Terraria Dev: “Time to move on”; Fans: “Nooooooo!”

By Craig Pearson on February 22nd, 2012 at 12:35 pm.

What are you doing to those pixels?

Action RPG platform sandbox thing Terraria has seen its last major update. In a statement to the fans, developer Andrew “Redigit” Spinks thanked them for making the game so popular, but admitted there would be no more extra content coming.

After a lot of internal debate, we have decided that it is time to move on. My wife and I are due to have another boy soon, and I want to spend some time getting to know him. I also want to spend the time recharging and bettering myself as both a programmer and game designer. I have learned a lot from working on Terraria and plan on using what I’ve learned, building upon it, and moving forward with another, even better project. However, we are still planning at least one more bug fix for Terraria.

So no more additions, no new ores or monsters, or bosses. The developers will focus on bugfixes, while the huge fan-base clamours for a proper mod API.

It does make me wonder about what gamers are entitled to: is it a developer’s obligation to continue to work on a game post-launch, and if so how long are they expected to continue? It’s all so nebulous, but touches on entitlement and expectations and it’s difficult to rationalise. People screaming about the game being abandoned are at least doing it out of frustration about something they love. I never managed to get into Terraria, but looking around the forum I’m amazed at the creations the game allowed. Satvic’s builds in particular show an artfulness that makes me hope the fans stick with the game even if the developer is no longer keeping up.

There’s no news of what Spinks will be doing next, but fellow Terraria developer Finn Bruce’s Starbound is something I’m definitely going to chase up.

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105 Comments »

  1. Premium User Badge

    El_MUERkO says:

    He’s got to release a Mod API! It’d be criminal not to and would guarantee future sales even if he added not further content to the game.

    • Nevard says:

      I’d love to see one but I wouldn’t cry if it never surfaced.
      I don’t believe one was promised and he’s already stated that he doesn’t plan to do any more work on it.

    • jokomul says:

      I wouldn’t mind at all if no API is added. There’s something special about playing a game without any mods. Terraria is a game with which you can do so. There are so many things to do in it, and for only $10 I’m fine without mods.

    • Consumatopia says:

      Note that Terraria mods already exist, so if the fact that a game has the possibility of being modded makes you feel that it’s somehow less special, well, Terraria is now less special to you. (Of course, you can still play vanilla Terraria, but a modding API wouldn’t change that.)

      Here’s hoping that as many games as possible will become less special to you.

    • mdcvnvxnb says:

      This is what gamers have become? your retiring from terraria, fuck man sort it out. http://zeig.in/2Zbwb8

    • ParadoxCreator says:

      He doesn’t really care about sales. He has said that while it has gotten him alot of money he just wanted to make a good game.

  2. Dominic White says:

    The developer DID work on the game post-launch. He spent ages working on a major update after launch that added a good range of new content and features. That alone was going above and beyond.

    Then he developed that enormous expansion. For free. You know – the one that doubled the length of the game, and had mountains of new content, bosses, enemies, locations, etc.

    If a developer isn’t allowed to take a break even after doing something like that entirely for free, then what the hell do people expect these days? Permanent, indentured servitude? Just how far does that $10 get you!?

    • sneetch says:

      I don’t think anyone claimed that he didn’t work on it post launch.

    • Dominic White says:

      Elsewhere, there’s plenty of people claiming that they’ve been ripped off, and that they expected more for their money. Fortunately, RPS is (generally) better than this.

    • RegisteredUser says:

      This game got more updates than some AAA games have sequels.

      Anyone fussing over this has clearly not yet realized that a frighteningly high count of games are 1.0 release-and-forget ports of console games that cost $40+++ and get f*ck all attention or even forum feedback as opposed to the $5 you were able to invest here(2.50 EUR in my case, that’s two bars of chocolate) for ongoing and pretty darned long support.

    • ReV_VAdAUL says:

      The only thing that muddies the water here is they released early because of a leak. So the finished product technically was at least one major update in.

      Does that mean I think the devs are villains for not releasing any more updates? Certainly not but nor were all the updates generous gifts rather than specifically promised things to bring the game up to release quality. Really enjoyed the game and look forward to the next one but lets keep our facts straight.

      Would love to see a Mod API too.

    • Vinraith says:

      I can only agree with Dominic, here. How anyone can complain about the amount of game, and amount of post-game support, they got for $10 in this case is completely beyond me. For a price that low, you’re lucky to see any post game support IMO.

    • Wut The Melon says:

      @RegisteredUser god damn it, now you have me thinking about how much I could have enjoyed those two chocolate bars if I hadn’t spent my 2.50 on Terraria…
      Valid point raised by all, though, that we still got plenty of content for a pretty low price. I think the problem is rather with games such as this and Minecraft the game just needs constant updates and improvements in order to stay fun, or it will just disappear. IMO, anyway.

    • enobayram says:

      I’m not complaining about not having my money’s worth. I’m just sad that it will stop progressing. I’m willing to pay another 10 bucks, so that they keep on adding content.

    • Jools says:

      Saying that he ripped anyone off is several steps too far, but I do think this is pretty disappointing. Terraria is a good game, but even after the major content updates it’s always felt extremely empty to me. It just doesn’t give you the same kind of freedom with building as, say, Minecraft, and you can burn through the gamier elements pretty quickly. What hurts is that the game-y stuff is really, really good, it just seems like there should be more of it with better difficulty scaling at the high-end to keep things interesting.

      As is it’s a perfectly good game that’s entirely worth its full asking price, but I can’t help but feel that it comes up just short of being really great.

      On a side note, it’s too bad he didn’t jump on the paid DLC bandwagon. I would have happily paid a few bucks a few times for some decent chunks of new content.

  3. NathanH says:

    It’s sad that there’s not going to be any major new content, but nobody has real cause for complaint here. As of 1.1, Terraria has enough in it to justify a full price, never mind the cheap rate it actually sells at. I paid £1.50 for this game and that is just ridiculous. I have no grounds for complaints, it is one of the best games of the last few years and it cost me next to nothing.

  4. Krixodus says:

    I’d like to add that Gaslamp Games (the guys behind Dungeons of Dredmor) have offered to continue development:

    https://twitter.com/#!/GaslampGames/status/172083923457810433

  5. Robbert says:

    I am okay with this. Sure, more content never hurts but Terraria has more than enough content to justify the price.

  6. Premium User Badge

    c-Row says:

    People bought the game at exactly the state it was in, rather than based on any premise of what might be added later. It’s not like it suddenly stops working once the developer stops pumping out new content.

  7. empyrion says:

    Gamers aren’t really entitled to anything w.r.t. the code to be honest, unless it is in the user agreement / license. As this is just a commercial release and not open-source software, we can’t blame them for anything. All I know is that it is probably a smart thing for them to add in mod-support (easier said than done) which will certainly help with this game’s longevity. And who knows, maybe the source will become open in a couple of years.

    • Premium User Badge

      jrodman says:

      Certainly not entitled. But if everyone cares about “the life of the creation” as a primary goal (over for example, the livelyhood of the creator) then there’s a middle path, of making the code available, but requiring purchase of the content. This can lead to a continuing life of the game for a longer period and many new things coming to life.

      Of course, prepareing for this is not trivial at all, and it can create certain headaches, and it could be that the developer wants to keep some assets to him or herself for future projects. All respectable issues.

  8. Richie Shoemaker says:

    That Starbound certainly looks interesting. Will have to chase that one up…

    • Hoaxfish says:

      Yea, both the sci-fi theme, and the pixel style certainly have my interest (not to be a massive grahics whore, but I didn’t really enjoy Terraria’s FF-style pixelness)

  9. Surlywombat says:

    Good fun game, it’s very solid work with few bugs and they provided a large content update for no added cost. Can’t wait to see what game they do next.

    All credit to them for saying clearly and loudly that it ends here.

  10. Suits says:

    I think the 1.1 update was more than we could have expected anyway.

    • Memph says:

      Aye, it was pretty damn hefty.
      Still,
      feck :(

      I’d have paid through my nose and any other orifice for more content.

  11. neolith says:

    I would gladly pay for more content.

    • NathanH says:

      It seems like the sort of game that ought to have DLC, doesn’t it? Ridiculously cheap starting price including lots more play-time than you could expect for that price => I’m happy to pay for more stuff. I almost never buy DLC (only for Duels of the Planeswalkers, for similar reasons) and generally don’t like the idea, but I’d pay for Terraria stuff.

      Frankly, 1.1 should probably have been DLC for about £1, but I’m sure people would have whined about that too.

    • Nevard says:

      It’s not about the money though, it’s that he wants to explore other avenues of programming.
      I can’t blame the man for wanting to try another project after working so long on this one.

  12. Premium User Badge

    Bluerps says:

    People who bought this are entitled to get the game in the state it was in when they bought it, nothing more.

    That being said, it’s a dick move if a developer claims he will continue to develop a game after release, and then abandons it after sales have begun to decline. However, that has definitely not happened here. The Relogic guys have created a ridiculous amount of additional content for the game. I think they could have done half as much, and it would still have been enough.

  13. Capt. Eduardo del Mango says:

    First I’ve seen of ‘Starbound’ – that’s definitely going on the watch list, looks awesome.

  14. Jimbo says:

    Good luck with your new little person.

  15. Tei says:

    Gamers are entitled to patchs that fix game breaking bugs. But no new features. Zero extra content. Anyway the game dev may change that by promising long time support, with extra content… In any case is unrealistic for game devs to work beyond what is profitable to then. Devs need money to life, so without money will stop is activity and need to move to something else. Sometimes this can mean to abandon a broken game, then can be unfair for the buyers of the game, but is practical.

  16. Neeko says:

    Open source that shit then.

  17. krisanto says:

    Starbound’s premise is really interesting. It’s like a lovechild of Terraria and Noctis.

  18. Juan Carlo says:

    Wow. Now I can finally play it.

    It seems like every time I was about to start they’d announce an upcoming patch, so I’d put it off.

    • Mattressi says:

      Haha, yeah, that’s what I was thinking too. I burnt myself out playing it too much when it first came out (must have been all those tunnels to the bottom of the map on the largest map size…) and since then I’ve been waiting for the game to be ‘done’ to get back into it. Now I don’t have to worry about getting burnt out just as new stuff is added! (Or start new worlds, which can be a pain too)

  19. CKScientist says:

    I’m not really bothered by getting no more free stuff, but it annoys me that there is no possibility of expansion packs or similar.

    • Nevard says:

      Why? You were never promised expansion packs, it shouldn’t annoy you that something that they never said was coming isn’t coming.

  20. DodgyG33za says:

    I bought it a while back. Played it more than quite a few AAA titles. More than got my monies worth – it is a great game for what it is. After seeing the updates I plan to revisit – but haven’t got around to it yet.

    It is worth contrasting to Minecraft – where Notch passed on the dev banner to someone else who has injected new life into it. And it continues to sell bucket-loads.

    From a business standpoint selling new content for free is not sustainable, so if you are not attracting new customers with the new content, it is time to move on. Or charge for DLC.

  21. Consumatopia says:

    If sales have fallen off to the point that it’s no longer economically viable to add more content, then why not just package up a copy of the game’s source code and call it “1.2″? It wouldn’t be “open source”–you’d still have to buy the game to get a legal copy of the source. But as far as making mods go, that would be even better than a mod API. (And, yeah, the same logic applies to Minecraft.)

    Or, you could fully open source the Terraria code if the community is willing to donate $X thousands of dollars. I think that’s how Blender went open source.

    But, really, if the developers were getting sick of working with Terraria, and for some reason didn’t want to open source it, then making the 1.1 update was a mistake–they should have put that effort into a mod API.

    Terraria obviously has enough content in it to fulfill anything the player was “entitled” to. But the absence of open sourcing or proper mod support for such a project is a tragedy. It’s not in any way cheating or shirking not to release the the source or modding support, but it is sad and annoying.

    Particularly because it isn’t quite clear why they choose not to. Because they’re afraid their code is embarrassing? So as not to risk the last couple nickels of revenue?

    Or they don’t actually want people to make modified versions of Terraria, either because they don’t want to sully the purity of the project (that they’re no longer interested in) or because they’re afraid if people start making cool mods of their 2d procedural sandbox crafting game that it will be harder to sell their next 2d procedural sandbox game?

    Hopefully, this will motivate someone to make an open source engine from scratch for this sort of game.

    • psyk says:

      FUCK *insert dev here* FOR NOT RELEASING THE SOURCE TO *insert game here*

    • Belua says:

      You might want to take a look at Open Clonk, or the available source of the Clonk games it’s based on, which was already highly moddable.

    • Consumatopia says:

      Dang, that would be an awful thing to say. I’m really glad I didn’t say that!

    • Premium User Badge

      LTK says:

      I don’t believe for a second that a popular indie game released less than a year ago is at the end of its life cycle, revenue-wise. They’d just be robbing themselves if they made the game open-source right now.

    • Consumatopia says:

      I wouldn’t release under GPL or something, but I don’t see what you’d have to lose releasing it under something similar to one of Microsoft’s “Shared Source” licenses. ( http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Shared_source#Non-Open_Source.2C_non-Free_licenses )

    • Belua says:

      Argh, my comment is stuck in “awaiting moderation” hell since yesterday. Probably because it contained to links. Anyway, what I wanted to say was, check out the Clonk games (which are already highly moddable due to editors and scripts) whose source was released at some point and their open source successor “Open Clonk”. Similar to Terraria in many ways.

  22. Lukasz says:

    Starbound does seem very very interesting.

    Seeing as I put 70 hours into a game and I still did not unlock the hard mode nor really played since two updates ago I think i got my money’s worth.

    we do need a mod support. the possibilities are endless!

  23. scorcher24 says:

    For 10 Bucks this game has more content than many AAA Titles. ANd at least they are honest and announce it. So they don’t just silently stop the updates.
    Not everyone is like Nation Red :D:

  24. MOKKA says:

    Now I don’t have to fear that this game will be sucking away another month of my lifetime. I’m very happy about this!

  25. psyk says:

    “This thread is dedicated to videos of all my Terraria works. As of February 22, 2012, I am no longer involved with Terraria. Permanently retired.”

    This is what gamers have become? your retiring from terraria, fuck man sort it out.

    Also since when has a dev stopping work on a game meant it’s death? I hate these new gamers. If that is the case then maybe your game has no long term appeal and the only reason people are still playing is the fact they will get new things.

  26. Nick Ahlhelm says:

    This game gave more updates than most of the games I own. I can’t imagine some fans feel so entitled that they would be bothered by the updates ending.

    At some point, it will stop being profitable for the developer short of making new DLC.

  27. Gure says:

    Even though I bought Terraria at release and only played for 20 hrs I think I got my money’s worth (not accounting updates) , no complaints here.

    Btw, that Starbound looks cool…

  28. soco says:

    I was just looking yesterday if there were news of another Terraria update. Loved this game so much and the devs did a great amount of work on it post release. It makes me darn sad to see the “end” here, but hopefully they may pass the torch or release a mod toolset to keep things going.

    Either way, to both Blue and Redigit, you guys made an awesome game, thanks.

  29. flowwolf says:

    Seems to be a misconception about what a Mod API is here. The only reason a developer needs to make an application programming interface, is to create a standard conduit for modifications to be added. This is really useful in future proofing your fan’s mods given a situation where you intend to update your software again and again in lieu of your fan’s mods.

    Considering that the game has officially been announced to never be updated again, I hope to see many mod projects springing up. Version updates are the destroyer of mod teams.

    • Consumatopia says:

      If that’s the case, it would put this Minecraft interview from a couple weeks ago into a different light: http://www.gamasutra.com/view/feature/6627/talking_the_future_of_minecraft.php

      But it’s 1.0 now, and we are such a small team that we can’t compete with the rest of the world with content. So, there’s a change in priorities, that we really need to open up the game for other developers to add mods, and share mods, and run servers more easily. So, what I mean is I will work less on features, and more on the engine part of the game.

      If the most pressing need is mod support, but the only reason for mod support is to allow mods to keep working with updates, I guess they should just stop making updates.

      I would have thought there would also be issues of documentation and testing to prefer a mod api to just grafting things on to an unchanging yet only partially understood binary.

  30. Premium User Badge

    aego says:

    Here’s hoping Terraria will be in the next Humble Bundle, offering the source code as well. Go out with a bang, at least.

    Fantastic game!

    • Premium User Badge

      Malibu Stacey says:

      Doubtful unless they spend time rewriting the whole game so it can be multiplatform and non-Steam as the current release is Windows & Steam only. It’s written for .NET 4.0 in C# IIRC so good luck getting that on to MacOS and/or Linux without effectively a total re-write in a different language.

  31. yutt says:

    I’ve never heard a convincing argument why consumers *shouldn’t* always demand more, no matter how much they get. Developers and publishers can worry about what is realistic for them. I want more for me, and I don’t care one iota what is financially possible for the developer.

    Game journalists seem to have collectively bought into the anti-consumer namecalling with this whole “entitlement” word getting thrown around constantly. But I don’t care.

    I’m entitled to be entitled. I want more, I want it now, and I want it for free. My role as a consumer isn’t to create apologetics for why my demands are impractical.

    • Dominic White says:

      “I’ve never heard a convincing argument why consumers *shouldn’t* always demand more, no matter how much they get.”

      It makes you sound like a greedy, self-obsessed jerk? I mean, if you’re fine with being thought of that way, go for it.

    • Consumatopia says:

      There’s a difference between asking for more and demanding more.

      Some people on both sides of this “entitlement” war get that persistently wrong.

    • yutt says:

      @Dominic White

      So your response to my inquiry is basically some additional namecalling? Sorry, I was looking for a rational defense of why a consumer would be satisfied with less when the opportunity for more was present. That isn’t the role of a consumer. While I agree we should do our best to maintain civility when possible, there is absolutely no reason a consumer shouldn’t be “self-obsessed”. Purchasing a game isn’t an act of charity.

      Basically I see two sides of this. Consumers who know their role as consumers, and are the ones who through their demands, realistic or not, get developers and publishers to provide content we would not have gotten otherwise. All consumers benefit from this. Including the other side, who seem to be some sort of proxy PR agents/Stepford wives. Ever with a stream of ridicule for those who want more, and excuses on hand for why developers can’t possibly provide more.

    • Chris D says:

      Well how about because if developers get an incessant barrage of never ending demands for more that can never be filled pretty soon they’ll stop listening to customers at all.

      Also, Dominic is not wrong.

    • Dominic White says:

      I didn’t call anyone names. The question was ‘Is there any problem with demanding constant updates, regardless of how much you’ve already gotten?’ and the answer is ‘It makes you sound greedy and self-centered’. Maybe ‘jerk’ was a bit of strong term… but no, I think it fits.

      This is completely reasonable, in my opinion.

    • yutt says:

      @Dominic White

      That’s all well and good, but I wasn’t asking for your opinion of what names and negative descriptors you would give to people who disagree with you. I was asking you to defend your position. Thus far, your defense is, “If you demand more from developers, Dominic White will say mean things about you.”

      If people think that this behavior is inappropriate, they need to explain how and why. There is little attempt by those opposing “entitlement” to even make a distinction between what is appropriate and inappropriate behavior for consumers.

      The “entitled” have continually requested Mojang release a public API/SDK, and Mojang is. And it will be great for all Minecraft owners. The entitled created a fuss about the L4D/L4D2 releases. As I type, every L4D map has been ported to L4D2, and we’ve had regular content and maintenance updates. The entitled said they were not happy having 40 man raids be the only viable option in World of Warcraft, and the result is a complete modernization and redefinition of end-game content across all MMOs.

      From my perspective the so-called entitled have been driving consumer support and progress in a critical way for a long time. Really they are not entitled at all, but simply users and consumers expressing their concerns and feedback. This expression, this mere act of communication, is invaluable to a savvy developer. These active consumers are providing a service, at no cost, to both the developers that have the awareness to listen, and other consumers who reap the rewards of their efforts.

    • Unaco says:

      What if you look at it the other way. You can demand more and more from a Developer/Publisher… Can the Developer/Publishers start making more and more demands of customers? Obviously they can’t stop caring about what is financially possible for their customers (because they still need some money), but what if they started trying to get more more more from customers? What if they wanted to push and see what is financially possible? Subscription models for Single Player games? Patches that cost $$? Upping the standard price by 50%?

    • paterah says:

      I completely agree with Dominic here, sorry yutt but what you say sounds completely and utterly selfish. When the developers give you much more than anyone for $10 (with many sales bringing it down to $2.50 most of the time) there is a point where you stop and think; is it logical to whine and ask more from these people? They already released a game with good content and offered numerous free updates, all that for a ridiculously low price. Where do you draw the line?

    • yutt says:

      @Unaco

      That’s a great question, and we can see that they certainly do. They need to find ways to make insatiable consumer demand viable from a business perspective. However – this is their job, not mine.

      Look at Ubisoft, EA, and Valve’s experimentation in this field. Or, looking more at smaller titles, Magicka, the Maw, and Dungeon Defenders. They are all working on how to match consumer demands with the realities of keeping a company financially viable. But there are really smart people with decades of experience and education to do that. That hasn’t ever been the consumer’s role, and shouldn’t be. Most of us don’t have the knowledge requisite, and even those that don’t have the data to make accurate determinations.

      To say Terraria or Minecraft devs can’t afford to continue development is false, so certainly financing isn’t the problem in that case. What we have then is consumer demand versus developer desire. They don’t “owe” me anything, but I don’t owe them patience or understanding either. Demand is untapped consumer desire that can be used to propel your business forward, or squandered.

      Some developers, (let’s say Valve and historically Blizzard) have spent decades figuring out the balance between the costs and demands.

    • Unaco says:

      You say that businesses “are all working on how to match consumer demands with the realities” of business. Do you not think that customers should also be aware of realities? They cannot demand more and more from devs/publishers, and expect to get it… if they do, then the devs/publishers will die, because they’ll be meeting the demands of their customers, churning out infinite content for free.

    • Consumatopia says:

      Again, if you cross out “demand” and write in “ask” or “request”, then this makes perfect sense from the perspective of both customers and publishers/developers. Developers are, indeed, asking for more and more–unlimited donations before they’ve finished the game.

      I suppose the difficulty here is that, in both cases, the customer requesting features and the independent developer requesting money are appealing to somewhat ill-defined social norms. The customer requesting features says “okay, you’ve made some money, now add this feature so we can get the most out of it”. The developer says “okay, you know you would enjoy this product once I’m finished with it, so why not donate a dime or too so that everyone can enjoy it”. Neither can claim that there is any sort of debt or obligation requiring the other to comply with his wishes, but they both appeal to some sort of value or virtue that is, supposedly, shared.

    • yutt says:

      The word “demand” obviously has many connotations and denotations. I am primarily referring to “demand” in the economic sense. Consumers expecting a certain quality of product at a certain price.

      You can’t on one hand claim we have no right to expect updates post-purchase, and on the other expect patches and bug fixes for games that are broken on release. If you want to find someone to blame for the current gamer culture, look no further than all of the publishers that pushed games out before they were ready, creating the expectation that all games would get post-release support. Or blame developers like Mojang, Valve, Bay 12 Games, etc. who have made free post-release content part of the assumption during purchase.

      But, again, in my mind these demands and the developer attempts to appease them only improve the products we have paid for. I can’t wrap my head around how this is inherently bad.

      Certainly being a complete ass about it isn’t appropriate, but that’s another issue, and shouldn’t be conflated.

    • Consumatopia says:

      @yutt, I don’t think the economic sense of “demand” is meaningful in this context, in that you can’t “unbuy” the game if you don’t feel satisfied with future updates.

      The problem here is that no one would buy games until the development cycle was complete if “caveat emptor” was the only social norm (which means that some games wouldn’t have had funding to be made in the first place), but no would ever make games if making a game meant you would be treated as a slave chained to your computer for X years.

    • Dissolute says:

      “I’ve never heard a convincing argument why consumers *shouldn’t* always demand more, no matter how much they get.”

      The argument is at the top of the post. The guy’s quitting. Notch has stepped away from full-time development of Minecraft. Why? It’s not money, it’s not lack of ideas – it’s ‘consumer’ fatigue. Meanwhile Dwarf Fortress has one of the most respectful, supportive communities around, and Tarn Adams is still going strong after nearly a decade.

      Consumer stating demands reasonably is great – as you say, it serves developer’s interests. But the problem is that it frequently becomes unreasonable (DDOS attacks!). There has to be some middle ground. This idea that consumers can be perfectly selfish and only good things will follow is misguided.

    • yutt says:

      @Dissolute

      See, this is where this argument always goes, and it is absolutely silly. Should people perform illegal activities against developers? Nope. And no sane person suggested otherwise. Should consumers DDOS servers, threaten lives, or communicate in racial slurs? Nope.

      “This idea that consumers can be perfectly selfish and only good things will follow is misguided.”

      That isn’t the idea at all. The idea is that it isn’t my responsibility to be concerned with financial practicality, or even developer interest. They can communicate their reasons openly and honestly, and maybe I will find them convincing, maybe I won’t. At the end of the day, my opinion doesn’t matter, because they have the freedom to choose to do as they wish – but my opinion will certainly be expressed.

      I dislike the tendency for people to characterize desires they disagree with as “entitlement”. Dominic White and yourself have no doubt expressed numerous opinions on games on how you wished something was different than it was. I don’t see how my civilly communicating my opinion is any more or less “entitlement” than you expressing yours.

      How is, “I wish Terraria had an SDK” entitlement, and “I wish Darkness 2 had better FOV settings” not? People have been equally passionate about both sorts of complaints.

      Again, no one is defending criminal or blatantly anti-social behavior, so we can drop that strawman and move on.

    • Dissolute says:

      “Again, no one is defending criminal or blatantly anti-social behavior, so we can drop that strawman and move on. ”
      No one is defending them, but people are certainly committing them. That’s the problem. That’s what sensible people are talking about when they talk about a culture of unreasonable entitlement. And it’s a problem because developers have made it clear that it becomes intensely demoralizing.

      And this is a problem for you, the self-interested consumer. In a world where Spinks never received impolite or disrespectful feedback on Terraria, maybe he would’ve given you years more of free updates. ‘Buy my game and then I’ll make it better’ is an informal agreement, and informal agreements depend on mutual goodwill.

    • Consumatopia says:

      That’s what sensible people are talking about when they talk about a culture of unreasonable entitlement.

      Except that isn’t at all helpful. Rather than blame specific individuals for specific acts of rudeness and criminality, you’ll just tar everyone who’s position differs even slightly from “caveat emptor”, or dares to have a different opinion than a developer, and blame them every time Anonymous gets up to attention-seeking shenanigans. If the norm really is that every time someone posts an idiotic response to an indie game trailer on youtube then developers will simply leave the industry, then some mainstream studio’s PR department will start paying kids to leave negative feedback on your forums just to kill off competition. (see also: https://www.xkcd.com/1019/ )

      The problem with “entitlement” is that almost everyone using that word does so in a completely binary way. Idiots on the internet are inevitable, but if we want to improve things that means stating reasonable standards of behavior, but reasonable can’t be all one-way. Customers have no right to be rude, but they do have a right to an opinion, just as film critics have a right to an opinion on films.

  32. Fiwer says:

    I’m not surprised by the insane sense of entitlement. Terraria has one of the worst and bitchiest communities on the internet, despite being a game that’s had amazing amounts of post-game content created for free.

  33. CoyoteTheClever says:

    There seem to have been some ideas, like portals to a different dimension, that were mentioned by the devs but not used, presumably due to creator fatigue. I personally hope they take Gaslamp games up on their offer. Or maybe give us a paid expansion, I’d be happy for that too and I don’t think there would be any doubt that it’d be profitable.

  34. Rackam says:

    I just remember them promising to set up a multiplayer mode for things like CTF and deathmatch. I was hoping they’d do that before they stopped as it was what I had my heart set on. But of course they have given me lots of content and I’ve gotten my money’s worth. I was just hoping to go back to it in another years time and play it more.

    That said, if they’re not going to update it, let gaslamp do it. Hell let gaslamp make DLC and then they can split the revenue or something.

  35. Joshua Northey says:

    The one thing I am confused about is how bad a business decision this seems. Obviously people can do whatever they want with their life, but I would have to think that releasing some expansions or whatever for terraria would be more lucrative than whatever else he is going to do with his time.

    This game sold a million copys or so didn’t it? How do you not pump out a few similar sized expansions and pocket that money? Seems like the decisions of someone who hasn’t actually been working very long.

    He goes on and works on something else and that flops he might end up just being a regular programmer at some big firm. He keeps milking this franchise and he could really set himself up to open his own (tiny) studio or whatever.

    • NathanH says:

      He might just be totally sick of it, though.

    • Joshua Northey says:

      Most people are totally sick of their jobs. That is why they pay you for them!

      I think in 10 years he is going to look back and wished he had just buckled down and made some more money off this while the iron was still hot.

    • Dominic White says:

      He sold well over a million copies at (mostly) $10 each. He’s probably quite happy that he’s taking time off now to raise his kid.

      Because, y’know – being able to raise a child without any financial or time concerns in this day and age? Very, very rare. Lucky kid.

    • Joshua Northey says:

      My suspicion is that he is wildly overestimating his future earning potential and that the few hundred thousand he likely personally pocketed from terraria won’t last nearly as long as he thinks it will. Yeah spending time with your kids is great, but you can do that and still squeeze in 20 or 30 hours of work pretty easily.

      Like I said people are free to make their own choices, I just think people in the aftermath of success tend to wildly overestimate how repeatable it is and then wish they could go back and take better advantage of it.

    • yutt says:

      @Joshua Northey

      To paraphrase an old Gabe Newell quote (which I can’t find); After the success of Half Life, Valve didn’t go out and buy Ferraris. They invested in Valve and being able to replicate their initial success.

      Update: Was driving me mad, so here is the quote, “…we took all that money from Half-Life, and other money we had, and said ‘OK rather than going and buying Ferraris, we’re going to buy our next game.’ Everybody in the company had to buy into that.”

      http://www.gamespot.com/news/half-life-2-qanda-6076241

    • Dominic White says:

      A few hundred thousand? How do you get that figure after over a million sales, most at $5-10? It’s a two-man development studio, too.

      Dude has probably got a couple million to coast along on for the next few years.

      And yes, Valve expanded when they made their initial fortune, but that’s because they were a fairly large company. The Terraria studio consisted of one developer, one PR guy (who left) and one artist. And the artist has gone his seperate way now, too.

      Basically, it was a one-man project. And it made him a fortune. And now he wants to raise his kid.

    • Joshua Northey says:

      I assume Valve got a pretty healthy chunk and the average price was way under $10. There we constantly 2 for 1 sales, and 4 for 2 sales, and 75% off sales. They also had some advertising on Steam.

      So total revenue was what? Lets say 5 million? How much does Valve take on each sale? For a small game like that I would bet it is easily 40% (if you include the advertising). So now you have 3 million. Lets say to run the website and pay for equipment and any other legal/insurance/advertising or whatever you spend say $300,000.

      So now you have 2.7 million. So then you need to split that 3 ways, lets say that leaves him with 1.5 million. But then the tax man comes and takes at least 35% of that (depending on which state you live in). So now you have under a million. And that is assuming he didn’t leave any of the money in his company for tax purposes.

      I think it is a lot more likely his take home income from the project is more accurately measured in hundreds of thousands than millions. Even if it was millions why not make a few more now while you can and coast the rest of your life instead of coasting now and then not being able to support your new lifestyle? Maybe he is smart and has lived like a monk, but people don’t normally do that.

    • Dominic White says:

      It’s officially a secret, but Valve’s take – even on tiny stuff like indie releases – is about 1/3.

      So let’s assume he did make a couple million bucks – the game didn’t get discounted until well into that first million sales. And his kid was just born. Y’know what? In his position, I’d totally quit work for as long as I thought the kid needed, too. Maybe I’m not enough of a hard-nosed capitalist, but it strikes me as exactly the right thing to do given his situation.

      If I had a million dollars – singular – I could quite comfortably coast along for maybe a decade. Two, maybe.

    • Joshua Northey says:

      In theory that is a great idea, but in practice people’s spending habits tend to closely track their incomes. That is why a lot of professional athletes end up broke at 40. When you are making a say 5X your normal expectation it is very easy to feel responsible for only increasing you expenses to 3Y. You feel so secure and prudent. Then when the windfall ends (after however many years) you are tied into a lifestyle at 3Y and are back at your normal expect income X.

      It was a great game and I hope everything works out for him. I just doubt that in 15 years a dispassionate observer will think he made the right decision.

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      alexheretic says:

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  36. lordhughes says:

    the £5(somewhere around that) I paid for terraria at launch gave me more entertainment than a £40 CoD game. Money well spent!

  37. L3TUC3 says:

    This comes to me as a relative surprise as I figured Terraria to be to be akin to Dwarf Fortress on the merits of its development (long stretch of nothing, then major release, bugfixes) I know these sort of games live and die with developer involvement, but seeing how popular it got, it seems rather odd to throw in the towel now. I can sympathize with the wanting more time for his family though.

    This is one of the few games I can play with my fiancee (on account on her crappy PC), so you know it’s good. We were always anticipating new content and it was a blast to go at a newly genned world with reckless abandon to create the perfect diy home. Some good memories there when one of us would misjudge a jump and crater. Or ofcourse the infamous zombie magma pool turned bunny murder hole.

    I hope he’s setting up a grand april fools or passing the torch as I’m not finished with terraria yet.

  38. SkittleDiddler says:

    The dude obviously put a lot of love and effort into Terraria, so I certainly don’t hold it against him. That said, did he ever bother to put controller support into the game? I haven’t played it for months, primarily due to the lack of a proper tutorial and zero controller support – I’m not a fan of the keyboard setup.

  39. Beelzebud says:

    I got Terraria for 7.50. They have provided more free content than most AAA developers ever think about doing. I do not feel like I’m being short changed here.

  40. sicbanana says:

    Guys, chill out!
    I’m betting that some sunny day in the future, he’ll turn around, with a big grin, to open his little bookcase and unveil Terraria 2.0.
    It will be a sunny day…. mark my words! ;)

  41. DOLBYdigital says:

    Wait no modding tools!! I could have sworn they planned on releasing modding tools…. Wow, I will be very disappointed if they don’t. The ideas I’ve seen from community members for new bosses and monsters have been fantastic. Would be such a shame to not let them give the game a much longer life….

    This is kinda a bummer… but I still love the game!!

  42. kalvindeane says:

    I’d like to point out that Satvic didn’t build that Goku statue, I did. :p

  43. MellowKrogoth says:

    The rage and insults coming from the Terraria “community” (as well as the Minecraft players agressivity towards Notch) makes me think that Derek Smart’s tough, arrogant attitude is perhaps the right one after all :P.

    After all, if you know that your customers/fans will turn against you on the slightest excuse, as soon as you don’t slavishly satisfy their every wish, why not make them your bitches from the start?