Supergiant Helps Soldier Out, Ships Bastion To Afghanistan

Supergiant Helps Soldier Out, Ships Bastion To Afghanistan

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How do you follow up releasing one of the best games of the year? You send a copy of said game to a poor soldier stuck in the middle of nowhere.

Bastion has earned a lot of love for Supergiant Games since it was released this summer - you know, because it's great. But now there's another reason for kick up the studio's coolness score: Supergiant sent a physical copy of the game to a soldier stationed in Afghanistan.

User "bolivar-shagnasty" shared his story on Reddit yesterday: Stationed as an Air Force officer over in Afghanistan, his internet connection is pretty much god-awful. According to him, "My internet connection is disgustingly slow and it costs so much that it seems like price gouging."

As a result, downloading a copy of Bastion was easier said than done. He tried to pick it up via Steam and Direct2Drive, but the aforementioned internet connection essentially killed that option. So, shagnasty dropped a note to Supergiant games to inquire about getting a physical copy of the game.

Because Supergiant only has a few full-time staffers, creative director Greg Kasavin wound up responding to the email. According to shagnasty, "[Kasavin] told me they had no plans of releasing a physical copy in the future, but if I gave him my address then he would see what he could do."

A few weeks later, shagnasty received a package that contained a copy of Bastion and a themed bandana because - according to Kasavin - "that seemed like it might come in useful out there." All that Kasavin asked for in return was that the officer purchase the game on Steam when he got home to the U.S.

Unsurprisingly, shagnasty was overjoyed with the package, noting "I've never really seen customer service like this before and thought Reddit would like to know."

Source: Reddit via Joystiq

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all I can say is that Supergiant games deserves the great reputation its been building up.

Okay, this is utterly awesome of supergiant, but you know what got me loving them more than sending him a physical copy of a game? The fact they sent him a gorram

vansau:
themed bandana because - according to Kasavin - "that seemed like it might come in useful out there."

That is just awesome. We have the next incarnation of rambo in the making :D

HAVE A FREE COPY OF THE GAME, POOR SOLDIER ...but buy it when you get home or we'll sue you for incompetence! >:(

That "only if he buys it when he gets home" part made this sound less charitable than I'm sure it is. It's cool act of kindness and whatever but really? Did they have to say that? It makes me feel less god about this whole ordeal. They're basically lending him a copy of the game. That doesn't sound as nice as giving a free copy to a desperate soldier outposted in the middle of nowhere...

Does the bandana give him infinite ammo?

All joking aside, that's a really cool thing for them to do.

SL33TBL1ND:
Does the bandana give him infinite ammo?

That's only if the bandanna is blue. Otherwise, well, i'd just expect it to be a regular everyday, yet still awesome bandanna. Cause Bandanna's are cool.

I want to see the bandanna now. :(

Andy of Comix Inc:
HAVE A FREE COPY OF THE GAME, POOR SOLDIER ...but buy it when you get home or we'll sue you for incompetence! >:(

That "only if he buys it when he gets home" part made this sound less charitable than I'm sure it is. It's cool act of kindness and whatever but really? Did they have to say that? It makes me feel less god about this whole ordeal. They're basically lending him a copy of the game. That doesn't sound as nice as giving a free copy to a desperate soldier outposted in the middle of nowhere...

Because they are a business, not a charity?

Andy of Comix Inc:
HAVE A FREE COPY OF THE GAME, POOR SOLDIER ...but buy it when you get home or we'll sue you for incompetence! >:(

That "only if he buys it when he gets home" part made this sound less charitable than I'm sure it is. It's cool act of kindness and whatever but really? Did they have to say that? It makes me feel less god about this whole ordeal. They're basically lending him a copy of the game. That doesn't sound as nice as giving a free copy to a desperate soldier outposted in the middle of nowhere...

I think they meant that the soldier should get back home alive, you know cause he's in a war and everything, and I don't think you could purchase a game if you're dead.

Andy of Comix Inc:
HAVE A FREE COPY OF THE GAME, POOR SOLDIER ...but buy it when you get home or we'll sue you for incompetence! >:(

That "only if he buys it when he gets home" part made this sound less charitable than I'm sure it is. It's cool act of kindness and whatever but really? Did they have to say that? It makes me feel less god about this whole ordeal. They're basically lending him a copy of the game. That doesn't sound as nice as giving a free copy to a desperate soldier outposted in the middle of nowhere...

Uh... it's not like they made him sign a contract or anything. Also, read his emails to Supergiant: He actually said he'd buy the game when he got back to the States in his initial email. Hell, Supergiant probably spent more money shipping him the game than they'll earn from him actually buying it.

Andy of Comix Inc:
HAVE A FREE COPY OF THE GAME, POOR SOLDIER ...but buy it when you get home or we'll sue you for incompetence! >:(

That "only if he buys it when he gets home" part made this sound less charitable than I'm sure it is. It's cool act of kindness and whatever but really? Did they have to say that? It makes me feel less god about this whole ordeal. They're basically lending him a copy of the game. That doesn't sound as nice as giving a free copy to a desperate soldier outposted in the middle of nowhere...

Try searching the article for the word "free". Only comes up in the comments. Also, what the three guys above me said.
Hell, I'd prefer it this way instead of him getting a "free game" - then they'd almost have to give a free copy to everyone in the military, or blow them off by saying "He got it because he was the first to ask." (which is still the case with the mere fact of shipping a physical copy)
No doubt, this is a nice thing to do, but yeah, the company isn't a charity, they recognized the fact that this would make a good story, good PR, and acted on it.

If you like the idea of "free videogames for soldiers!", you can go ahead and start an actual charity like that (if there isn't one already), there would probably be people who'd get behind that.

Join the Army and get games shipped you? Alright!

I'd really like to see the face of this man when he opened the package.

You know, during the last few months, Supergiant Games have become one of my most respected gaming companies ever. How they handle stuff is just how a game company should. This just ups the ante. Dear Supergiant, you might be my favorite game developer in history. I highly respect how you handle business and gaming as an industry.

It has been an honor to support your work through Bastion, Soundtrack signed and the bandana, and I can't wait to do the same with your next title.

My dear friend Vegeta, what does your scouter say about Supergiant's coolness level ?

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You know what comes close to this ? When Pixar sent a copy of Up to that dying little girl. The industry needs more people like this.

Andy of Comix Inc:

That "only if he buys it when he gets home" part made this sound less charitable than I'm sure it is. It's cool act of kindness and whatever but really? Did they have to say that? It makes me feel less god about this whole ordeal. They're basically lending him a copy of the game. That doesn't sound as nice as giving a free copy to a desperate soldier outposted in the middle of nowhere...

Well allow me to defend a game company that doesn't know or care about me.

First off, we're not talking about Activision or EA. Supergiant is an Indie company, doing something like this may have been much more taxing than you may think. Next, it was still a nice thing to do. They went out of their way to make a physical copy for him, it's not like they simply shipped it. In a lot of ways this is a loan, but Supergiant was in no way obligated to do this. They could have just said "Sorry we can't help you." and left it there.

OT: Another example of indie companies being awesome. It's almost like they're better than the douchebag megapubs or something...

With a Name like shagnasty, the guy deserves a great package.

Damnit......I thought a real life Giant was helping out some soldier

A great PR victory to be sure.

ImmortalDrifter:

First off, we're not talking about Activision or EA. Supergiant is an Indie company, doing something like this may have been much more taxing than you may think. Next, it was still a nice thing to do. They went out of their way to make a physical copy for him, it's not like they simply shipped it. In a lot of ways this is a loan, but Supergiant was in no way obligated to do this. They could have just said "Sorry we can't help you." and left it there.

To be fair, publishers can't really be in the discussion, since Supergiant Games is a developer. Warner Brothers Interactive worked as their publisher for Bastion, so they're not entirely an Indie company. Not to say that should, in any way, diminish the act of kindness that they offered to this soldier, but you can't really use them as an example when stamping your feet at "big publishing".

OT: Supergiant has so far displayed themselves as a class-act of a developer, and their status as such has only been supported every time they're mentioned. My hat's off to them, if I wore a hat.

Ok, that's it, I need to buy Bastion, if just to support such awesome guys.

ZeroMachine:
Ok, that's it, I need to buy Bastion, if just to support such awesome guys.

And i doubt you will regret it. Equal top game of the year for me with Dark Souls. I really couldn't decide which i liked more, so i stopped trying :)

And yes, Supergiant have earned yet more respect from me. Where do i get a bandanna?

shado_temple:
To be fair, publishers can't really be in the discussion, since Supergiant Games is a developer. Warner Brothers Interactive worked as their publisher for Bastion, so they're not entirely an Indie company. Not to say that should, in any way, diminish the act of kindness that they offered to this soldier, but you can't really use them as an example when stamping your feet at "big publishing".

Well allow me to clarify slightly; I'm not "stamping my feet" at big publishing. (EA and Actiblizzard both make games in-house but I digress) I'm simply stating that this was the small studio's doing, not a big name studio with a lot of publisher money floating around. Would this be anywhere near as cool if you knew that the time and money it took make and ship the copy meant nothing and the dev still asked for a buy? And for the record I consider any company who hasn't signed a difinite publishing agreement Indie. If supergiant has signed such an agreement, I was not aware at the time of writing.

I have removed my words from this site.

vansau:

Andy of Comix Inc:
HAVE A FREE COPY OF THE GAME, POOR SOLDIER ...but buy it when you get home or we'll sue you for incompetence! >:(

That "only if he buys it when he gets home" part made this sound less charitable than I'm sure it is. It's cool act of kindness and whatever but really? Did they have to say that? It makes me feel less god about this whole ordeal. They're basically lending him a copy of the game. That doesn't sound as nice as giving a free copy to a desperate soldier outposted in the middle of nowhere...

Uh... it's not like they made him sign a contract or anything. Also, read his emails to Supergiant: He actually said he'd buy the game when he got back to the States in his initial email. Hell, Supergiant probably spent more money shipping him the game than they'll earn from him actually buying it.

I figured it was their way of making it sound more...give-and-take. If they'd have just given him a free game, it's "I feel sorry for you. Have a free thing." With the promise that he'll purchase it when he gets home, it's more of a deal. A give-and-take to put weight on Shagnasty's end.

Thyunda:

vansau:

Andy of Comix Inc:
HAVE A FREE COPY OF THE GAME, POOR SOLDIER ...but buy it when you get home or we'll sue you for incompetence! >:(

That "only if he buys it when he gets home" part made this sound less charitable than I'm sure it is. It's cool act of kindness and whatever but really? Did they have to say that? It makes me feel less god about this whole ordeal. They're basically lending him a copy of the game. That doesn't sound as nice as giving a free copy to a desperate soldier outposted in the middle of nowhere...

Uh... it's not like they made him sign a contract or anything. Also, read his emails to Supergiant: He actually said he'd buy the game when he got back to the States in his initial email. Hell, Supergiant probably spent more money shipping him the game than they'll earn from him actually buying it.

I figured it was their way of making it sound more...give-and-take. If they'd have just given him a free game, it's "I feel sorry for you. Have a free thing." With the promise that he'll purchase it when he gets home, it's more of a deal. A give-and-take to put weight on Shagnasty's end.

Not to mention, it almost feels like he meant it as a roundabout way of saying "get home safe".

shado_temple:

Thyunda:

vansau:

Uh... it's not like they made him sign a contract or anything. Also, read his emails to Supergiant: He actually said he'd buy the game when he got back to the States in his initial email. Hell, Supergiant probably spent more money shipping him the game than they'll earn from him actually buying it.

I figured it was their way of making it sound more...give-and-take. If they'd have just given him a free game, it's "I feel sorry for you. Have a free thing." With the promise that he'll purchase it when he gets home, it's more of a deal. A give-and-take to put weight on Shagnasty's end.

Not to mention, it almost feels like he meant it as a roundabout way of saying "get home safe".

Yes. It's common knowledge that "You owe me money, man" is man-speak for "We'll get through this, buddy".

Not being sarcastic. It's true.

Okay. I now need to buy Bastion again. This is just awesome. This is also an example of great customer service. *nudge, nudge, wink, wink, EA*

And I am off to buy myself a copy. Wasn't planning on doing so before this, but it looks like an interesting game and they've earned my respect, and buying their game is the least I can do.

Well that's just awesome, huge respect for Supergiant now.

yeb:
Try searching the article for the word "free". Only comes up in the comments. Also, what the three guys above me said.
Hell, I'd prefer it this way instead of him getting a "free game" - then they'd almost have to give a free copy to everyone in the military, or blow them off by saying "He got it because he was the first to ask." (which is still the case with the mere fact of shipping a physical copy)
No doubt, this is a nice thing to do, but yeah, the company isn't a charity, they recognized the fact that this would make a good story, good PR, and acted on it.

vansau:
Uh... it's not like they made him sign a contract or anything. Also, read his emails to Supergiant: He actually said he'd buy the game when he got back to the States in his initial email. Hell, Supergiant probably spent more money shipping him the game than they'll earn from him actually buying it.

ImmortalDrifter:
Well allow me to defend a game company that doesn't know or care about me.

First off, we're not talking about Activision or EA. Supergiant is an Indie company, doing something like this may have been much more taxing than you may think. Next, it was still a nice thing to do. They went out of their way to make a physical copy for him, it's not like they simply shipped it. In a lot of ways this is a loan, but Supergiant was in no way obligated to do this. They could have just said "Sorry we can't help you." and left it there.

Why did you think I was berailing the company? I simply meant that that sentence just sort of made the whole goodwill gesture seem slightly less charitable than it is. That's all. I've no quibbles with it, but when you run a "INDIE DEV IS SUPER NICE" article, that sort of bygone fact will stink up the place. A little. Surely you agree if they'd given him the game for free, it'd be even more awesome on their behalf? This is still AWESOME, don't get me wrong! I appreciate that they've done this for a fan stationed overseas. But that doesn't mean that I won't pick that bad apple from the basket. They are, essentially, lending him the game. Doesn't that have less of a ring to it...?

Oh god please tell me you understand where I'm coming from. I really don't want to have to draw a diagram, or something. ...when the hypothetical "game dev gives soldier free game" article is waiting well in the wings, it kind of sucks that the "free" bit is crossed out. Right...? Surely? No?

When I first saw the title of the story I though it said "Supermutant Helps Soldier Out"

Now that would be a truly interesting story.

Soooo... Technically, he has the only "Official" physical copy of the game in his possession atm?

I will imagine it will be worth quite a bunch sometime in the future, if not even now. :P

Andy of Comix Inc:

Why did you think I was berailing the company? I simply meant that that sentence just sort of made the whole goodwill gesture seem slightly less charitable than it is. That's all. I've no quibbles with it, but when you run a "INDIE DEV IS SUPER NICE" article, that sort of bygone fact will stink up the place. A little. Surely you agree if they'd given him the game for free, it'd be even more awesome on their behalf? This is still AWESOME, don't get me wrong! I appreciate that they've done this for a fan stationed overseas. But that doesn't mean that I won't pick that bad apple from the basket. They are, essentially, lending him the game. Doesn't that have less of a ring to it...?

Oh god please tell me you understand where I'm coming from. I really don't want to have to draw a diagram, or something. ...when the hypothetical "game dev gives soldier free game" article is waiting well in the wings, it kind of sucks that the "free" bit is crossed out. Right...? Surely? No?

I don't really get where you're coming from. I saw the article and assumed a soldier had paid for a game but couldn't get it where he was at, and so a company went out of their way to make sure he got it. The idea here is that a dev took personal time to package something, pay for the shipping, and send it to a customer who was having difficulties. The soldier did not ask for charity. He asked for some customer service, and I believe he received a whopper of customer service in return.

And as someone else said, I think the 'buy a copy' was a clap on the shoulder, a 'get home safe' message without being too corny or personal.

Additionally, it could put supergiant in a bind if other people see someone got a free game due to difficult circumstances, and then demand the same thing. What an article that would be: supergiant playing favorites, denying free games to others in need.

I don't think this would be more awesome (or less stained) if supergiant hadn't requested buying the game, in a purely commercial sense without the 'get home safe' some of us are reading into it.

 

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