After Bossa Studios announced wanting to launch the game into Early Access instantly if the game hit 100,000 players during their free week for their upcoming skateboarding title, Decksplash -that’s still in closed beta until the 2nd November 2017- they’ve been met with a wave of controversy.
Bossa Studios pushed out an email and press release on October the 25th 2017 with details about their Splash N’ Grab event taking place on the 2nd of November until the 10th of November. The press release stated, “During the Free Week, Decksplash will be available for gamers to download and try out. If 100,000 players participate, the game proper will be released on November 10.”
Sounds alright? It’ll be the emails fault for players getting the wrong end of the stick then as the email was worded to say, “If we hit that magic 100k, Early Access launch IS happening, however if we don’t see it, then it’s R.I.P Decksplash. “
While the email was trying to what I imagine, stick to a more casual tone in the writing, it does make it sound like Decksplash is going to be binned unless 100,000 players join in. However, that’s not the case.
PCGamer reported on the news on the 26th October 2017, with the headline, “If Decksplash does not reach 100,000 players during a free week then Bossa Studios will cancel the game”. This has led to a barrage of negative results according to Bossa Studios, with players getting confused about what’s actually happening.
A video was released last night featuring , Malford who voices the announcer within Decksplash, and he explains what is actually going on. He goes on to say, “The 100,000 number, it may feel a little arbitrary, but we think that’s basically the amount of people that should be interested in a free game, that will translate to enough people that will be willing to pay for the game, for us to have a thriving multiplayer community”
Game Designer, Andreas Yiannikaris said that, “People seem to think we want 100k concurrent! Not at all, we just needed 100k installs on a free game. Despite sounding high, that figure is not actually THAT big for a free game.”
“The reason we needed to do this is because the business team worked out that that number indicated a number of units shifted of the paid game on the first few months to create a thriving multiplayer community.”
“We’ve seen a few multiplayer games go out in recent times that kinda flopped on arrival and it seems unfair to sell people a multiplayer game of there’s no community. The message has been distorted horribly.”
There has also been mentions about loot boxes, which is a touchy subject in the gaming industry at the moment, to which Yiannikaris said, “We were upfront about loot boxes in the trailer because we wanted to be up front about the game having them. Even though they’re not yet available for purchase. Following all the drama recently there had been some discussion about whether loot boxes were the correct route.”
“People saying they haven’t even heard of the game before. That’s because this is basically the first bit of press we’ve done since the announcement earlier this year. We’re only pushing it now it’s ready. That’s what this was. Admittedly we were hoping for a more positive response…”
Bossa Studios Decksplash Product Marketing Manager, Vincent Coates had this to say regarding the topic, “So one of the big things a lot of people have missed is that Decksplash isn’t a finished game. Infact, it’s only just ready to go into Early Access (A form of alpha / beta)”
“This is actually the validation point that a lot of games go through, although it’s normally behind closed doors we wanted to open up that decision to everyone (Like we have done in the past for I am Bread and Worlds Adrift) – This isn’t so much a “We’re going to cancel it” as a “Should we continue with it” and I think that’s where the major difference lays.”
Decksplash will be 100% free-to-play on Steam from the 2nd of November 2017 until the 10th of November. If 100,000 players install the game and play, then the title will launch instantly into Early Access. However the 100,000 figure is not concurrent, it is over the course of the week added up.
Once free week is over and if the 100,000 figure is reached and the game launched, the game will need to be paid for.