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Console-exclusive bonuses: an open letter

posted by ATMachine on - last edited - Viewed by 2.3K users

Dear Telltale,

I really hate to be such a misanthrope, but this is something I felt had to be addressed.

It seems that on the PS3 version of The Penal Zone, when you start up a second playthrough you get access to a new psychic power: the Nutrition Specs. These allow you to see intriguing new visions throughout the game.

Yet this bonus content is ONLY available on the PS3.

For shame, Telltale.

I am a die-hard PC gamer. I have never been able to "get the hang" of consoles, no matter how much I've tried. I've watched helplessly as big game companies abandoned the PC market, one by one, and transferred all their focus to the console world.

I thought Telltale was unique in placing so much of its efforts on the PC platform. This pleased me deeply, and cemented my love of your games.

When TOMI and then Sam and Max switched to direct control, I assumed it was because of the reasons Telltale stated, that it made it easier to construct the games' environments. Some naysayers claimed it was really because the company wanted to put the games on consoles, but I ignored them.

Then, in the promotion leading up to the release of The Penal Zone, the PS3 version was the only version featured in advertising. Again, I assumed this was because the PS3 was a new platform for Telltale, so you wanted to show it off as much as possible.

Now I find that Telltale has put out The Devil's Playhouse on PS3 with exclusive, extra-cool bonus content that the PC version lacks. This is something I had never expected would happen, and as a "console-illiterate" gamer, it pains me greatly. Moreover, it casts a new and uglier shadow over the previous events I mentioned above.

You've disappointed me, Telltale. I've learned you're just like every other game company: eager to move to the console market, and willing to shaft PC gamers in the process.

Please, prove me wrong in the future.

EDIT: So, maybe it's not so exclusive after all? Great! Mea culpa, I'm sorry, je suis desolé.

The lesson we can learn from this, I think, is that poor communication kills. I went off in a moment of anger and posted an ill-thought-out rant on these forums, but I wouldn't have done so if Telltale had cleared up the exact nature of the Penal Zone bonus content sometime earlier. Blame all around! ;)

221 Comments - Linear Discussion: Classic Style
  • @Rather Dashing said: I dunno. Personally, I like that the developers can speak freely, and I'm pretty sure they have spoken freely for years now. It means they're people with opinions and not PR tools with leashes around their necks(it's a lot less kinky than it sounds).

    The issue is that you're very much over-reacting. Even if it was PS3-exclusive, so what? We get an exclusive DVD, exclusive bonus content, an exclusive forum, a free episode, TF2 items, exclusive downloads, and coupons. PS3 users got...five bucks off. And the ability to play on a PS3.

    This scale does not look like one that is heavily balanced in the favor of anybody but the people who buy from Telltale's store. We have gotten everything we were promised and, well, more. I don't think an after-game distraction for PS3 users should not have been a big deal at all.


    You may think I'm overreacting to this issue of exclusive platform content. I say it's my prerogative as a customer to react as I see fit.

    Quite simply, I would have liked to know, before release, whether any special extra content existed on the console versions, and whether or not that content would eventually make its way to PC. I feel this information is my right, since it's my money and I'm choosing which platform I want to play this on.

    Telltale began by not addressing this issue at all. Now we've gotten some vague statements alluding to PC bonus content to come at some unspecified future date. I am still not entirely satisfied, and am beginning to think the company's communication skills are sorely lacking. Oh for the days of Emily...

  • @ATMachine said: Telltale began by not addressing this issue at all. Now we've gotten some vague statements alluding to PC bonus content to come at some unspecified future date. I am still not entirely satisfied, and am beginning to think the company's communication skills are sorely lacking. Oh for the days of Emily...


    And in doing so, you have likely spoiled what Telltale was planning to do with the 516vision site. Congratulations!

  • @ATMachine said: Quite simply, I would have liked to know, before release, whether any special extra content existed on the console versions, and whether or not that content would eventually make its way to PC. I feel this information is my right, since it's my money and I'm choosing which platform I want to play this on.


    So, to get this completely straight, you would have switched to playing on the PS3 if Nutri-Specs was PS3-exclusive, and this was advertised ahead of time.

  • Remember the Treasure Hunt for TOMI? Don't worry, Telltale are pretty awesome at adding bonus stuff at later dates.

  • @Fury said: Remember the Treasure Hunt for TOMI? Don't worry, Telltale are pretty awesome at adding bonus stuff at later dates.

    no, i don't

  • @Rather Dashing said: This scale does not look like one that is heavily balanced in the favor of anybody but the people who buy from Telltale's store.


    Well, we DO give them the largest amount of money.
    $35 here is $35 for TTG.
    $35 on PSN is I don't know how much for TTG, since Sony takes a fair cut. Same with Steam...

    So it would make sense for TTG to try and make the most people get it directly from them, unless they prefer making less cash themselves, and wealthying (is that a word?) Valve and Sony...
    (Of course if Sony/Steam would pump 'em large amounts of money if they make them exclusive stuff, that becomes a different story I guess...)

  • @Rather Dashing said: So, to get this completely straight, you would have switched to playing on the PS3 if Nutri-Specs was PS3-exclusive, and this was advertised ahead of time.


    Why does it matter? What if I didn't? Customers deserve to be informed about things like this, so they can make informed choices. I'm not the only one who's dissatisfied here, if you haven't noticed.

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    puzzlebox Telltale Staff

    @ATMachine said: I say it's my prerogative as a customer to react as I see fit.

    That's true, but it comes across a little... oddly, if the immediate initial reaction is one of incandescent self-righteous outrage. A little patience goes a long way - it often helps to ask the question before making sweeping statements based on assumptions and conjecture.

    As you said though, it's your prerogative to react as you please. Just understand that that may affect the way others react to you.

    @ATMachine said: Telltale began by not addressing this issue at all. Now we've gotten some vague statements alluding to PC bonus content to come at some unspecified future date. I am still not entirely satisfied [...]

    Telltale do listen and respond to their customers - within 15 minutes of your original post you had a response here essentially saying "wait and see".

    I prefer not to know everything upfront, it's nice to have little surprises and extras trickle through during the month-long wait between episodes. I understand that you feel differently though.

  • @puzzlebox said: That's true, but it comes across a little... oddly, if the immediate initial reaction is one of incandescent self-righteous outrage. A little patience goes a long way - it often helps to ask the question before making sweeping statements based on assumptions and conjecture.

    As you said though, it's your prerogative to react as you please. Just understand that that may affect the way others react to you.


    You're right. I was pretty livid when I wrote the initial post, and it shows. I sound a lot angrier and more enraged than I intended to. In retrospect, I probably hurt several people's feelings, and I ought to have waited and calmed down a bit before posting. I apologize if I came off as rather.... unhinged.

    I didn't mean to offend anybody, but I was sorely disappointed by what seemed to me at the time to be an unfair apportioning of bonus content. It appeared to me that I had been duped into paying for the PC version, a game that was in hindsight inferior to the PS3 version, which contained hitherto-unadvertised, and what I believed to be exclusive, bonus content. Again, to repeat, the lack of prior communication on Telltale's part is key here.

    I do love Telltale--again, they're my absolute favorite games company--so the perception (however ill-founded) that they are taking my money for a PC game, while giving me less gameplay than console gamers get, is all the more wounding because of how much I like you guys. Call me a jilted lover.

  • @ATMachine said: Why does it matter? What if I didn't? Customers deserve to be informed about things like this, so they can make informed choices. I'm not the only one who's dissatisfied here, if you haven't noticed.


    It matters because you're being an ass over nothing if you wouldn't have. It matters because, if you would not have done that, then you're taking something that obviously was not some secret, back-room corporate deal and crafting unreasonable conspiracy theories and overly-dogmatic speeches over nothing.

    I understand that customers have certain prerogatives, but there has to be some manner of respect on both sides of the customer/seller relationship. Your immediate, strong reaction feels like if someone jumped onto a table and started giving a sermon about customer rights in a restaurant after noticing they did not get any ketchup with their fries, before bothering to double-check the table to see if there was some there already or asking the waitress if she could kindly why you did not get any ketchup.

    Here's an exercise: Try e-mailing Telltale for a refund. The vast majority of the time, they will actually give it to you.

    And try and get some manner of scale in your thinking, here. We're talking about a platform whose experience is inherently inferior in just about every single way. What they have now is an obscenely small scrap of content that is incredibly unimportant.

    You jumped to conclusions, you made sweeping accusations, and you've given off the impression of being horribly unreasonable about it. There is generally a step between "noticing something is wrong" and "moral outrage". In fact, there are generally several.

    EDIT:

    @ATMachine said: You're right. I was pretty livid when I wrote the initial post, and it shows. I sound a lot angrier and more enraged than I intended to. In retrospect, I probably hurt several people's feelings, and I ought to have waited and calmed down a bit before posting. I apologize if I came off as rather.... unhinged.

    I didn't mean to offend anybody, but I was sorely disappointed by what seemed to me at the time to be an unfair apportioning of bonus content. It appeared to me that I had been duped into paying for the PC version, a game that was in hindsight inferior to the PS3 version, which contained hitherto-unadvertised, and what I believed to be exclusive, bonus content. Again, to repeat, the lack of prior communication on Telltale's part is key here.

    I do love Telltale--again, they're my absolute favorite games company--so the perception (however ill-founded) that they are taking my money for a PC game, while giving me less gameplay than console gamers get, is all the more wounding because of how much I like you guys. Call me a jilted lover.


    Ah, this came right in under my nose as I was typing. All is fine then, nevermind. :)

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