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WHAT THE GOLF? was originally funded on Fig with a Steam release, however hidden behind a backer-only update on Fig they've announced it's going to Epic's store first. This is a reoccurring theme now, one I'm starting to grow tired of.

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While it's hidden, a backer sent over the text. It's below in full, as this should really be public anyway especially as they haven't even mentioned it on Steam:

We have some big news we want to share with you. WHAT THE GOLF? will golf on to the EPIC Games Store later this year.

You hold a special place in our hearts (and in the game’s credits). You were the first we showed our silly golf game to, and with your help, we went on this crazy journey. Thanks!

We are really looking forward to showing you the full game. It’s much bigger and better than we ever dreamed it would be. It’s also really silly and weird. You will love it!

So what’s that about Epic?

Yes! It’s coming to Epic Games Store first and that’s going to be great. Fortnite is currently the most popular golf game on Epic Games Store and we’re pretty sure we can beat that!

We get it if you’re not convinced by Epic Games Store. It’s lacking some features at the moment, but their team is hard at work and more stores is going to be great for both developers and players in the long run.

But Hey! What about Steam?

We know some of you prefer a Steam key so you will also get a key for a backer-exclusive pre-release on Steam that is going to be the full game.  (don’t tell Valve - no idea what they think about it)

The game will still officially launch on Steam next year! and that’s also going to be great!

Console?

Yes, the game will be coming to a console at some point and we’re looking forward to telling you which. If possible, we will give you keys, even though it wasn’t part of the Fig campaign.

Why are we doing this?

Some of us are old enough to remember when Steam was new and everyone hated it, but that’s not much of a reason, so let’s be honest. Doing this guarantees that the game makes enough money for us to start planning the next game. An even sillier and crazier game!

Don’t worry: For now, we’re 100% focusing on WHAT THE GOLF?

There were also comments on this, asking them about honouring non-Windows platforms, to which the developer replied "We will of course not remove any platforms that we've promised to release on.".

I don't blame developers for wanting more money, that's not the issue, money makes the world go-round and everyone has to eat and make ends meet. Crowdfunding campaigns also traditionally don't cover the real cost of game development, I know this all too well after speaking to hundreds of developers.

The issue for us, since we're a Linux website, is that Epic Games openly said they have no current plans for a Linux version of their Store. This means Linux gamers have to wait extra long, as do everyone who prefers Steam. It's good they will provide backers a Steam key, although the whole "don’t tell Valve" might backfire on them.

The Steam page is still up, although a few hours ago they changed the date on it to 2020.

Article taken from GamingOnLinux.com.
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31 comments
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BlooAlien 11 June 2019 at 11:40 am UTC
timgarbosTotally get your concerns, but we are not trying to keep anything secret.

I find all parts of this statement highly suspect.
liamdawe 11 June 2019 at 11:51 am UTC
rapakiv
timgarbosDeveloper here. Totally get your concerns, but we are not trying to keep anything secret.

You can solve this in a verry simple way, if you really care for your backers, you will put the game on steam but not on sale and provide a key for your backers.
What do you say?
That's exactly what they said they will do, it's in the quote.
Linas 11 June 2019 at 12:08 pm UTC
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Come on guys, no need to get angry. I dislike Epic as much as the next Linux user, but as a backer you get a Steam key. Otherwise you have not paid anything yet, so you don't lose anything. Except you don't get to play the game and the developer doesn't get your money. Which is a fair (non-)trade.
eldaking 11 June 2019 at 1:01 pm UTC
Not targeted at the developer in particular, but at anyone that defends Epic.

1) If the Epic store is working on improvements, only put your game there - especially exclusively there - after said improvements are complete. Instead of asking people to put up with it and have faith.

2) Taking money from a third party specifically to restrict customers from doing something they would prefer is obviously not going to sit well with the customers. And people should not expect customers to put the developers interests above their own ("but Epic pays more, and the developer has money to make more content, and whatever" - not their problem). Making a game an exclusive is a conscious choice to offer an inferior product and screw many of their (possible) customers for money. Doing it after people have already paid in some way is deeply unethical, and fulfilling the steam sales is the bare minimum (and still far from satisfying).


Last edited by eldaking at 11 June 2019 at 1:03 pm UTC
rapakiv 11 June 2019 at 1:26 pm UTC
liamdaweThat's exactly what they said they will do, it's in the quote.

If there was a hole on the ground for me to fit in!!!
Don't understand all this rouse about the epic store, we already knw that they aren't using the best comercial rules/policies keeping talking about them is a waist of time, we live in a free world, just don't buy there, i wont.

I in this case the producer already said that they ill honor the comitment from first day to bakers.
flesk 11 June 2019 at 1:57 pm UTC
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One of the main reasons I've been excited about crowdfunding in the past is that I've seen it as a way to help developers break free from the traditional Windows "monopoly", and publish their games on Linux. As such, I don't think a backer exclusive Linux build is a satisfying compensation, since the game will still be unavailable to all other potential Linux customers. I backed this game on Fig, and was looking forward to it, but now I'm considering asking for a refund, as I did with Outer Wilds.
gradyvuckovic 11 June 2019 at 2:15 pm UTC
timgarbosDeveloper here. Totally get your concerns, but we are not trying to keep anything secret. Of course, we care about our backers and that's why we tell them the news before the general public. The news will be more public and is already publicly being discussed on our Discord.

Anyways, thanks for keeping up to date. I'll let you know once we have Linux news.

I think you should be careful with what you're doing. If these keys you're talking about giving backers allows them to play the game, which has NEVER been available for pre order or sale on Steam, and which won't be available for sale at any time in the near future, you are possibly breaking Valve's rules.

Steamworks page regarding keys

Note these relevant parts:

QuoteValve provides the same free bandwidth and services to customers activating a Steam key that it provides to customers buying a license on Steam. We ask you to treat Steam customers no worse than customers buying Steam keys outside of Steam.

QuoteTypes of Keys
Keys can be associated with the following package types:

Standard
This is the most common type of key on Steam, which is usually tied to a store or Steam Key package. These keys are appropriate for retail boxes or sales on other sites. These keys will unlock the product once it has been released and marked as playable on Steam.
Release Override
These keys are used to grant access to a product prior to its release on Steam. Release Override keys are intended for small beta tests and press/influencer access. We will look at each request on a case by case basis, and in general less than 1000 keys work well for this purpose. It is never OK to sell release-override beta keys.

QuoteYou should use keys to sell your game on other stores in a similar way to how you sell your game on Steam. It is important that you don't give Steam customers a worse deal.

QuoteWe reserve the right to deny requests for keys or revoke key requesting privileges for partners that are abusing them or disadvantaging Steam customers.

QuoteIf we detect that you have requested an extreme number of keys and you aren't offering Steam customers a good value, we may deny your request.

QuoteWe reserve the right to remove key requesting privileges from any partner whose sole business is selling Steam keys and not providing value or a fair deal to Steam customers.

QuoteCrowdfunding.
Keys can be used to fulfill crowdfunding rewards and grant backers access to your product. Providing backers with beta testing keys prior to release is also OK, but only backers should receive those keys --they shouldn’t be sold outside of the crowdfunding campaign unless your beta is also available for sale via Steam.

Steam keys can only be promoted as a reward for products that have already confirmed Steam distribution --

I would say WTG is at bare minimum, skirting close to the boundaries of the rules, and possibly breaking them, if you offer Steam keys to backers to play the game a year early without offering the same option to Steam customers to buy the game.

It would be prudent to contact Valve and confirm that what you're doing is not breaking the rules, unless you want to risk having your key generating privileges revoked.. Food for thought.
sub 11 June 2019 at 2:28 pm UTC
How about releasing the game on Steam - but only for Linux?

Maybe this could be negotiated with Epic, as they don't offer support for that platform.
Solitary 11 June 2019 at 2:40 pm UTC
subHow about releasing the game on Steam - but only for Linux?

Maybe this could be negotiated with Epic, as they don't offer support for that platform.

Haha, I dont think he was even thinking about some nuisances like customers the moment he got the deal, probably salivated profusely being all "Yes, sir" and "No, sir". Prostitutes have better morals.
kuhpunkt 11 June 2019 at 3:09 pm UTC
timgarbosDeveloper here. Totally get your concerns, but we are not trying to keep anything secret. Of course, we care about our backers and that's why we tell them the news before the general public. The news will be more public and is already publicly being discussed on our Discord.

Anyways, thanks for keeping up to date. I'll let you know once we have Linux news.

Did you btw. think about your future? Do you think Epic will pay your upfront again after this?
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