Released…

That Word, for Moddb Entries, Does Not Mean What They Think That It Means… After the Break…

Released…

We don’t live in the age of “physical media” anymore. Sure, there’s still physical media but, for PC gamers, it’s the exception to receive physical media and not the rule.

Therefore, there isn’t such a thing as a “gold master” anymore, a CD or DVD-ROM that is especially made to put the 1.0 release of your game or program onto. Likewise, the phrase “gone gold” has perhaps lost a bit of meaning to the latest generation of developers (if they even still use the phrase at all).

So, pardon me if the sounds or reads a bit un-diplomatic:

Dear Moddb users,

You have talent. You have skill. You have time and resources and social networking. Good for you on all of those fronts.

Now, let me educate you on what the word “released” means.

“Released” means a 1.0 release. It’s ‘day zero’ for your product or game or program or whatever. It doesn’t mean a “Steam Early Access Beta.” It doesn’t mean a demo. It doesn’t mean that you’ve opened an entry on Moddb or have a new gameplay trailer.

So, unless you have your full game released somewhere, please do not flag your entry as having been “released,” because it has not been released. Change whatever options you need to change so that it reads something other than “released.”

I want to take a moment to provide people with actual examples:

  • Hellraid: Dear Hellraid, is your game at 1.0 yet? No? Than perhaps you could change your status to something other than “released.”
  • The World II: Dear The World II, I see nothing on your Moddb page to indicate that you have actually released something. There is a description on your page that you intend to release something in December 2014 but there is no news item. The “download” tab on your Moddb page is gray, meaning there is nothing to download (which there would be had there been a release). Perhaps you could change your status to reflect a more accurate description of your game’s status.
  • Christmas-Life HD: Dear Polygon Art… You have released something AND it is the full version. Congratulations – Your company knows the meaning of the word “Released” because you have not only released something but that something is the full version of that something. Rejoice.
  • Winter Maw: Dear Coffee Infused Studio… You have released something but it is not the full version. It is a demo of what will later be the full version. Congratulations on releasing a demo but please change your status to something other than “released” because the full version has not yet been released.
  • Congo: Dear Neo_uk… See “Winter Maw.” “Early Access on Steam” appears to be modern-day speak for “demo”… Because that is what was released. So, congratulations on releasing something that is not the full version. Please change your status to reflect that you have not released the full version.

So, out of that not-so-random sampling of the top five entries on Moddb at the moment, we have 2 companies who appear to have not released anything, two companies that have released demos but not the full version and one company that knows what the word “released” means within the context of computer games.

I don’t want to appear to be a stickler for details but imagine yourself from the perspective of a gamer…

“Oh, great! A new third-person shooter has been released and let me just… Oh, um, the download tab is gray… Maybe they’ve just… Oh, they’re just announcing that they’re working on a game… Wow. OK. Um, so much for that one…”

There is no hate in this blog post – Just advertising the perspective that, when you state on Moddb that your game has been released… You need to mean it. That’s all. It’s like when you are driving behind someone who has their turn signal on but you know that they are not turning. Yes, the signal is indicating one thing but the car that the signal is attached to is clearly not going to obey.

God luck with your games, folks… Whenever they are released.

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