SOS fully abandons its classic mode, and its Steam reviews are a dumpster fire

    
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Outpost Games sent round a mailer this week announcing that SOS Battle Royale is now “free to play forever,” thanks to its latest patch, content update 4, which adds “a ton of new weapons, loads of new outfits, leaderboards, and a Season Pass through which you can earn great rewards.” Sounds nice, right?

Well, maybe take a jaunt over to Steam, where the game’s recent reviews have sunk to “overwhelmingly negative.” You’ll recall that the original idea behind the game was to toss 16 players into a map and have them play a 30-minute match to find a relic and escape in a helicopter, with up to three winners per match and the chance to coordinate via voice chat. There were plenty of survival mechanics along the way, including making your own weapons and traps to survive as the audience cheered you on a la Running Man.

The problem was that back in May, the studio decided to gut the reality TV show-themed survival game it had and turn it into Yet Another Battle Royale Clone, stripping all of its survival and crafting mechanics from the core module and relegating them to a “classic” mode. Beta testers, especially those who’d paid for the game, were livid.

But the recent spike of angry reviews demanding refunds puts even the May batch to shame, as apparently Outpost is now eliminating that classic mode altogether.

Technically the game’s still in early access, and you know the rules for buying games in early access, but still.

Source: Steam, press release
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creepywhistle
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creepywhistle

Never heard of the game. Took a few minutes to look it up.

Looks like developers intentionally changed direction for the game to a generic BR because it’s “easier”, as in, easier to complete and ditch it and call it quits. Players left in droves after BR was introduced. I guess people are finally catching onto the obvious. Can’t agree more when comments call it another The Culling.

More bastards getting away with these kind of scams because Steam lets them.

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rafael12104
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Brad Morrison

I bought Subnautica while in early access and not for one second regretted it. So, I don’t think its early access here that is the villain but more developers that have shady practices and decide that they want the sweet sweet money that comes from chasing a trend rather than following what their game was to be about. If you are charging money for a product, even one that is in early access or development, then you need to fulfill that promise. We all know that game development is hard, it has twists and turns and some features just don’t work and need to be scrapped. That doesn’t seem to be the case here. Here they decided to change the core game and betray their own dreams for the game for the easy (or so they think) cash. And as a consumer you have every right to make your voice heard on Steam reviews. If the developers care about their reputation they will fix this. Seems like they do not, and as such they can sink with their ship and serve as an example to other developers.

PurpleCopper
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PurpleCopper

Is this going to end up like Radical Heights?

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Sorenthaz

This is leagues different than Radical Heights and in all the wrong ways.

With Radical Heights folks (who didn’t immediately dismiss the game due to hatred for Cliffy B or the BR genre/BRs that aren’t PUBG/Fortnite in general) could at least see a passionate dev team behind it who were really excited about the prospects and had a lot of fun ideas in the works to really push the “80’s Action Hero Gameshow” theme of the game.

SOS completely abandoned what made it initially fun and is pretty much a soulless Battle Royale that has maybe decent looking graphics. They got rid of everything that made it unique, even down to the premise of it being a Survivor-esque gameshow. The devs come off as pretty arrogant, willing to basically chase after whatever helps their publicity (i.e. favoring Twitch streamers with their old system, and then going to Battle and bait-switched their early founders (some of which paid like $80 or $100, I don’t remember what the highest cost was).

creepywhistle
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creepywhistle

More like Lawbreakers or The Culling. Developers made unpopular changes to short-cut the game to being “done”.

Radical Heights was more like speeding in a car blindfolded, off a ramp at the edge of a cliff, only to hit a wall and slide down to inevitable doom. Quick and painful, and Cliff was the driver (who didn’t have a blindfold). lol

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Steve Fury

STOP. Buying. Early. Access. Games. There problem solved.

I get that some people get involved with early access because they want to help shape a game or make it better. BUT the majority of people who buy early access games just have zero patience and for whatever reason, expect a fully fledged game that at worst, might be a little buggy.

I don’t feel sorry for the buyers. I don’t think this is a case of bait and switch. It’s a case of “Well we didn’t make enough money off this concept so let’s just gut it and try to salvage whats left to make a buck.” I honestly don’t blame them. Early Access is a gamble. Go into it knowing that or stop buying Early Access games.

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Bruno Brito

Early access is one thing. Antagonizing your players by completely changing the game while they bought a different idea is another.

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Sorenthaz

Okay, that’s good and all, but you do realize that this game literally bait-switched players, right? The game used to have an entirely different premise, played completely different, and then they changed it into a Battle Royale while completely dumping on people who paid upwards of $100 on the game.

Andy McAdams
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Andy McAdams

Yeah, I would start with reading the article (and the content therein), then comment.

Your point is valid, but completely not applicable to anything here. So … yeah.

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Robert Mann

Early Access denotes that things may change, but it isn’t meant to cover concept changes on the level of the entire game. Design, mechanics, art, etc. are all fair game, but the basic premise? Nope. Not fair game.

creepywhistle
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creepywhistle

Sony and Star Wars Galaxies comes to mind.

https://games.slashdot.org/story/05/11/12/1740216/soe-offers-swg-players-refunds-for-obi-wan

Players bought Obi-Wan, and then Sony made a massive overhaul to the game that made the purchase worthless. A bait and switch. They were forced to offer refunds.

Nowadays, that stuff seems to happen often and no developer is held accountable… :\

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kgptzac

The problem is not solved because this can happen at a game that is out of EA and the outrage of this case doesn’t deserve to be less. There’s no technical or legal mechanism to stop developers from pulling shit like this out of EA, so outrage will still be all that they will get. Well. hopefully for these guys it’s time to go out of business.

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Hirku

Xijit
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Xijit

I read this as “SOE” abandons Classic mode & went “Wait, WTF did Daybreak do now?”

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Sorenthaz

For the record, people paid upwards of $100 on early founder packs and the base game was like $30-$40 before they cut it down in late February to $15. So in short, folks have every right to be angry. This game showed potential and while it only got a small following, it was the first of its kind to really generate an active RP community. That of course all got completely dumped on when they changed the mechanics to be more BR-focused, eventually just going full generic BR.

The devs even claimed that things were fine, they didn’t care about initial Mixed reviews, and the game would be getting better etc. as they went. Doesn’t take more than a glance at Steam charts to see how badly the game plummeted when they killed their audience to try and pursue more money.

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Siphaed

Did you not see what Fortnight did a month after it’s launch? So….ya….oh and just the same people who bought Founders Packs there couldn’t refund either.

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Sorenthaz

Have you been ignoring the fact that Epic continues to support the PvE side and has been making some pretty significant improvements to it over the course of the past year? It’s still nowhere near where it could have been and it’s obvious that the Battle Royale version is the bigger focus, but they have been doing stuff for the PvE side and don’t show signs of abandoning it – if anything it’s because of Battle Royale’s success that the PvE version is able to get the updates it’s been getting.

And while I’m still somewhat bitter about Epic and don’t hold them in any high regards whatsoever, I still give credit where it’s due and I can acknowledge that they have been steadily improving it.

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Utakata

Now it appears they have neither… o.O

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Darthbawl

*sigh*

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John Mclain

Personally no sentence is too harsh for the crime of making another “garbagegrounds ” style game. Full refunds should be THE VERY LEAST offered. Along with having the game permanently removed from steam and the developers banned from the platform as well. Hell someone could mention a “woodchipper” being involved, and something about “feet first”, and I’d still support it.

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Sorenthaz

Rather, this was a pretty bad bait and switch and they even had a tongue-in-cheek message about that.

It was something along the lines of, “You thought you were buying into a survival gameshow, but SOS has now become a battle royale!”

Like… who the hell says that kind of thing other than some completely delusional and ego-inflated devs. That’s not even funny because they basically admitted to bait-and-switching. It’s frustrating because even though SOS only garnered a niche audience, it was still good for what it was. It offered unique gameplay and created a great RP environment to the point where there was a nice community building up around it. But I guess that wasn’t good enough for them despite claiming to the contrary.