SteamWatch - Developer Re-Launches Game to Circumvent "Inaccurate" Reviews

Published: June 29, 2019 6:00 PM /


steam developer tips

The early access indie open world RPG Greylaw: Season 1 has relaunched in the form of Wytchsun: Elleros Origins. Greylaw was released into Steam early access just back in February of this year, and the stated reason for relaunch was the user reviews not accurately reflecting the current state of the game and users not updating their reviews. The developer originally stated in a discussion post that the relaunch was a result of wishing to rename the game (despite the fact that a new game doesn't have to be made to change the name displayed on the store) and also to possibly help get further advertising behind the game from YouTubers:

A few people mentioned concerns about ‘season 1’ in the title. Ie if there will suddenly be a season 2. To avoid confusion, were going to talk to Valve/steam about re-naming the game...This may mean a relaunch of the game; and thus a free copy of the relaunch game to everyone who purchased season 1. Plus, it lets us get some media promotion behind the game, and talk to youtubers. Which we really really need.
In later responses given to community members, however, it was revealed that there were ulterior motives behind creating a new store page and that was to get rid of the inaccurate reviews on the page. The developer stated when responding to a user criticizing the decision:
the game got all its reviews in the first week of launch pretty much. Every issue from then is now fixed, and it was our first experience with early access. Or releasing a game on steam. And people dont seem to change reviews once theyre made, even if the game changes. Its eye opening

there is no 'early access' only, full release, in one regard.

wytchsun elleros origins

Something of interest is that both of the games have different developer labels, with Greylaw: Season 1 being marked as being developed by "Frogmore Beta Testing" and Wytchsun: Elleros Origins being developed by "Rampage Interactive." As a result of this, clicking on the developer names on the store pages don't showcase the alternative version of the game, meaning Frogmore Beta Testing doesn't list Wytchsun: Elleros Origins and Rampage Interactive doesn't list Greylaw: Season 1. This doesn't seem to have always been the case, however, due to the fact that SteamDB history showcase Rampage Games were the original developers of Greylaw: Season 1, but later got replaced.

In addition to this, YouTuber SidAlpha in his own coverage of the game took note that the game was, in fact, lifting music from other sources, finding that the music from Greylaw: Season 1 was taken from a YouTube video of a Scottish street bagpipe band performing Clanadonia, which was being used as the game's main menu music.

As of the time of writing, Greylaw: Season 1 is still available for purchase on Steam and Wytchsun: Elleros Origins is now out in early access.

We have reached out to both Rampage Interactive and Valve for comment. While we have yet to hear back from Valve, we did get some comments back from Mark from Rampage Interactive. What follows is Mark's response in full:

ok so clarification: Greylaw sold about 60 copies. its not a release. It was meant as a tech outreach to talk to possible  publishers and people who might act as early adopters.

We didnt have a brand really set up in those days. and were unsure what to call the game.

It was our first ever steam game. Basically.It really wasnt even meant to be for sale, and we didnt do any marketing at all, just placed it on steam for the ability to send demos to possible funders. There are no magic 'missing review', as a game without even 200 reviews hasnt even had a fair hearing, its distorted by user bias.

Im a 40 year old construction manager in the uk, who left and followed dream to make a computer game before I got too old.

for me, it really bums me out that there are people who want to find fault without knowing fact.

It feels like any whiff of something, the cranks and trolls come out to play. basically as controversy is a cheap and easy story.

Regards this sid alpha person, we will look into any claims he has, and also legal action against him if he defames the game.

To the best of our knowledge every piece of music in the game has full commercial license. There is no 'discovery' , it seems to be a lot of people without much to do. Im told by others that almost every game has a few tens of trolls or cranks. I wouldnt know as this is our first game. I can comment when the game is released. Then I will have data.

Soon any greylaw page will be removed, im asking valve to pull it as an 'abortive start' released way to early, to get the ability to send steam keys to funders. (as we had no idea what steam people we really like). yes, there is some bitterness to that as Wytchsun, the version we feel more comfortable putting our name to, should not have SIXTY copies worth of sales harming it. Thats not even a launch.

In a follow-up e-mail, Rampage Interactive then gave me a Steam key for the unreleased version of Wytchsun: Elleros Origins while stating in the follow-up e-mail by saying:
As said, im a 40 year old manager, who left paid full time work to follow his dream and make a game. To me,

penalizing a 'real' game launch for 60 sales and less than $800 of income is simply put, not fair. especially as we had no idea how early access steam gamers really operate

instead of acting like its a work in progress, they treat it like its a cheap way to get a fullprice game. and moan when there are bugs.

that said, play the game and make up your own mind. We think weve made a credible bash at an indie elder scrolls game and are much more proud of what we have in Wytchsun

than the early, way to soon, February version.

If we hear back from Valve, then we will update the article.

Disclosure: A Steam key for the game in question was provided by the developer to me during the process of write-up. This, however, has in no way influenced any side representation and balance is maintained towards both sides.

Author: | SteamWatch Writer