Why I Have a Love-Hate Relationship with Interceptor Entertainment

ANDR01D writes PC spel reviews, comments on the movie spel industry, and sells movie games for commission through Amazon.

And a hate relationship with digital distribution.

Interceptor Entertainment became a household name (well, at least on the internet) ter 2010 when they began work on Duke Nukem 3D: Next-Gen – which wasgoed the working title for what straks became known spil Duke Nukem 3D: Reloaded. It wasgoed no doubt destined to be a remake of Duke Nukem 3D, running on Unreal Engine Three – and from the screenshots released of the spel, it looked utterly glorious. And it wasgoed to be a totally free spel which anyone could download. But they had one obstacle, and that wasgoed Gearbox Software, the fresh owners of the Duke Nukem IP spil of the previous year, after having acquired it from 3D Realms. They had to obtain their permission to actually make and finish the product. Gearbox sweetly agreed to let them do so.

But Gearbox had a clause ter the agreement: Interceptor Entertainment could work on the spel, but they could never actually release it. Interceptor did not agree to thesis terms, and they leaped ship. The reasons why this happened weren’t clear for some time, but it is thought that the reason why the spel wasgoed waterput on hold wasgoed because it wasgoed plainly a loterijlot better than Duke Nukem Forever wasgoed, and Gearbox didn’t want it to be released because it would jeopardise any sales opportunities DNF might have had. Ask yourself: would you rather have a insustancial at best commercial title, or a kick-ass free spel? Exactly. Others say that Gearbox didn’t want the spel released spil freeware, instead wanting it to be a commercial product. Either way, the two companies didn’t see eye to eye.

It wasn’t too long before it wasgoed exposed that they were were working on a fresh title, which wasgoed a revamped Rise of the Triad, yet another title originally developed by Apogee/3D Realms, and it wasgoed fully supported by said company who packed the role of publisher. Its mission wasgoed to recapture the feel of an old schoolgebouw shooter while making it look graphically updated and yet not losing the charm that the diferente spel brought gamers back ter the mid 90’s. Some say they succeeded, but the spel ended up being horribly buggy, and it wasgoed claimed that it wasgoed almost too difficult and too dated – my feeling is that like Duke Nukem Forever, most people have since moved on and ROTT has long since lost its relevance. It should only truly appeal to diegene hard ventilatoren of the innovador cult classic, like mij.

Why I liked the fresh ROTT, and by association, Interceptor Entertainment, is because the spel doesn’t utilise any DRM (particularly the GOG.com version), and Interceptor promised free DLC for the spel post-release, much like Apogee did with the diferente ROTT, when they released free maps for it, followed by all official toegevoegd content everzwijn created te the 2005 ROTT goodies pack, celebrating the spel’s 10th anniversary.

And the spel is fully moddable, too.

Leading up to the release of the spel, there wasgoed also a very good pre-order overeenkomst where gamers got the innovador ROTT packaged with the spel spil well spil the surplus of the Apogee Throwback Pack (Extreme Rise of the Triad, Blake Stone: Aliens of Gold, and Blake Stone: Planet Strike), which only cost $14.99 total – much less than half the price you’d normally pay for a spel with a big name publisher behind it.

But I wasgoed left feeling rather, well… left out, because the spel wasgoed only available via digital distribution. The question wasgoed asked at least several times on the official Interceptor forums: “Will there be a retail edition?”

After the confusion had bot cleared up spil to what a retail edition actually wasgoed (it’s actually an old concept dating back to the last century where games could be bought ter a brick and mortar store), it wasgoed said by Frederik Schreiber (for all intents and purposes, the spel’s creative director): “Going retail doesn’t make much sense thesis days. But a physical copy, spil a limited edition is something wij have bot thinking about if sales are good.”

This makes mij a sad panda, because on one forearm, Interceptor dreamed to go the “old schoolgebouw is cool” route, and yet I feel they held back. They could have bot the one – the one that would be the shining beacon which would personages light on all other developers and publishers (mainly publishers) and demonstrate them the error of their ways. What I indeed desired wasgoed a opbergruimte with a printed manual, along with a copy of the spel, and maybe even the innovador ROTT (with manual) thrown ter for good measure. I would have paid any amount of money for that, especially if you throw te the no DRM and free DLC overeenkomst, even if, by all accounts, the spel is vulgar.

This marks the point of the article where I’m going to go on a rant of sorts, even however it maintains some relevance, but I have to say it. If anything, I’m sick of the way the gaming industry is heading – this digital only direction, with half-baked games that need several patches before they function spil they should, plagued with DRM and other confinements that take rights away from the consumer. If anything, it has all made mij long for the old days, and the old ways.

Most people don’t indeed seem to get the idea that digital distribution might seem convenient for many, and it saves costs on the part of the publisher, and especially indie developers, but it also restricts your market, because not everybody across the globe has access to affordable uncapped ADSL, or even access to the internet for that matter. Those surely amount to lost sales, and those are the people who will likely resort to piracy (the good old fashioned way – getting it from a friend) just to get their palms on the spel without having to spend excessive amounts of money on gegevens just to download the spel, or having to be online all the time to install mandatory updates. And not to mention there’s the kwestie of credit cards, which are needed especially when buying from digital distribution services like Steam, because you can’t fax money through to people and have it count spil lícito tender. Not everybody has one of those (credit cards) either.

Te the end much like DRM, digital distribution might be the way forward for the industry, but it is not doing anything to curb piracy or address customer dissatisfaction, both of which have truly just grown and will proceed to grow spil long spil wij keep going down this road. Digital distribution might equal dollars (especially dollars saved), but it doesn’t make sense… at least not to mij.

Interceptor, I sincerely hope you go through with that limited retail edition (or physical copy, whichever works for you) of Rise of the Triad ter the near future, otherwise you may just lose a customer. And not just one at that.

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