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Bloodstained: Ritual of the Night for Linux has been officially cancelled

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Sad news for fans of action platformers, as Bloodstained: Ritual of the Night for Linux has been officially cancelled.

Bloodstained was crowdfunded on Kickstarter back in June of 2015, with that they managed to gain $5.5 million dollars. During the campaign, they confirmed Linux was going to be a supported platform, they even told us they were aiming for a simultaneous release.

However, that's all changed now. Sharing the news in a Kickstarter update posted today, they said this:

In this update, we have a very important announcement to make.  Bloodstained will no longer be supported on Mac and Linux. We have made this tough decision due to challenges of supporting middleware and online feature support and making sure we deliver on the rest of the scope for the game. We will be offering backers who planned to play the game on Mac and Linux the option to change the platform of their order. If you would like to change your platform, please send an email with your new platform request from the email address associated with your Kickstarter pledge. We sincerely apologize for this inconvenience and we hope for your understanding.

So not only are they cancelling the Linux version, they're seemingly not offering a refund and only allowing you the option to change your platform. I had to wipe my glasses and read it again to be sure! A refund simply isn't mentioned, only the chance to change your platform.

I didn't personally fund this one, so I don't have any personal grudges or anything like that. Even so, I find this extremely poor, to put it rather lightly. I just can't believe my eyes, given they had over eleven times their original funding goal!

I've added it to our dedicated page tracking individual crowdfunding projects, with 150 projects that puts individual projects that promise Linux support at around 89% that deliver.

Article taken from GamingOnLinux.com.
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75 comments
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adamhm 29 Dec, 2018
If they don't give refunds, take the Windows version and then leave a review on Steam/GOG at launch. At the start of the review bring up this incident & make it clear to readers that they are scumbag developers who should not be supported; perhaps suggest some alternative games made by more worthy developers.

As for the review- see if it works in Wine/Proton and then harshly review it based on that, emphasising its flaws/everything that doesn't work quite right. If it doesn't work at all in Wine/Proton then mention that.

Do your best to dissuade potential buyers and make this cost them as much as possible - hopefully a lot more than just giving out refunds would have cost.
ssokolow 29 Dec, 2018
Quoting: adamhmIf they don't give refunds, take the Windows version and then leave a review on Steam/GOG at launch. At the start of the review bring up this incident & make it clear to readers that they are scumbag developers who should not be supported; perhaps suggest some alternative games made by more worthy developers.

As for the review- see if it works in Wine/Proton and then harshly review it based on that, emphasising its flaws/everything that doesn't work quite right. If it doesn't work at all in Wine/Proton then mention that.

Do your best to dissuade potential buyers and make this cost them as much as possible - hopefully a lot more than just giving out refunds would have cost.

That's what I intend to do if I don't get a refund.

I have experience writing detailed, nuanced, insightful, professional reviews (mostly of fanfiction but some games too), so I plan to write a GOG review that deserves to be top review on its own merits, but dwells on every design flaw, every bug and place where they didn't optimize something another comparable indie game did, every way in which it doesn't live up to what it promises, etc. and then cap it off with evidence for why buyers shouldn't trust 505 and ArtPlay to give them any support if they buy it.

I'm also hoping, after a week or so once I've given Kickstarter a fair chance to respond, to find time to write a detailed guide to raising hell, including a step-by-step guide to reporting ArtPlay, 505, and Kickstarter to all relevant authorities and ratings groups, a list of all the places to complain to them to make them nervous (eg. all their Twitter accounts, etc.), and so on.

(I'll probably also advise people to apply indirect pressure by including mention that the suspicious timing of bringing WayForward onboard is making them wary that WayForward might have advised them to violate the ToS to get the project back on track.)
Kimyrielle 29 Dec, 2018
It's amazing how people that apparently know very little about software development are able to collect so much money on a Kickstarter. People that shoot for cross-platform development, even announce and market their product that way, and then use Windows-only middleware that every complete beginner can deduct from just reading manuals, doesn't run on all platforms they promised to support, should really think hard about switching their career to anything that doesn't involve a keyboard.
Smoke39 29 Dec, 2018
Quoting: ssokolowSince nobody else seems to have mentioned it, this sort of thing is apparently against Kickstarter's terms of service.

https://www.kickstarter.com/blog/accountability-on-kickstarter
That blog post does make it sound like they're legally obligated to provide refunds for anyone on linux or mac, but if you look at the relevant part of their actual TOS:

Quotethey offer to return any remaining funds to backers who have not received their reward (in proportion to the amounts pledged), or else explain how those funds will be used to complete the project in some alternate form.
(emphasis mine) it seems to me that offering backers to pick a different platform would be considered "completing the project in some alternate form."

However, there are other requirements I don't think they've met:

Quote
  • they post an update that explains what work has been done, how funds were used, and what prevents them from finishing the project as planned;

  • they work diligently and in good faith to bring the project to the best possible conclusion in a timeframe that’s communicated to backers;

  • they’re able to demonstrate that they’ve used funds appropriately and made every reasonable effort to complete the project as promised;
Their "challenges of supporting middleware" explanation is meaninglessly vague, and they've given no assurance that this "middleware" issue wasn't due to a bad faith decision to use middleware that didn't support their promised platforms.
scaine 30 Dec, 2018
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Quoting: KimyrielleIt's amazing how people that apparently know very little about software development are able to collect so much money on a Kickstarter. People that shoot for cross-platform development, even announce and market their product that way, and then use Windows-only middleware that every complete beginner can deduct from just reading manuals, doesn't run on all platforms they promised to support, should really think hard about switching their career to anything that doesn't involve a keyboard.

Sadly, this is only partly a question of skill. Ethics plays a larger role and based of what we've seen from 505 and Artplay so far, that's in short supply.
ageres 30 Dec, 2018
Quoting: Guesti also wonder what online support they would need to offer in an igavania game?
It is going to have co-op and versus modes (unless they cancel them too lol.)
Quoting: Guestthe triforce of false promises and bulls*** business practices
yooka laylee
What's wrong with Yooka-Laylee? I played a couple of hours and like it so far.
ssokolow 30 Dec, 2018
Quoting: Smoke39...

However, there are other requirements I don't think they've met:

Quote
  • they post an update that explains what work has been done, how funds were used, and what prevents them from finishing the project as planned;

  • they work diligently and in good faith to bring the project to the best possible conclusion in a timeframe that’s communicated to backers;

  • they’re able to demonstrate that they’ve used funds appropriately and made every reasonable effort to complete the project as promised;
Their "challenges of supporting middleware" explanation is meaninglessly vague, and they've given no assurance that this "middleware" issue wasn't due to a bad faith decision to use middleware that didn't support their promised platforms.

Thank you for that. I had been having a little trouble finding the time to go through the ToS with a fine-toothed comb and I'll incorporate that into future postings.

That said, giving Vita backers refunds does set a bit of a precedent in how they interpreted the ToS. A physical hardware upgrade is clearly onerous, but are they intending to encourage piracy of Microsoft Windows?

Otherwise, can it really be said that they're delivering something as promised, when, without pirating or paying for Windows, running a Windows copy on Wine is a matter of luck, which I'd consider comparable to delivering a product so buggy that it flat-out refuses to run.


Last edited by ssokolow on 30 December 2018 at 3:57 pm UTC
TheSyldat 30 Dec, 2018
Can't really say I'm surprised ...
After seeing how much of a train wreck Mighty Number 9 was , and given that those two teams are made of the same root I deduced that Bloodstained would meet a similar moment where something would go awry .
ssokolow 30 Dec, 2018
Quoting: Guestyooka laylee did not really live up to the promises the devs made in the kickstarter pitch

so basically due to getting a publisher and backers not feeling like they got the product they backed the community around that game is forever divided

basically this

Speaking of Yooka-Laylee, Stop Skeletons From Fighting has an excellent analysis of how Yooka-Laylee screwed up... most memorably, very insightful comments on how they misunderstood the purpose of level design elements available to them and why "the game we always wanted to make" is actually a bad thing if you're trying to please existing fans.

(That said, you also have to be careful to not go too far in the opposite direction either. Snoman Gaming has a great game design video on the nature and importance of differentiating between what made NES games special and what were merely flaws that should be left in the past, with examples drawn from Shovel Knight.)

...and, on the topic of Bloodstained, it's a shame that his hope for "some upcoming projects" learning from Yooka-Laylee's mistakes may not be fulfilled.


Last edited by ssokolow on 30 December 2018 at 8:11 pm UTC
elmapul 30 Dec, 2018
Quoting: ageres
Quoting: elmapulsitch is fucking profitable and with its short life time it already surpassed the instal base of linux and its only going to grow in the next few years.
If the devs were so slow so WiiU and Vita died during the development and Switch appeared, that doesn't mean they can break their promises. Linux and Mac bases were profitable enough to raise money on Kickstarter, but not enough for making a port?

i'm not saying we arent right for complaning.
i'm just explaining why it make sense for the middleware developer to support switch and not support linux and mac.

but i still believe that they should deliver what was promissed no matter what, if they cant make an day 1 support for all the platforms, they should give an key for the game day 1 for another platform chosen by the player + ANOTHER key for their desired platform after they finished porting the game with the profit that the game has made after the launch event.
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