S2 Games prided ourselves in doing. But here's the reality:
We do not have investors like our competition. The bulk of us are located in a small, middle-of-nowhere town lodged between Chicago and Detroit. Our workplace is in the husk of a former real estate office. We embody the humble indie studio. Yet we are all fiercely loyal to the company, and in stark contrast to the profit-centered, publicly-traded gaming behemoths that dominate the employment climate, almost all of our employees are salaried workers, not contract or hourly. Before we relocated from California, I personally commuted 3 hours each day to get to work, paying $30 in bridge tolls and $60 in gas a week. Yet each night, I could barely keep myself from thinking about going back to work the next morning, and I knew it wasn't just me feeling that way, or just me making such a journey just to arrive at work on a daily basis. One of our programmers, Deejay, recently said that applying for S2 was one of the best choices he's made in his entire life, a sentiment a lot of us can attest to. Spirits are always high, and we're always looking not just forward, but higher--that's something that is unfortunately becoming more and more of a luxury among the game development community, and it's something we're all proud of here. We're an indie studio, but we have heart.
To contrast, HoN is not a cheap game to develop. To pay our nearly 50 employees, to continue providing working servers, to keep pushing out content at a steady rate is not a cheap endeavor--in fact, it incurs costs higher than most MMOs. What is most important to understand here, and what changed my opinion on the subject, is that the F2P conversion and addition of EAP serve the ultimately purpose of improving HoN. As a designer, this is what struck a chord with me, and why I eventually gave my seal of approval and continued commitment. As I mentioned before, we are not a publicly traded company. Our primary motivation is not to turn profits to please shareholders; it's to create and maintain a top-of-the-line product. My boss is Marc DeForest, AKA Maliken; he's about 30 seconds away, down the hall and to the left. I can talk to him to bring up troubles. We eat lunch together once in a while. He's invited me, and other employees, over to his house on multiple occasions. He is a real, living, breathing human being, not a nebulous overlord across the ocean that I'l never meet, who has no personal connection to me or my job, and communicates via directives down a corporate stepladder of bosses. And that's what changed me into a believer--knowing that no matter how vested any of our players may be, the most passionate fans will always be ourselves. Because we are the ultimate critics of ourselves, trust that we are doing what we believe will benefit our community and game the most.
To our loyal players and fans, thank you for your staunch support. To those who are joining us, you have a wonderful journey to begin. This is not the end, but a beginning, and I humbly believe that you too will see that the fruits of this initiative will far outweigh the negatives!


TL. DR. , We couldn't afford all the costs

Btw reading S2 emplyess comments on reddit you can see how they know they did a mistake but they try to pretend they did for good.
I personally think i have never had such a bad support from a videogame company and i probably won't buy any S2 game in the future.

Smodge13
07-30-2011, 07:02 AM
A business who wants to make money?
Never

Servers are not a once off cost neither are programmers this is a logical step and I don't know why so many people are whining, What would you prefer?
for Hon to be around in 3 months time under this method or not here at all because they can't afford to keep servers running?

Vitae
07-30-2011, 07:03 AM
"almost all of our employees are salaried workers, not contract or hourly"

Nome's first job in the industry? I have never been paid by the hour nor do I know anyone who has. The fact is that most companies would keel over if they would pay us by the hour.

Vor
07-30-2011, 07:07 AM
I lol'd.
I fully understand them not being able to pay for things, that makes sense. So does every single change they just made, except for the EAP. The EAP is what might have just tossed their last chance at competing with DotA2 out the window, as it literally infuriated the entire playerbase far beyond any of the silly (though they seemed more drastic in the past) changes such as the store or the interfaces. They have a chance to fix it too, thats really the saddest part. I remember the days of beta when the forums were filled with S2 communicating with their player base far more honestly than they do now.
And I swear to god, if they were to just trust that micro-transactions video everyone was posting on theescapist, they would find that all these LoL players who only chose LoL over HoN because of the initial cost despite them all spending far more than 30$ in LoL by now already are used to buying anything they want from a store, and would easily buy into the token system S2 set into place.
Its just sad that the EA was implemented despite being so over the top from what was needed. They could have waited a month and seen how much $$$ they were raking in from the LoL players finally deciding to play the DotA port just off the cosmetic store and the pass into full games systems they had set up. Thing with free to play is that you have to put faith in people buying things, but you can't count on it. When you don't force it, they often pay for things themselves, especially when they have been subconsciously trained by your competitor (LoL) to do so in ways such as paying for unlocking heroes.

Pripisau
07-30-2011, 07:11 AM
So you thought that they made HoN just so we have fun playing it?

tObi`
07-30-2011, 07:12 AM
So you thought that they made HoN just so we have fun playing it?

10 bucks he thought that, for real.

ayoyoayoyo
07-30-2011, 07:14 AM
lawd

they claim 200k accounts at $30 each that 6 millions.

they are not running out of cash any time soon. So don't excuse money grubbing with "we are poor lol i have to feed my dog"

thecsapprnt
07-30-2011, 07:16 AM
Frankly, I completely expected that to be the reason. And lets not kid ourselves, that gamesutra has been out for a while and I think we were all expecting the F2P change at some point.

However, what is really annoying me right now is that these changes were just dropped in our laps with no warning, notice or discussion. And while I'm sure everything that Nome is saying is true, I think everyone here might be more accepting of it if we had been informed of the situation beforehand.

There are half a dozen threads right now with good, reasonable alternative models (plus a whole bunch of bad ones) that people seem to like. Was it too much to ask for S2 to tell us of their plans and their justifications beforehand?

It just seems, I don't know, as if a king or dictator just decreed something unpopular and moves on. Like they didn't have to explain themselves (despite possibly having good reasons) because they know there is nothing we can do about it. They know that like it or not, they are in complete control here. And if we want to continue playing the game, its their way or the highway.

I'm just a little frustrated here. I don't think I've ever been so completely blindsided by S2 since I started playing.

evotech
07-30-2011, 07:17 AM
lawd

they claim 200k accounts at $30 each that 6 millions.

they are not running out of cash any time soon. So don't excuse money grubbing with "we are poor lol i have to feed my dog"

Idk in what world you live in. **** is expensive

But honestly S2, your marketers and PR guys suck balls and shoudl all be fired. the reason you don't have investors is because you don't market this game. The game is good, btu that doesn't help when noone knows it. LoL got this right and you failed, simple as that.

Sucks that all the good games have **** publicists (looking at you GC2, CoH, HoN)

Vitae
07-30-2011, 07:17 AM
So you thought that they made HoN just so we have fun playing it?

You ignorant little fanboy.


"You dont have to buy EA heroes!"

No. But the fact that someone can buy something which can give them an advantage is not something I consider a good design decision.


"Its not that expensive. Buy it yourself if you want to play it."

This is the first hero. Prices will most likely go up. Remember when alt avatars were introduced?


"Just ban it in game when playing if you dont want anyone to play it."

The majority of players play AP.


"Monkey King is not overpowered so you dont have to worry about him."

So what if he is not overpowered? the fact is that very few heroes are balanced when released. Remember engy turret or pre nerf :silh:? You have no idea how the next EA hero will play.


"Servers and staff cost a lot of gold to maintain."

True. But will that EA program rake in that much gold? I see them losing more gold on this design decision thatn they make out of it. I personally will not spend a single $ on this game again until it has been removed and as you can see in other threads of the forums I am not the only one.

Bainshie
07-30-2011, 07:21 AM
The thing is.

ALL THE COSTS ARE THEIR OWN FAULT.

Servers: Easily fixed by releasing the server binaries and allowing people to host their own. Lan support is now made easier, and everyone gets more servers, at faster ping.

Development. There is a really easy way to get free, already coded, balanced and created heros into the game: Create a SDK, add a 'Everything you create may be officially added into the game without permission' clause. All of a sudden you'll have more content to choose from then to throw a stick at.

The fact is IF (and this is a big IF) $2 really are running out of money, then it's almost entirely their own fault.

tObi`
07-30-2011, 07:21 AM
lawd

they claim 200k accounts at $30 each that 6 millions.

they are not running out of cash any time soon. So don't excuse money grubbing with "we are poor lol i have to feed my dog"

did u read what creating a single hero costs? what was the investements of creating the whole game?


6 million for a game company running hundreds of servers is nothing.

HungLoSack
07-30-2011, 07:23 AM
Still curious as to how f2p affects Legacy players at all.
New **** players? They'll be in their MMR bracket soon enough.

Ekamo
07-30-2011, 07:23 AM
As much as they thought this would be something that in the end would benefit them with more money, it won't.

Early access will in the long run make them lose money, and that is something I think they will understand soon. F2P is absolutely necessary and I don't see why we shouldn't have it if S2 needs the model to be successful. But early access ruins the game for many players and in the long run, it is S2 who will lose from it.

Leyart
07-30-2011, 07:24 AM
STFU NERD. A thread like this has already been opened

Miky
07-30-2011, 07:28 AM
You ignorant little fanboy.
you little mad kid, why don't you just deal with it and quit?
they lied, did this shitty f2p and you are mad...k, we all care, now quit and wait to the f2p dota 2.
no need to whine on this forum.
they won't go back, ppl that still play don't care (no, not because they are fanboys, but because many didn't pay anything after buying the account and will still pay nothing after this f2p change but will still play :<), so just quit...you'll feel better after, belive me!

ayoyoayoyo
07-30-2011, 07:28 AM
their one mistake is the EAP. the golden promise, at the core of this competitive game is that you can never pay-for-power.

most people would whine and whinge like teenage girls about whatever (shop interface, bugs, DDoS, 6800s for announcer, OP ****) but in the end they would suck it up and play after they had their whining

But this has crossed the very very big and visible line in the sand that everybody has been telling you is there. It is so stupid. It won't even make them money. Look at the amount of rage. Most of you expected this too. As soon as you logged in the game people are saying "lol i can imagine the rage in the forums"

Kitho
07-30-2011, 07:29 AM
OK i didnt read much .. but wtf stop crying you ****ing poor faggots... whats wrong with you making so much drama about 30 $ ... you totally got payed back already...

ayoyoayoyo
07-30-2011, 07:30 AM
did u read what creating a single hero costs? what was the investements of creating the whole game?


6 million for a game company running hundreds of servers is nothing.

they claim 50k or some **** for creating a hero right? well that's bs. anybody who believes it is so stupid.

People have been making mods since forever and ask any modder or developer and they will tell you, the amount of content per hero they release is not $50k.

unless they order daily lobsters lunch for their workers.

asarja
07-30-2011, 07:30 AM
Still curious as to how f2p affects Legacy players at all.
New **** players? They'll be in their MMR bracket soon enough.

This is not about the F2P move (which most of the player base consider to be a good one). This is about the sh*tty Early Access system.

Lucian01
07-30-2011, 07:31 AM
Have't met a person who didn't want money to be honest.

KiMolov
07-30-2011, 07:33 AM
Signature says it all. Get EA away atleast from Legacy players, and im fine with the F2P

ayoyoayoyo
07-30-2011, 07:33 AM
yes but there is a rule whereby you don't lie to make money.

you can see why this rule is very important for a working society.

ReD_RuM`
07-30-2011, 07:34 AM
Other games/companies have investors? Hm... why don't you have it as well?

Warbear
07-30-2011, 07:36 AM
http://img9.imageshack.us/img9/6779/malaiekskka.png (http://imageshack.us/photo/my-images/9/malaiekskka.png/)

SmackTrick
07-30-2011, 07:36 AM
If they wanted to milk the players that hard, they could have done it in so many different ways that have zero effect on gameplay whatsoever.

Look at the current leveling system for example. You gain levels....to get coins? Whats the point of that. Remove coins from level ups and have some proper incentives associated with leveling up. Like every X levels, you get a new hero or a new alt avatar. Maybe every Y levels (where Y>X) you can pick a new announcer for free.

And then you start selling leveling boosts in the shop. 10 games of double xp. 1 day of double xp. Suddenly we magically have more money coming in out of nowhere!

asarja
07-30-2011, 07:40 AM
Have't met a person who didn't want money to be honest.

Wanting money is one thing, lying in order to get that money is a totally different one.

ayoyoayoyo
07-30-2011, 07:40 AM
because investors want to make money and game developers are nerds who want to make computer games. they are in conflict and investors always win, so you end up with shitty games.

westwood sold to EA, bam! cnc franchise to the shitter
blizzard sold to activision, bam! sc2 to be made in 3 full games (they fixed that though luckily)
infinity ward sold to activision, bam! no dedicated servers for CoD

Xozzen
07-30-2011, 07:46 AM
That is a pretty piss poor excuse, and I hoped S2 would give a proper statement. Sugarcoating that bullshit doesn't make it any better. Early access is an insult and if S2 would have put any thought into it, they knew that it would be highly unappreciated.

RatedRKO
07-30-2011, 07:48 AM
The thing is.

ALL THE COSTS ARE THEIR OWN FAULT.

Servers: Easily fixed by releasing the server binaries and allowing people to host their own. Lan support is now made easier, and everyone gets more servers, at faster ping.

Development. There is a really easy way to get free, already coded, balanced and created heros into the game: Create a SDK, add a 'Everything you create may be officially added into the game without permission' clause. All of a sudden you'll have more content to choose from then to throw a stick at.

The fact is IF (and this is a big IF) $2 really are running out of money, then it's almost entirely their own fault.
THEY chose to make the game $30. THEY chose to have $10 sales. THEY chose to make promises they refuse to keep.

Make all the cosmetic bull**** you want, just don't sell things that give an advantage.

Helmsman
07-30-2011, 07:54 AM
[S2]Nome on reddit



TL. DR. , We couldn't afford all the costs

Btw reading S2 emplyess comments on reddit you can see how they know they did a mistake but they try to pretend they did for good.
I personally think i have never had such a bad support from a videogame company and i probably won't buy any S2 game in the future.

The thing is, that you have to look at it from a business perspective. They weren't making enough money to cover everything. Although we may be displeased, I think they put it off for as long as they could. I hate the early access, I hate that people can buy for a 1 month advantage, but it was their only choice, they had to come up with an idea. Heroes of Newerth is a quality game, but people are unwilling to pay even $10 for something, so they had to go to a F2P model.

I know it's a business decision, and I can come to terms with that, but to be honest I'm probably not going to play after DOTA 2 comes out, and I've been playing HoN for 3 years, I love this game, I love what it WAS. I hate to leave it.