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Console-exclusive bonuses: an open letter

posted by ATMachine on - last edited - Viewed by 2.2K 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
  • @Dandi8 said: Because it did look like you were turning to an evil company, in a way.

    This isn't meant to come across as me being a Telltale fanboy, but as a small business owner, I truly empathize with Telltale here (and especially with Chuck's frustration).

    The quick-to-judge attitude in various threads is completely ridiculous. I mean, really, Telltale has done awesome things over and over and over again, and now just because of a technical limitation in the PS3's ability to add new content in a manner similar to the PC, suddenly the world is coming to an end because TELLTALE IS TEH EVIL!!!!

    Their past track record is meaningless, because at any moment, they will turn on you, take all your money, eat your children, and rip the do-not-remove tags off your mattresses, amirite?

    Can we please give 'em the benefit of the doubt before flying off the handle? Especially when not doing so ruins a cool plan of theirs?

    @Dandi8 said: Sorry (as a community) for spoiling the surprise, though.


    And I have every right to RAEG at you guys for ruining this!!!!

    1249956688899.jpg

  • @ATMachine said: 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...

    Hey, dude:
    I would've got kind of angry too if I had known about the nutrtion specs, but when telltale told us we would be getting them anyway (even though they didn't have to) i got happy again. When you find out that things will eventually work in your favor, don't keep whining, admit that you were wrong and suck up.

    Don't get even madder when you realize that a member of TTG was adressing you directly. Think of it from their prospective. They thought they were doing this fun thing and now it seems like a parent's forced christmas (a phrase that i am trying to introduce to the english lexicon, say it when ever you can.).

  • @Wapcaplet said: This isn't meant to come across as me being a Telltale fanboy, but as a small business owner, I truly empathize with Telltale here (and especially with Chuck's frustration).

    The quick-to-judge attitude in various threads is completely ridiculous. I mean, really, Telltale has done awesome things over and over and over again, and now just because of a technical limitation in the PS3's ability to add new content in a manner similar to the PC, suddenly the world is coming to an end because TELLTALE IS TEH EVIL!!!!

    Their past track record is meaningless, because at any moment, they will turn on you, take all your money, eat your children, and rip the do-not-remove tags off your mattresses, amirite?

    Can we please give 'em the benefit of the doubt before flying off the handle? Especially when not doing so ruins a cool plan of theirs?


    What looks like a "super-cool plan to phase in PC bonus content" at the office water cooler may look to outsiders like "exclusive PS3 bonus content that isn't available for PC". It's all in the perception. :(

    And even if forum-goers like myself are unjustifiably outraged (as I admit I was), the way to deal with such complaints is to make full disclosure, and tell people why their misconceptions are wrong. It certainly doesn't help for company employees (especially the head writer of the games you're trying to sell) to publicly mock and ridicule the people who raise such issues.

  • @Dandi8 said: Because it did look like you were turning to an evil company, in a way. Sorry (as a community) for spoiling the surprise, though.


    err... what?

  • @ATMachine said: Sir, you sound like an eminently reasonable, moderate, and thoughtful person. Those are things we will never tolerate in this community! :p ;)


    Wouldn't be the first time I got shunned for it :P

    @Wapcaplet: Many companies had a great past track record and turned eevul. Besides, not everyone knows about how Telltale treats its customers etc. etc. I just believe that people are quick to change their minds (especially companies).

    @Strong Max:
    He did apologize for what he said before and, as much as I understand that Telltale might be angry (especially after we spoiled the surprise), there were much better ways to react.

    EDIT:
    @Giant Tope:
    To put it in simpler terms, it seemed like Telltale were pushing out exclusive content which is regarded as being evil by many (including me). Moreover, they were (as it seemed) ignoring their most loyal customers (those who bought from their store) by giving out exclusive stuff elsewhere, releasing earlier on the iPad and selling cheaper on the PS3.
    Ofc. that's all a misunderstanding but I hope you get my point. An uninformed person can make all kinds of assumptions.

  • @ATMachine said: And even if forumites like myself are unjustifiably outraged (as I admit I was), the way to deal with such complaints is to make full disclosure, and tell people why their misconceptions are wrong.


    Which ruins a carefully-planned surprise and takes away from my enjoyment of Telltale's plan. Great idea -- let's fully disclose everything and ruin it!

    @ATMachine said: What certainly doesn't help is for company employees (especially the head writer of the games you're trying to sell) to publicly mock and ridicule them.


    Worst case scenario: what if said head writer was involved in this plan, and had spent hours creating this special bonus content because, hey, cool bonus content for our customers! And then, what if someone forces disclosure and spoils it with an over-the-top rant that even said ranter realizes was a bit too far, thereby robbing the level-headed among us of the surprise of discovering a cool new feature?

    Hell, I think he went easy on you!

  • @Rather Dashing said: 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.

    actually it's more like the waitress brings ketchup to his neighbours table, but just won't bring ketchup to his table. He jumps onto the table and gives a sermon about equality. Then a cook comes around to tell that Ketchup might or might not come at a later time to his table. later others come to say that they are out of ketchup and it will come later and he slowly settles down and sits back at his place, as suddenly the Restaurants Chef comes around and makes fun of the customers who felt they were being ignored.

    oh well, i guess he could still have asked first, doh :P
    oh well he admitted to overreacting, so whatever

  • What's so terrible about exclusive content? The 35 dollars you pay is for the GAME. Exclusive content is bonus extras that sometimes come with the GAME, but if there were no exclusives at all, no one would be complaining right now.

  • @Crrash said: actually it's more like the waitress brings ketchup to his neighbours table, but just won't bring ketchup to his table. He jumps onto the table and gives a sermon about equality. Then a cook comes around to tell that Ketchup might or might not come at a later time to his table and he slowly settles down and sits back at his place, as suddenly the Restaurants Chef comes around and makes fun off the customers who felt they were being ignored.

    imho no one was right, except the cook... i mean langley.


    Hee. Brilliant summation, sir! :D I especially laughed at the part about the chef. ¬

    And I see someone is still adding "humorous" tags to the thread, well after the central dispute has been resolved. Fine timing, there.

  • Hint for next time: Don't post ridiculous over the top rants about silly crap like bonus content.

    If you notice something that seems amiss, post a nicely asked reasonable question like "I was just wondering why the PS3 version has something that the PC version doesn't?"

    Don't just immediately jump to "OMG TELLTALE IS HEINOUS AND EVIL THIS IS THE WORST THING THAT HAS EVER HAPPENED ON EARTH."

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