Before I get into this week’s SteamWatch, I do want to quickly mention a story that won’t be covered this week as I feel like it has already been excellently covered and documented by TechRaptor writers Shaun Joy and Don Parsons, and that is the story and events that have occurred with the game River City Ransom: Underground, essentially the game has been put back onto the Store after the game got a DMCA takedown by music composer Alex Mauer. If you’re interested in further details of the story, then I will point you towards the two articles written by Shaun Joy and the article written by Don Parsons. With that being said, let’s get into this week’s SteamWatch.
Devoid of Shadows Legal Threats
Devoid of Shadows is an action RPG that launched onto Steam on July 13th, 2017, being developed by N-Games Studios and published by ArsLogica LP. The game has currently received mixed reviews from Steam community reviews, with it currently holding a 60% on Steam as of the time of writing. One of the main complaints that the game had was the poor translations into some languages, and this was a big complaint that was voiced in the game’s community hub. In a now deleted discussion that was archived by Two Credits, a Steam user wrote:
Honestly the German text is so badly translated, it makes me suspect, that the whole game has no effort put into it. You’re trying to present a product here, people are expected to pay money for. At least pretend, you care.
After a few more similar complaints of other translations into different languages that the game had, the publisher ArsLogicaLP came in, essentially saying that they have a translator working on the different language translations and have put the community’s concerns towards the translator to hopefully fix the poor translations that the game had. After further discussion took place, the actual translator for Devoid of Shadows came into the discussion, while logged into ArsLogica LP’s account, responding to the poor translations by saying this:
Hello, I am a part of the Devoid of Shadows team and I am a professional translator having many years of experience. My name is listed in the credits…I am responsible for my work, and any further attacks on the quality of English translation, especially from the non-speakers who make several EGREGIOUS grammatical mistakes in ONE sentence, are considered as entrapment, unless you prove that you know both languages…and provide your own interpretation of the English text. If you fail to establish a prima facie case, we shall hold you responsible for any damage the company suffers as a result of your claims, emotional injuries and other degrading measures.
After a few users responded to the discussion, it was quickly deleted and a number of people ended up receiving bans from the community hub.
Two days after these events took place, ArsLogica made a Steam discussion, explaining the situation regarding translations and also apologizing to the Steam community for the legal threats made under the account, in the discussion, the representative of ArsLogica LP states:
First of all, we apologize to all those who were offended by our reaction to the criticism of translations and the message of our translator. It was our mistake and we are very upset by this situation. We are grateful to everyone who sent us constructive comments. At the moment we are working on correcting mistakes and inaccuracies in the texts. And we ask everyone to refrain from trolling. Yeah, we are really very upset by what happened!
ArsLogica LP also later went on to state that the translator that logged onto the account and made those comments has since been dropped from the team, in a later post by ArsLogica LP, it states:
The translator was a member of our team. And had access to our account. Yes, it was our fault. When there were claims for translation, we asked the translator to write a comment from his own account. But, he used the general account. We did not take it seriously enough. And this, of course, was a mistake. Now the translator has already been dismissed and we are looking for another person who will be able to correct the texts.
Additionally, it seems that all of the people that were banned from the discussions during the series of events have since been unbanned by ArsLogica LP.
The development team, N-Games Studios also left a lengthy post on that discussion which can be found here. In the post, the developer basically says how he has talked with ArsLogica regarding the situation and of how they are completely against what the translator did and also talks a bit more of the team’s experience with game development and community interaction.
The House Party Hassle
House Party is an early access puzzle game developed and published by Eek! Games LLC, which launched on Steam June 30th, 2017. Since the game’s launch, it has proven to be a large success with players, with the game currently receiving mostly positive reviews on Steam with a 77% from players, and it has been reported that the game has sold over 30,000 copies in just its first month on Steam. Prior to coming on to Steam, the game received a rather large following when the demo of the game was posted to the site itch.io and it also gained a large amount of attention after some large gaming YouTubers played the game for their audience to see, some of these include YouTubers such as PewDiePie, Jacksepticeye, and MattShea, with their videos of House Party sitting at 5.2 million, 2.1 million, and 2.7 million views respectively.
With the success that House Party found on both itch.io and YouTube, the game was submitted to Steam Greenlight and was successfully greenlit by the community. However, the game ended up receiving criticism when it was brought to the Steam store, due to a few factors. The first was due to some scenes included in the game, in which the player could partake in first person sex scenes with the female characters, which also had people label the game as a form of pornography, which submission of which is against Steam terms of service in regards to game submissions. In addition to this, some scenes in the game received criticism due to it having a scene in which the player character blackmails one of the females to perform sexual acts with him and also get one of the characters to get drunk to take advantage of them. Additionally, it was discovered that copyrighted logos were present within the game, some of which include Reddit, Sony, and Hearthstone.
Jump ahead 1 month later to July 2017, where House Party has found its self in the top sellers of Steam for a number of weeks and Valve make the decision to pull the game from the store. In a post on the developer’s website, it is described that Valve pulled the game due to a number of complaints coming in regarding the game. The Valve representative said that they would be happy to continue selling the game as long as specific scenes in the game got further censorship. 2 days after the game got pulled, the game has since been reinstated. Another post was made on the developer’s website explaining that some of the sex scenes had to be censored further in the Steam release, however the developer is still offering an uncensored patch on his website for Steam purchases which Valve appear to be fine with, as long as the uncensored patch is not automatically in the game files to begin with. This is something many games have done in the past, such as HuniePop and serves as a workaround to the House Party censorship issue.
Breach of Contract Online Bewilderment
Breach of Contract Online is a multiplayer action shooter developed and published by Aidan Gignac. The game launched onto Steam on the 21st July 2017, of that time the game has received predominately negative reviews, primarily due to there being barely anyone playing it, the game having bad graphics and sporting generic maps among other things.
The game was recently called out for lifting an image and a core map design from the game Call of Duty 4: Modern Warfare called Shipment. Below are two videos, one of which showcases the stolen image and the design of the shipment map in Breach of Contract Online, and the other showing the map and image in Call of Duty 4.
Additionally, along with the map lifting and image theft, the developer’s response to a number of the negative reviews for the game have been bewildering, to say the least. In a response to a review made by user IAmPattyJack, the developer expresses that he thought he was being generous by giving PattyJack a free key, only for him to “backstab” him with a negative review. The conversation on the review continues with the developer’s attitude later lightening towards PattyJack, and in accordance with a recent video uploaded by PattyJack, he has talked further with the developer and the developer has expressed he is willing to change the map and his approach towards criticisms of his product.
I want to thank everyone for reading this week’s issue of SteamWatch, and hope to see you all next week.