Today, we have an issue to talk about where both sides have merit. Everyone involved in this conversation has an argument that is easy to support. Which makes it more difficult to decide which side to support. Hopefully, after going through things, you will find it easy to empathize with everyone involved.
Friday the 13th: The Video Game is a broken game. It is a crowdfunded project that isn’t quite perfect yet. People have trouble getting through matches, due to crashes that take away their XP. It isn’t working well yet. The issue at hand has to do with what the developer, Illfonic, is currently doing. It is releasing an entirely new game on August 29, 2017 called Dead Alliance, and that has made people livid.
It’s easy to see why. Friday the 13th: The Video Game isn’t working. Illfonic promised support in the form of patches and updates that bring new content to the game. Finding out in May 2017 that this 30-person studio is working on a second game when the first was only just released on May 26, 2017 can shake your faith. So much is wrong with one title, but instead of buckling down and making things right, they’re moving on to the next big thing.
Worse, Illfonic hasn’t explained exactly how it intends to fix Friday the 13th: The Game and when. We have no roadmaps or plans. There are no regular updates saying exactly what is being repaired or created and when things will be implemented. If I were someone who backed or bought the game, I would feel like I was being abandoned and ignored too.
But then, we have to think back to who and what Illfonic is. This is an independent developer. There are only 30 people there. To survive, these people need to keep creating games. With Friday the 13th: The Video Game released, it is time to work on the next project that will support themselves and their families. After all, sales from a new game only last so long, especially an indie game. Most of the sales from that game will come in within the first month. With the troubles it is having, people probably won’t be eager to keep buying copies.
Besides, expecting a developer to only work on one game isn’t taking the real world into account. Every development studio is working on multiple projects at once, all of them at various stages of the process. Dead Alliance is one of many games Illfonic is creating. It is also working on Armored Warfare, a free-to-play PC game it is working on for My.com, and Project: Advena, a game following a marooned space freighter pilot trying to survive. Post-launch support is usually assigned to a smaller team that fixes bugs and makes a few extra items for people still playing. It is unrealistic to expect all 30 people to devote what could be between eight and ten hour days to a game that has already been released.
Illfonic definitely needs to fix Friday the 13th: The Video Game. That is indisputable. People paid for a game and should have a product that actually works. Members of the team should still be on that and communicating with players. But if you're someone who thinks Illfonic should devote their entire lives to one game, you're wrong. If they want their studio to stay alive and make enough money to support themselves and the people they love, they have to keep making more games. It is an unfortunate situation, but one in which people need to be realistic.