Dark Matter Publisher Claims It's An "Episodic Series"

Dark Matter Publisher Claims It's An "Episodic Series"

The CEO of Dark Matter publisher Iceberg Interactive says the game is, and was, meant to be the first part of an episodic series.

The 2D platformer Dark Matter recently came under fire when it was discovered that it screeches to a very sudden halt at around the four hour mark, ending the action with a wall of text - and without any kind of warning or actual conclusion. Developer InterWave Studios disputed the reported brevity, claiming that the YouTube "Let's Play" in question rushed to reach the end, but acknowledged that "the full story is indeed not complete" because it ran out of money after a failed Kickstarter. Nonetheless, it insisted that "Dark Matter on Steam is a complete game in itself."

Now, however, Iceberg Interactive CEO Erik Schreuder has waded into the fray and suggested that it is not in fact a complete game, and that the idea of making Dark Matter a series, "with episodes selling at a budget price of $14.99," was made after its Kickstarter failed.

"The first instalment is what has launched recently on Steam and is simply called Dark Matter," Schreuder wrote in a Steam forum post. "We would like to stress that the game is exactly as described on Steam (including that it contains 14 levels) - it is simply not true that the game is unfinished, or unplayable. Some people have misquoted the developer as having admitted that the game is incomplete; we should reiterate that what was meant was that this is not the $30 full-priced game, but the episodic budget version."

Schreuder apologized for the ending being "not of the standard we would expect," and said the studio is working to come up with something "more conclusive and satisfying." He did not address a time frame for (or even the likelihood of) future episodes, but said that follow-ups will be "dependent on the success of the previous installment."

Source: Steam


O look, slimy devs read the forums and took the idea to claim it's episodic gaming so as to lessen customer rage. Not buying it, intentions are everything and backtracking does not change the massively unethical choices they made.

They intentionally cheated players by making a game they knew they didn't have the money to make and selling a crap version to recoup money. A scam by indies is in away worse than a scam by big publishers because they have fewer instances they can point to for good will when they scam you.

Sounds like someone got busted selling a half-ass game and now they are trying to keep from having to give all that money back.

No see, if it was intended to be episodic all along, you'd have stuck a "to be continued" screen somewhere in there. You'd get much better press if you just admitted your faults.

Still better people than the Garry's Incident devs though.

Its a tough biz. I can only imagine what its like to build a working product and then really run screechingly out of money. I would want to avoid signing with iceberg, the have published a few funny titles.
If anyone wants to sign on for no pay to help build my vision of the ultimate space colonization\exploration game let me know.

It would be a lot easier to believe them if it was advertised as such.

But it wasn't - it was advertised as a full game.

That's all there is to it.

No amount of "No really, guys!" is going to convince anyone.

Reminds me of sages making up bullshit prophecies after the fact.

the future will be powered by special generators strapped on game developers to harnest the power of backpedaling.

anyways, this could've been easily avoiided if they would use their brain cells as to explicitly tell the people outright that its an incomplete game by adding "epidsode x" or "beta" or "early acess" behind the name.

Oh, I get it now. It's not unfinished, it's just incomplete! Well, that makes it better!

No see, if it was intended to be episodic all along, you'd have stuck a "to be continued" screen somewhere in there. You'd get much better press if you just admitted your faults.

Still better people than the Garry's Incident devs though.

They tried to make a developer saving throw. It failed.

I threw away my bullshit meter some time ago, but I think I can still hear it exploding in the distance.

Really, they aren't fooling anyone. Why can't they just man up and admit they fucked up? Seriously. Say you _intend_ to make an episodic series of it to make things better, don't try to make it seem like it was one all along where there's absolutely nothing to back it up.

Well, if it was to be an episodic series, would it not have been a good idea to let the customers know that before hand? Even if not, should there not have been a 'To be continued' message at the end? Not that I really care, as I have no interest in the game.

So yesterday it was a complete game, today it is the first part of a series of episodic games, tomorrow it will be an android powered micro-console.

episodes selling at a budget price of $14.99

That's odd, because Telltale are selling their latest episodic game at the budget price of 19 for five episodes and they have done a far better job not screwing people over and actually told people it would be episodic from the get-go.

Well, if it was to be an episodic series, would it not have been a good idea to let the customers know that before hand?

That is the question, yes. This is really turning into an object lesson on how not to handle this sort of mistake. Even if the guy had just said, "We couldn't make the game we wanted to, so now we're going to try to make it episodic, sorry for bungling the first part," I think he could've stuck the landing. Now, though, he's jumped into the puddle of ugly with both feet.

if you hit a pothole don't drive into more of them or the same one repeatedly

And if this weren't a load of bullpucky, you'd have put "episode 1" on the game's page, or some other indicator that you weren't selling a completed game.

Edit: As an addendum, I'm bloody GLAD that your kickstarter failed, or I have little doubt that you'd eventually be held up as the failure of the kickstarter model, after deceiving people out of their money.

Is there a meme yet for "shut up, you're making it worse"? Acknowledging that the ending was too abrupt and saying they're working on something better was probably the best damage control they could have managed here and they've already said that. Then this guy opens his mouth and suddenly it's a complete game but it's also not a complete game; it's a complete episode of a game.

The impression I had before was that they'd run out of money, couldn't do any more levels, and just kind of forgot about the ending in a last minute mad rush to clean up what they did have. The impression I have now is that they ran out of money and someone decided that meant the game was finished and could be sold as such.

And this is yet another reason not to buy into episodic gaming (even though this most likely isn't the case). After the fiasco of the Penny Arcade games and Sonic 4 taking forever, I think its safe to say that waiting is the correct course of action when buying.

Unfortunately, the people that bought this crap weren't informed. Also, I got Mark of the Ninja for that price. That wasn't a budget value. That was a great price for a great game.

Oh so now it's suddenly episodic, didn't bother to mention that when selling it, nor does it indicate so in the game, neither does it leave anything open for continuation, and you claimed twice now the game is completed... once in the same statement no less, so which is it then?

Another case of "I guess we'll fix it because we got caught", and I highly doubt there will be any money coming your way again devs.

I guess the developer enjoyed their first faceplant so much they decided to double down.

So much dumb.

Jeez Iceberg, just take it on the chin, learn from your mistakes, and hope your customers allow you to move on. It amazes me that anyone there, let alone the CEO, thought that just making new stories up would somehow magically fix the problem, if anything it's going to make it worse and cost them what little credibility they had left.

Someone suggested they got the epsisode idea off a forum, on the offchance anyone at Iceberg reads this particular forum:
JUST SAY SORRY! It's the very least you could do at this juncture to admit that you did wrong and to apologise to the customers. Rather than trying to talk your way out of it make an actual, solid gesture (e.g. giving profits to charity or putting the first and second episode up for free, assuming there's an actual chance of it getting made), people will react a damn sight more positively than they will to barefaced lying.

No see, if it was intended to be episodic all along, you'd have stuck a "to be continued" screen somewhere in there.

What? According to the steam forums and pretty much everyone whining, that was the problem... They did put a ''to be continued'' screen in there, it's just that they admitted it was a bug or some BS like that.
Not that it makes the episodic excuse any more valid, just fyi.


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