Dear Esther Dev’s Rapture No Longer Coming To PC

Hello, everyone. I come bearing some extremely depressing news. The rapture’s happening soon, but not to us. Hm, well jeez, when I phrase it that way, it doesn’t sound terrible at all. What I mean to say is, Dear Esther developer thechineseroom’s next non-Amnesia game, the super fascinating Everybody’s Gone To The Rapture, is no longer coming to PC – at all, for the foreseeable future. Sony’s nabbed it for its burgeoning army of indie exclusives, so I guess that means it’s not allowed to love us anymore. I reached out to thechineseroom’s Dan Pinchbeck, and he confirmed the bad news.

Truth be told, I went in expecting to come away marking off days on my calendar until a period of timed exclusivity was up, but no such luck. When I asked if everybody who matters – you know, PC gamers – would eventually go to the rapture, Pinchbeck offered a brief, unfortunate reply: “No, it’ll be a PS4 exclusive.”

We don’t have the money or production expertise to make this game without help.

That’s a terrible shame, because the Dear Esther successor (aka, the “Thur Sesser Detester” if you try to say it five times fast) is looking terrifically intriguing. In short, you explore a small town just 60 minutes before some snarling cataclysm leaps from a bush and bites existence in the ankle to death. Various characters spend their final hour in different fashions, and you can either watch them search for peace in the panic or interfere by way of exploration and physical interaction.

I queried further as to why we’re missing out, and Pinchbeck was refreshingly frank:

“So the thinking went like this,” he began. “We don’t have enough money or production expertise to make this game without help. We don’t think we can raise enough through Kickstarter or public alpha to make this happen. We could do with production support on a game this scale. We’ve always wanted to make a console game. Publishers have bad reputations all too often. Hey, Sony Santa Monica are great though. We’ve met them a few times and really like them and their attitude.”

“Also, PS4 is starting to look very cool as a platform. All eggs thrown into singular basket, Sony Santa Monica contacted, everybody likes each other, lots of love for the project. Long dark night of the soul mulling over implications of shifting across to console. Mix of pragmatism and excitement about the possibilities win out.”

But what of thechineseroom’s loyal supporters on PC who – among other things – sprinted the first-person walk-‘n’-talker’s sales all the way up to “well over 750,000”? Pinchbeck and co are perhaps more aware of their fan base’s mighty contribution than anyone, and they’re incredibly grateful. But they saw a chance to branch out and create an otherwise impossible project. They couldn’t say no.

“Dear Esther fans were very much in our thoughts, but enough of us are multi-platform gamers to make this work for us,” explained Pinchbeck. “And we’re in this for the long game, so I can’t see us not returning to PC, or doing whatever we can to keep that fan base as we owe them a great deal.”

“But part of that is following our instincts about how we develop and find stability as a studio and this is going to be part of the process. And without sounding like a bought man, the PS4 is genuinely a really, really cool platform, and if people have never bought into console gaming before, this is the time.”

Which makes perfect sense given the position thechineseroom is currently in, but still: I was really looking forward to Everybody’s Gone To The Rapture. Now my brow is crinkled and my shoulders are slumped. This definitely isn’t the end of the world, but it kinda feels like it. Blargh. Well, I guess let’s just wistfully sigh as we take a brief glance at what we’re missing.


  1. JohnP says:

    Oh well. No money from me.

    Disappointing, since it looks very interesting. But I’m not buying a console when I have a more capable PC already.

    • XhomeB says:

      I can’t believe I’m saying this, but I sort of wish they had gone to Microsoft instead of those nutcases from Sony. At least with MS involved, there would be a chance of a PC release happening sooner or later – look at all those “sort-of-indie” games on Steam published by MS (Mark of the Ninja, Deadlight, Insanely Twisted Shadow Planet).
      With Sony involved, we might as well forget about this game already. A shame – a new console cycle has begun, it’s Epic Games-like attitude all over again.

      • S Jay says:

        This might be true indeed.

        Damn Journey :/

      • Marijn says:

        To be fair to Sony, they’re no different to Microsoft really. The thing to remember is that SCE is handling publishing duties and is financially supporting the project. When Microsoft does this (with Microsoft Games Studios), the title invariably remains an XBOX exclusive as well. EDIT: Oops – the games you mention are counterexamples of this. I’ll let the above stand as a monument to my ignorance and stupidity.

        • welverin says:

          You were right, those examples aren’t the same.

          Microsoft requires you to have published a retail game before you can publish a game on XBLA, so indies either have to sign a deal with someone like EA or Ubisoft or make a deal with Microsoft. That doesn’t mean they took and money for developing from them however. That’s why LIMBO ended up on everything under the sun, despite having the same kind of deal.

      • rockman29 says:

        You would rather a game be published by MS than Sony?

        Dude… you are the nutcase! Lol!

      • BlastFace says:

        I wish people would do their research before spouting lunacy.

        Games Sony have supported in their pub fund for PS3/Vita have ended up coming to Steam. It affords Sony a small window of exclusivity for them supporting the game. I’ll list several of them:

        Guacamelee, Papo & Yo, PixelJunk, Tales from Space: Mutant Blobs Attack, Ibb & Obb.

        So Sony have allowed just as many games to go to PC as the Microsoft ones you mentioned.

      • SpiceTM says:

        I think Papo & Yo proves that there can always be an exception to assumptions.

    • rokmek says:

      Well there is no point in keep supporting them after they turn their back to their fans and PC.
      Canceling my Amnesia amfp preorder.

  2. dmoe says:


    • Kdansky says:

      Exactly. I would have felt some understanding if they absolutely wanted to work with technology that doesn’t exist on the PC (such as motion control or touchpad). But that was last generation! The PS4 is literally the same hardware as a PC. Valuing a sony-bribe over the loyalty of your fan-base? My money is on “not going to pay off”

      • Leandro says:

        Yeah, we’re at that point where consoles are exclusive PCs backed by big companies bullying and buying allegiances to force people into getting their restricted, inferior hardware and services. Not healthy for the industry, for the quality of games, for smaller devs, and for all gamers, independently of chosen platform, who will inevitably miss out on exclusives.

        My money is still on the PC. I’ll get A Machine for Pigs if it’s good (and I’m feeling brave).

  3. Eddiestrike says:

    I sincerely hope this game fails. PC gamers didn’t buy Dear Esther for them to make their next game a PS4 exclusive. Complete betrayal in my books.

    • MuscleHorse says:

      Grow up.

    • Bull0 says:

      That’s a lovely attitude to have.

    • gorkomatic says:

      Actually, “their next game” is Amnesia: A machine for Pigs, and that’s coming on PC quite soon.

      And I would read ““And we’re in this for the long game, so I can’t see us not returning to PC” as “we are totally doing a PC version later on”.

      • fish99 says:

        That depends on what kind of deal they’ve struck with Sony. Quite a lot of PS3 indie games never appear on other platforms, Flower, Journey, most of the PixelJunk games etc. I’m guessing that in return for funding the games Sony gets permanent exclusivity or even IP ownership.

        • rockman29 says:

          Those are completely different. Why are people on this forum so clueless about PlayStation? PC gamers don’t play consoles too anymore? Sheesh…

          The developers of Journey and Flower made a deal with Sony to make 3 games for PS3, which included those mentioned games. The other one was Flow. There was a contract in place where Sony hired ThatGameCompany to make games for PS3.

          Almost all the other indies games coming to PS4 are completely different to this deal and have zero requirement to remain on PlayStation platforms. Journey is arguably not even an indie game similar to others, considering how much money was spent on it….

          Journey would not have even been made without Sony. ThatGameCompany spent millions more than they were expecting to and delayed the game several times beyond their own and Sony’s expectations. And Sony let them continue development seeing that they were making something that they were making was something really special.

          After TGC’s contract was over, they were free to pursue what they wanted. Sony helped them succeed and now TGC can make games or other experiences in the way they want. That contract they dealed in together was completely mutually beneficial and they exited their agreement on great terms. We should be applauding dealings in business like that.

          You guys should just buy some consoles… why does being a PC gamer preclude playing on consoles on this forum with some people…?

          If the company in this article decided they needed more funding, Sony and Sony Santa Monica are great places to go. The PlayStation arm has proven it’s dedication to helping developers make games. Yes, they get people to enter deals which are mutually beneficial. What’s so bad about that…?

          The criticism Sony is getting in this thread here is odd. It’s not that it’s “evil and I must defend Sony.” It’s simply that the criticism doesn’t make sense. If anything, Microsoft should be criticized more for their attitude towards game developers and games. People here are acting like Age of Empires and Rise of Nations and Flight Simulator didn’t die slow and painful PC deaths under the flag of Microsoft.

          P.S. This is in reply more to others who are boycotting the game now, or wanting the developer to fail, or other things, not particularly at this post it is literally in reply to, I think I clicked the wrong button! Lol!

          • edmundane says:

            Let them eat cake eh?

            And even if I can afford to buy both, I wouldn’t because it doesn’t make sense, I game on the PC because I feel I’ll get a better experience, which leaves a console for what? Just the platform exclusives? Not good enough a reason to add more to my pile of e-waste when it gets obsolete. I still really want to play Journey but no way am I getting a PS3 for that.

        • dE says:

          This is in response to rockman29:
          Congratulations on the essay, but I really don’t quite follow how you went from point A to point B here. Point A being that exclusivity is rarely a good thing and point B being an angry Gamer rage-letter, as in, your comment.
          Here is a message that may shock you: No one cares what platform you game on. Here is another: Not everyone has bought all of them. Most can’t, because they’re really quite expensive toys.

    • haydndavid91 says:

      How entitled do you have to be to hope a game fails just because it isn’t coming to PC? The article addresses that they needed a publisher and money which they couldn’t get on their own.

      • Dr I am a Doctor says:

        something something gamer entitlement
        gamers are awful

        • haydndavid91 says:

          Becoming more and more apparent every month.

          • dE says:

            Ah, the joy of people that take the word entitlement serious.

          • MarcP says:

            Ah, the joy of nitwits who mistake endorsing a social taboo for having a point.

          • dE says:

            Any point made that used entitlement as an argument is automatically void and invalid. It’s admitting defeat before you even started. Surely the point could have been made without blindly firing into the air?

          • Dr I am a Doctor says:

            what in the actual fuck are you talking about

      • Grey Poupon says:

        Actually there’s sense in hoping non-PC games fail, as that would make exclusives rare. However I doubt anyone bought Esther for the sole purpose of funding their next game, but they bought Esther for what it is. At least I hope they did. So I don’t like his reasoning, but wishing exclusives fail isn’t that bad of an ideology in my opinion.

        I just hope they got a good deal from Sony, wouldn’t be too surprised if many indie devs don’t look into how much MS/Sony usually pays for exclusivity. Might not be too easy to find such information.

        • S Jay says:

          Realistically, console games exist because people buy them.

          I think it is really mean to make anything exclusive, whatever the platform, but I guess money matters.

    • Dowr says:

      The developers do not owe us anything.

    • dmoe says:

      It will be back on PC when it bombs on the PS4. Just a waiting game at this point.

      • cunningmunki says:


        • akstro says:

          Its not just that. If Dear Esther got so much flak for ‘not being a game’ then can you imagine what console players are going to do to this game? Although I can also imagine a scenario where games journalists pay more attention to this game BECAUSE its a console exclusive. Dear Esther and Proteus didnt get much attention from major websites but I bet this will.

          • MidoriChaos says:

            Journey was, for me, the best non-game I’ve ever played. It told a story without words, using music to punctuate the different moods as you went along, and it was absolutely non-gamey. Just like this one it was a console exclusive and reviews and comments were good from both players and critics. A friend kept complaining he was not going to like Journey, because he’s not one for “games” where you just run around doing nothing but explore; eventually he caved in and once he was done he told me how wrong he had been about that particular game.

            I know console gamers are seen by many as an unholy bunch that don’t care about anything but manshoots and explosions but none of the people I know that play mainly console games or exclusively console games are like that. For the most part they love games with story, games that make them a little sad/depressed and games that make them think. Sure, they also like manshoots, but one does not preclude the other.

      • Marijn says:

        *If* it bombs. Sony-published indie games have a pretty good track record because of their marketing efforts (and the fact that the games are generally excellent).

      • Shuck says:

        “It will be back on PC when it bombs on the PS4”
        Since Sony are deciding on the exclusivity (and gain nothing from having it on PC), it won’t appear anywhere if it bombs on PS4. Also, even if the company doesn’t end up shutting down, they probably won’t be making anything thereafter if they don’t have any money and they’re saddled with a failed game that means publishers won’t give them anything in the future.

        Hoping they’ll fail here is just saying, “I hope they don’t make any more (PC) games in the future.”

        • TechnicalBen says:

          If you have a friend, and have some good time together that’s great.
          Then they go off with their “new best friend” who convinces them “they can’t hang out with you anymore… forever”.
          All of a sudden it’s “entitlement” to feel let down? Or “a boycott” to stop the relationship?

          Just here, the “relationship” is a customer/merchant one. But the same results still stand if they cut off their nose to spite… um profit their face off… well, you know what I mean.

          • Shuck says:

            It’s not that hard to understand – they couldn’t get the resources they needed to make the game without making it a PS4 exclusive. Their “relationship” with previous customers didn’t extend beyond that product. Since those customers couldn’t provide the resources for the next project, they certainly don’t have anything to do with it. (“Forever” doesn’t even come into the conversation.) So if we want to use the friends analogy, it’d be more like:
            TheChineseRoom: “Hey PC, want to hang out?”
            PC: “Eh, I don’t think so.”
            PS4: “Hey, why don’t you come over to my place for some drinks. I’ve got a pool.”
            TheChineseRoom: “Sounds good!”
            PC: “What, you’re friends with PS4? I hope you drown in that pool!”
            But the friends analogy is incredibly stupid, so let’s not use that.

            Personally I also wouldn’t use the word “entitlement” when the phrase “childish, petulant bag of dicks” seems more appropriate. And I say that as someone who is never going to buy a PS4 and who was very much looking forward to this game.

          • dragonfliet says:

            That’s cute, except, your example fails. This is more like, you meet a salesperson at a certain store you like to frequent. They’re wonderful, and you vow to keep coming back to them, because they make commission and you love that they provide you the service you like. They then get another job at a different store that has the same stuff because it makes more financial sense, and they invite you to come over there, but you get pissed because YOU DONT LIKE THAT STORE so you hope that they fail, because how dare they continue doing what they want to do at a place that they feel will be more profitable when you liked them at your store!

            Grow up. This has always been a transaction, and they have never been your friend. If you want to be friends with the developers, you can do that the same as you always could, you know, by becoming friends with them; but if you want to buy their merchandise, it’s going to be through a different store. I realize that not everyone is going to get the PS4, and it sucks when things that you want aren’t supported on the devices that you have, but this is no betrayal, it is merely an unfortunate outcome involved in the economic factors of multiple gaming devices.

    • VelvetFistIronGlove says:

      I sincerely hope this game succeeds and is really really good.

      I don’t think there’s any chance of me getting a PS4 in the next three years or so, but if I do end up getting one, I wouldn’t complain if this game was one the stars of its back catalogue.

      • stahlwerk says:

        Well said.

        I find the PS4 is a seriously tempting Piece of Hardware, much more so than the XBOX one(-eighty lolol), and if there will be many excellent exclusives, why not see it as complementary to the PC? With Microsoft screwing up Windows 8 so badly that it has to Play the CEO musical chairs, I think some good external, non-MS-pressure may just be what the PC as a platform needs (i.e. why don’t we all use Linux already, dammit?).

    • Perjoss says:

      Perhaps Sony made them an offer they couldn’t possibly refuse, and with all that cash they plan to make even better PC titles in future.

      We sometimes forget that this is all just a business after all.

    • The_Player says:

      Are you 12?

  4. MuscleHorse says:

    The PC audience has quite a different sensibility to the console one. I’m struggling to think they can get close to the 750K sales they found here. Best of luck to them though – business is business.

    • Christo4 says:

      If they really did sell 750k copies then i think the whole “We don’t have the money or production expertise to make this game without help” is a load of BS.
      Dark souls sold a bit over 2 mil and it’s getting a sequel and i highly doubt that dear esther dev costs were more than dark souls.

      • iainl says:

        Your doubt may be high, but it’s probably no higher than mine that they got as much per sale as Dark Souls did. Being part of a Humble Bundle that will have paid them rather less than a dollar per copy will do that.

        • Christo4 says:

          Only with the humble bundle they would have gotten less than a dollar per sale, but it’s not like they only sold their game through humble bundle.
          Even if only 200.000 copies were sold for 10$, that would still make 2million$ and i think they sold quite a bit more than that.

          • Cross says:

            Cut out 33% for Steam, and you’re left with $1.300.000. Not enough to make the game they seem to aspire to.

          • Shuck says:

            Minus the vendor cut, minus the loans they had to pay back, minus what they paid in taxes (I’ve read they got screwed on the taxes). They’ve said they didn’t have the funds for it, and this is certainly more than a couple million dollar game.
            It’s also a much bigger production than they’ve done before, and having someone to help them understand and overcome development issues could be as valuable as the extra money.

    • 7rigger says:

      I hope for the best for them, but I think you’re right there. I know several ps3 owners and not one of them bothered to buy Journey when it was released – just me, and I bought a ps3 again pretty much just for it. Those that have played it at my house just didn’t care. I’m certainly not buying a ps4 just for an indie game though, not until they’re super cheap like the ps3 is now.

      • Llewyn says:

        This sort of nonsense can be applied in any direction though. Of my half-a-dozen PC owning, game playing RL friends I’m not aware that any of them have ever bought an indie game of any kind, nor even played the ones in Humble Bundles that I’ve bought for them. No FTLs for them, no marked ninja, no lonely Thomases. On the other hand my XBL friends list – made up almost entirely of Forza contacts – seems to have plenty of players of things like Braid and Ilomilo.

        FWIW, I didn’t buy Journey either, despite enjoying things like Flower and Echochrome. The concept just didn’t appeal to me.

        We could conclude from this that all platforms are bad for indie games. Or perhaps we could conclude that our friends do not make up representative samples.

        • 7rigger says:

          I’m perfectly aware it was entirely anecdotal evidence, and doesn’t really mean anything. It was an opinion, nothing else, and I did prefix it by stating that I hope for the best for them.

        • TechnicalBen says:

          It’s all numbers really. X ammount of PS4 owners verses Y amount of PC owners. Which market is largest, which offers the biggest “conversion” rate and which offers the most profit per “conversion” to a sale?

      • lordcooper says:

        Journey absolutely smashed sales records on PSN.

        • Malibu Stacey says:

          That only serves to highlight how bad comparable sales have been.

        • 7rigger says:

          Journey made records for fastest selling game, due to it being one of the only pre-orderable games on the PSN at the time – not for highest selling game. The team that made it also seem to be having trouble recouping losses from the expensive ps3 development (That will be better on ps4, with x86 architecture) They are also losing team members that are unhappy with the team’s direction.

          Still, I love my consoles and I’m happy to see this team go on to bigger and brighter things, and if they make the choice to come back to pc I’ll welcome them back with open arms.

    • golem09 says:

      If the marketing stamps it as the new artsy fartsy journey game, everyone will buy it, because, duh, they’re so mature gamers and need to prove it with minor doses of pretentiousness.

    • kwyjibo says:

      Sony backed indies have done quite well. Journey and The Unfinished Swan are the ones that come to mind. If it gets Sony Santa Monica stamp of approval and their marketing budget, I think they’ll be fine.

      • fish99 says:

        I thought I read the Journey devs were out of money, not paying people etc?

        • kwyjibo says:

          They ran out of development budget just as the game finished. They’re swimming in money now.

    • Baines says:

      Dear Esther arguably didn’t deserve to sell 750,000 copies on any system. Or whatever they sold before it became part of a bundle.

      It just happened to be the right game at the right time to move a lot of copies on hype and word of mouth. It became (over)hyped and presented as some ultimate atmospheric game, without much competition, and people bought it. It was similar to the Call of Duty or other mega-franchise effect where a game sells on name alone.

      I do wonder how many people bought Dear Esther only to be disappointed when they played it, though.

    • soundofvictory says:

      The PC audience has quite a different sensibility to the console one. I’m struggling to think they can get close to the 750K sales they found here. Best of luck to them though – business is business.

      Honestly, I don’t really think they will either. However, i am speculating that’s part of Sony’s plan. If it does sell incredibly well then, great, everybody wins. If it doesn’t, they probably only spent a handful of million promoting a presumably excellent indie team to make something on a grand scale. I think in this case, Sony’s main goal is image. I watched a lot of their E3 and Gamscom stuff and the message is that they are heavily pushing things on the indie front for the PS4. They want all the gamers to think of the PS4 as the indie game console. Publishing this game and games like The Witness is huge for this. Even if Rapture tanks, they will still have succeeded in this respect.

      On the other hand, from thechineseroom’s perspective, it’s still a pretty good deal. They, probably, have nothing to lose (I am not a lawyer and have no idea what their contract is). Again, if they sell a billion copies then, yay, everyone’s a billionaire. But If they sell only 10 copies, thechineseroom will continue to live on as an indie company. On top of that, they will have made an amazing game that otherwise wouldn’t have been possible to make.

      I know that I’m making a few assumptinos above, but I’m mostly basing my opinion on seeing past Sony published indies. I genuinely think that Sony is doing a good deed here and that thechineseroom have gotten INCREDIBLY lucky by receiving this proposition and then accepting it. They’ll, guaranteed, be doing this for a few years to come which is good news for any small company.

  5. Felixader says:

    Well i know a certain cynic person of british origins who is probably not that worried about that.

    I myself never played dear esther but EGttR looks interesting in the video. But then again, reading the article, that doesn’t seem to be what the game will actually look like when played (content wise).

    EDIT: Oh yeeah and i have no problem to buy it on a console, althougth i stil have to decide wich one i will get. ^_^

  6. Alexander says:

    “We don’t have the money or production expertise to make this game without help.”

    Then kickstart it, you dicks.

  7. SickBrick says:

    Real indie spirit you’re showing, chineeses.

    • somnolentsurfer says:

      John just said basically this on Twitter, so not an original thought by any means, but yes: If you’re in an endless platform exclusive deal with a publisher, they own your content. By definition, you’re not an indie any more.

      • Illessa says:

        A platform exclusive publisher deal for one game. I don’t think that excludes them from indie status. I’d still call Giant Sparrow and Thatgamecompany indie. The point is that they’re a small team making smaller, more personal games and they have no binding ties to a specific publisher ie. they wouldn’t have to get out of any contracts to make another game released via any publisher (or self published) on any platform.

        Course the semantics of what makes someone indie in any artistic sphere are so muddy as to be pretty meaningless anyway.

        Also Sony exclusives don’t necessarily last forever – see the PixelJunk games – but it’ll certainly be a bit of a wait.

      • Wulfram says:

        Why would anyone care if someone is an “indie” or not?

        • Acorino says:

          I don’t care really, but I care about artistically autonomous games. I care that money givers don’t meddle in creative concerns. Thankfully Sony Santa Monica has a good reputation in this regard.

  8. Stiletto says:


    No explosions, no crumbling buildings, no generic soldiers with badass soldier voices, no chest-high walls, no generic shooty guns, no voice chat to insult other players with their squeak young voices.

    Uh, yeah. I don’t see this having much future in the console realm.

    But, you know. That’s just me.

    • maximiZe says:

      That really is just you.

    • thekeats1999 says:

      Think your mistaking Sony for MS. One thing Sony has going for it, well for the last few years is that they have been supportive of games like this in the of The Journey, the slightly mad Tokyo Jungle or the various Pixel Junk games.

      • Stiletto says:

        They still have to get people to play such games. But sure, I guess I was harsh on the console audience.

        • thekeats1999 says:

          Oh, I agree with you, I do believe this is going to be a harder sell on the PS4 than on the PC. But Sony has been building a lot of support with the indie crowd.

          • Stiletto says:

            You’re right. They’ve been supporting these type of games for awhile now. Which is a good thing in my books.

            Hopefuly, it will sell fairly well in the console market and maybe at some point in the future they’ll decide to make some sort of typical shoddy port to the PC. So that we get to play it.

  9. thekeats1999 says:

    I am disappointed in this decision, but can understand the reasoning. Unfortunately this means I will never get a chance to play this.

    I cancelled my pre-order the PS4, I have a backlog of PC games, 3DS games, Vita games and PS3 games. By the time I get to a point where I will even consider getting a PS4 a year or two down the line this will be a distant memory.

    I will be supporting there Amnesia sequel though, and hopefully that will show that there is still a market for them on the PC.

  10. terry says:

    While I appreciate the economics involved, I can’t help but be disappointed to hear this. I’m surprised that Frictional wouldn’t want to be involved, given their penchant for pushing forward narrative games.

    • Illessa says:

      Given Chinese Room didn’t think Kickstarter/Early Access would get them the funds they needed, I doubt Frictional would be able to put up the cash – those guys are pretty upfront about their income and whilst it certainly doesn’t sound like they’re living hand to mouth or anything, they don’t seem like they’re rolling in it either, and they have their own studio to run. Machine For Pigs is probably a much smaller project, at least in the financial sense.

  11. Wut The Melon says:

    Disappointing, but fair enough. It’d be nice to see an eventual PC port – I imagine porting to PC should be easier this generation, right? Unless Sony are dicks and want to keep the exclusive…

    Ah well, I can dream, can’t I?

    • maximiZe says:

      It’ll be ported together with Journey and the Uncharted trilogy, bundled into the “Yellow Box”.

  12. maximiZe says:

    Can’t really blame any of the involved parties, I’m just angered and a tiny bit baffled that a system as anti-consumer as forced (i.e. moneyhatted) platform exclusivity is still in place in this industry and constantly lauded by major parts of the audience – with the platforms in question being similar like never before.

  13. Paul says:

    And this is why I hate consoles. Nothing sucks more than artificial exclusivity to keep games on closed platforms where they die without getting preserved. PC is the only lasting platform, whereas consoles come and go, and games with them.
    Even as I hate them though, I did get PS3 for those few Naughty Dog games plus some RDR and the like. Would much rather play all that on my PC of course, in better quality to boot.

    • Dr I am a Doctor says:

      literally loling irl at “PC is the only lasting platform”

      • VelvetFistIronGlove says:

        On which other platform can play — without emulation — a game released yesterday and a game released 15 years ago?

        Add emulation into the mix and the comparison only becomes stronger.

        • LionsPhil says:

          Fifteen years is actually a bit of an awkward period, since that’ll put you in the late ’90s of DOS-flavoured Windows 9Xes and the need for early 3D accellerators, sat uncomfortably between the green pastures of DOSBox and it’s 486 with a Sound Blaster, and virtualized WinXP with passthrough 3D in VirtualBox (or your other VM of choice).

          That particular era is kind of a massive pain because we’ve moved on enough for things to not entirely work any more, but not far enough that people have managed the monumental efforts of emulating it properly. (Nobody’s yet even come forward to knuckle down and write 3D virtualization drivers for 9X, AFAIK…since all the tools and documentation are falling off the ‘web, and it likely requires a certain bulk of experience which will be also shrinking as people move on with their lives [or worse], that window is closing.)

        • lordcooper says:


          I’ve recently replayed FFVII on mine, it came out in 1997.

          • aepervius says:

            Lordcooper only because Sony/PS republished it. How many of the games , the lesser sold, be they good and bad are still available ? How many can you still use without the specific hardware ? And when no replacement hardware come up ? Heck I cannot even boot up FF12 without using a PS2. valkyria Chronicle is only on PS3.

          • lordcooper says:

            Nope, using the original discs. I purchased them on ebay two or three years ago.

            It’s also pretty damn easy to grab a PS1/2 emulator, and there are websites dedicated to archiving and sharing games for almost any console. I’ve never had to search for more than five minutes to find any particular PS1/2, Gameboy or SNES game.

          • malkav11 says:

            Emulators means you’re playing the game on the PC. Yes, console-based emulators exist, but you have to mod/hack those consoles for that to work and that’s not at all the same thing as simply having a multi-decade spectrum of gaming at your fingertips as part of the natural function of the platform.

        • fish99 says:

          You can just keep your old consoles to play old console games. I still have a Jag, Dreamcast, N64, Gamecube etc.

          Interestingly the 360 and PS3 will be the first consoles where you won’t be able to play all games in the future, as surely the servers will get switched off at some point, which means you won’t be able to download digital games like Journey, or get patches for your dvd-based games.

          • lordcooper says:

            To be fair, hardware doesn’t last forever. Unless it’s made by Nintendo, I guess.

          • LionsPhil says:

            You can say exactly the same for PC, though: my old Win98 laptop still works, and GFWL is being turned off so some games will die.

        • Dr I am a Doctor says:

          This is like saying that eyes are the only lasting media because the paper can burn or rot, while eyes are forever.

    • elsewhere says:

      this is kind of awkward…

      a good number of PSX/PS2 games are available on the PSN for PS3 and PS Vita gamers

      PC games don’t last forever. try playing something 15 years old on a modern PC in windows 7 that hasn’t had a or steam rerelease. hell, playing thief can be a hassle even with its bundled bunch of hacks.

      nothing lasts forever, enjoy it while you can

      • ChrisGWaine says:

        There was a game I wanted to play from 2004 that wouldn’t install because 16-bit support has been dropped from WIndows. I ended up playing the PS2 port of it in an emulator…

      • fish99 says:

        Thief, Thief 2 and SS2 are 100% working now thanks to a patch last year which converted them to DX9. You’ll find it on TTLG. I don’t know if the Steam/GOG versions use that patch though.

      • Baines says:

        Don’t forget the games that required online servers, that are either no longer playable or at least no longer playable in their original form. MMOs and some browser games are a prime example. Games like Sim City will see that fate. GFWL games will meet it next year.

        Or the games that just cannot be found any more. Some old downloadable games may simply be gone at this point. I know that there are mods and freeware titles that aren’t to be found, their original hosting sites having gone under years ago.

  14. Never Relax Around Japs says:

    Oh well, another dev to boycott.

    • Eddiestrike says:

      Exclusives are keeping gaming in the dark ages.

    • haydndavid91 says:

      Oh come on, that’s just dramatic.

      • Never Relax Around Japs says:

        Dramatic? I’d call it rational. Consumers vote with their wallet and not buying this game is a great way to show developers we’re not OK with shit like this.

        • haydndavid91 says:

          How is it the developers fault that they needed a large sum of money which they could only find through a publisher? Sony was willing to give them the money, thus making it an exclusive.

          And before you say “kickstart it” , ask Double Fine how that’s going. Made 3 million and ended up needing MORE.

          • Never Relax Around Japs says:

            I wouldn’t dismiss Kickstarter, actually. Double Fine is a bad example because Tim Schafer has always been kinda bad at managing time/money/resources (Brutal Legend as the biggest example)

          • Premium User Badge

            Matchstick says:

            I can’t help feeling that Double Fine caused their own problems.

            The fact that your kickstarter raises more money than you were aiming for doesn’t mean you have to expand the scope of your game and an experienced development team should know better that to give in to feature creep like that.

        • haydndavid91 says:

          I have about 60 exclusive games on steam, and not once have I thought “i’m boycotting this developer because these games aren’t on consoles”

          • maximiZe says:

            Not a single one of these games has been money hatted into exclusivity by the platform manufacturer (hint hint: there is none).

          • fish99 says:

            None of those are forced exclusives.

    • Dr I am a Doctor says:


    • 7rigger says:

      If you’re going to hate someone, don’t hate the developer for just trying to do what they love as best they can. Hate the publishing model that throws millions at brown manshoots instead.

      • MuscleHorse says:

        This. I must say I’m quite disappointed in all the immaturity in the comments. I thought the RPS readers were better than this.

        • Prime says:

          There does seem to be a lot of raging children here today, it’s true.

      • Sharlie Shaplin says:

        Hate is too strong an emotion for me to feel about this, but I do dislike exclusivity deals. Hopefully it’s a limited time exclusivity deal, not a permanent one.

    • LennyLeonardo says:

      Um, is anyone else having a hard time with this guy’s username? I know I am.

      • Llewyn says:

        Yeah, not just you.

        • LennyLeonardo says:

          Ok, good. How do you flag something like this to the Shotguns?

          • Llewyn says:

            I can’t actually remember. There’s a mailto link for Jim at the bottom but I can’t remember whether this is the method he’d prefer us to use or prefer us not to use :-/

      • bigblack says:

        Um, ‘7’ is a common h4x0r ascii replacement for the letter ‘T’.
        The name reads as “Trigger”, to me at least.
        I think you left your vigilance on the hyper setting.

        • Shaz says:

          The comment has nothing to do with 7rigger, and wasn’t a reply to 7rigger. It was directed at the same person 7rigger was replying TO, whose login name is quite a blatant issue.

  15. HermitUK says:

    I’d point out that this isn’t a case of never ever: link to

    All it means is they’re working on and releasing the PS4 version before considering porting it (and presumably there’s some timed exclusivity with Sony as well).

    • Rustymonk says:

      Oh, well that settles that then. Non-story.

      Announcement still poorly handled.

    • clumsyandshy says:

      Well spotted!

      A bit confusing but still positive.

    • Ross Angus says:

      [crosses fingers]

    • HisMastersVoice says:

      Sounds more like damage control than anything else. Sony is known to buy out permanent exclusivity rights, and TCR have a game on pre-order right now.

    • Frank says:

      Jeez. Another team of devs just asking for our hate for no reason. Reminds me of Haunted Temple/17-BIT.

  16. Isair says:

    On the plus side, that’s hopefully one less ‘not a game’ discussion to endure.

    • Rublore says:

      But is it not ‘not a game’? Or is it maybe half a game? And is it half not a game and half more than a game? And why is everything purple? And whose house is this? What is going on!?

  17. Rustymonk says:

    I still suspect this is a timed exclusive. If this is completely exclusive like the deal ThatGameCompany had, which would be indicated by working with Sony Santa Monica, then this seems a bit short sighted honestly. I’m not disappointed for myself, I will get it whenever I get a PS4, but for them in their financial and IP freedom.

    This may have been brewing for a long time, when the viability of PC might not have been quite as clear, and perhaps they just wanted to work with a studio like Sony Santa Monica, so, well then, fair enough. Also, whoever announced it without making the platform clear needs a slap, really bad move.

    • Illessa says:

      I don’t think Sony necessarily take IP rights – Santa Monica also published the PixelJunk games, one of which was self-published by the studio on Steam last year, and another is coming in a few days, so I’m betting on a four or five year publishing exclusivity deal.

      Obviously that’s not surefire evidence, but given how predatory the practice of claiming the IP of independent studios is, and the glowing praise I’ve heard about how accommodating Santa Monica are with the riskier indies, I’d be surprised.

  18. Yachmenev says:

    I don’t need to boycott them, or hate them. I’m 95% PC gamer, but I can still understand them.

    I just wonder, was this the intention of the indie game fund?

    To fund a game that becomes a much bigger success then expected, making a lot of money of the devs. But with the result that they still don’t think that’s enough for them to continue, and leading them to sign an exclusivity deal with a console maker.

  19. bambusek says:

    Can’t help but feel that all this indie devs that are now all over PS4 will come back one day whimpering and with tails between they legs. Sony may promise a golden mountains now, but it is up to console audience to deliver them. And console players aren’t buying indie games like crazy right now, don’t see a reason why they will start ones PS4 comes out.

    ” And without sounding like a bought man, the PS4 is genuinely a really, really cool platform, and if people have never bought into console gaming before, this is the time.”

    Heard the same about virtually every platform at least once. Every time someone makes an exclusive games he say this. Was a console gamer twice, have a PSP right now – console gaming is just not for me, getting bored by console games really quickly. And on PC? Probably could live the rest of life on strategic games only – Total War, EU series are for years. Just like space sandboxes like X series. And there are still all this classics waiting on GOG to take…

    • Pippy says:

      Without sounding sarcastic it’s amazing how he managed to say that without sounding like a bought man.

      • rei says:

        Without sounding like I disagree it’s amazing how you managed to say that he managed to say that without sounding like a bought man without sounding sarcastic.

  20. DrScuttles says:

    Disappointing, and platform exclusives serve only to dick with the consumer. While I understand the reason for their existence (sweet, sweet publisher money and if I were a dev, I’d probably jump straight at it because my principles are fast and loose), in Great Gaming Utopia of Scuttles, all games would be released on all contemporary platforms. Mario on PC, Civ V on Xbox, mass hysteria.
    But best of luck to thechineseroom.

  21. Capt. Raven says:

    To my knowledge, “indie” is short for independent? How is exclusivity demanded by a large corporation independent?

    • elsewhere says:

      it’s been used to describe small-scale creative projects for about 10 years now

    • LionsPhil says:

      It isn’t. This is a project with external non-audience funding and influence, ergo it is not indie. Anyone calling it indie is wrong.

      • Acorino says:

        thechineseroom may not be indie anymore, but their creative autonomy should remain preserved nonetheless.

  22. Stuart Walton says:

    Could be worse. It could be an Xbox One exclusive. A console I have no intention of buying, and I say that as a 360 owner. If I do buy a new console, it’ll be a PS4, and I say that as a non-PS3 owner.

    • Frank says:

      It seems that MS treats indies worse/ends up earning them less, but the games are more likely to come to PC eventually.

    • HadToLogin says:

      Actually, MS exclusives are much better for PC gamers than Sony – there’s much more games with MS tag over them on Steam than Sony…

  23. rocketman71 says:

    “Dear Esther fans were very much in our thoughts, but enough of us are multi-platform gamers to make this work for us,”

    Translation: hey, rejoice, we are not saying FUCK YOU to every single one of you!.

    Really disappointing. I can understand their reasoning, but also, like Epic, I can despise them for turning their back on those that helped them become what they are.

  24. Premium User Badge

    Bluerps says:

    Oh well. It’s a shame, but there are other great games to play, aren’t there?

  25. sonofsanta says:

    Boo, hiss, and above all, sob. I loved Dear Esther and was really, really looking forward to this one. If it is only a timed exclusive and it’s only a matter of economics, I really hope they look at the support they’ve had and realise it’ll be well worth the effort. Particularly with the PS4 being x86, now, I wouldn’t have thought porting would be a massive challenge…

    Which also leads me onto “if people have never bought into console gaming before, this is the time” – I’d argue this is the most pointless console generation to buy into, as far as I can tell from this point in time, because it is so closely related to PC gaming now. Apart from paid-for exclusives I’d be surprised if we don’t get the majority of the games released on console now.

  26. dethtoll says:

    Allow me to be the odd man out and potentially out myself as The Great Enemy by saying “good” — I find TCR’s extant works to be embarassingly overwrought messes of bad poetry (Dear Esther), melodrama (Dear Esther, Korsakovia), and very, very poor design decisions (Korsakovia.) I know people who loved the first Amnesia to unhealthy levels who plan on giving the new one a miss precisely because of who’s developing it. (I personally don’t have to feel bad about skipping — I hated the original Amnesia like poison and don’t approve of Frictional’s slavish aping of everyone’s favourite xenophobe pulp writer, and as such A Machine For Pigs is a double auto-skip for me.)

    By relegating this game to the depths of PS4’s PSN store, out of the reach of most gamers for at least a couple years (and as an added bonus, losing the sales/raising the ire of a few butthurt PC-gaming-master-race neckbeards with major entitlement issues) it’ll kill any impact the game might have, hopefully dampen TCR’s cultural momentum as an “intellectual” indie darling, and, God, Thergothon and Darkseid willing, the lack of sales will contribute to putting this klatch of boring British hipsters out of fucking business so they can go back to TAing at their nearest underfunded college.

    • maximiZe says:

      You sound really fun to be around.

      • dethtoll says:

        “I’m the life of the party (Every time I show up) I’m the life of the party (Every time I blow up)”

      • jonahcutter says:

        I always appreciate a good rant, whether I agree with it or not. And generally find the ranter can be an interesting person to hang around with, even if just for a bit.

        You know what doesn’t sound like fun? Everyone sitting around politely agreeing with each other.

        • KingFunk says:

          Um, if I was at a party, I’d not be talking to that guy.

          The only chicks he’s gonna get with that attitude are the mopey, self-obsessed, everything sucks kind.

    • LennyLeonardo says:

      “Embarassingly overwrought”, indeed.

    • InternetBatman says:

      I agree with the sentiment if not the entire post. If only the Limbo devs would follow them.

    • nuttycomic says:

      Sounds like Dethtoll from TTLG. Don’t worry everyone, he’s always been like this.

    • fitzroy_doll says:

      In discussions at the time, TCR admitted that Korsakovia “pushed the non-game aspect too hard”

    • Grape Flavor says:

      Xenophobe? Wulf, is that you? That guy managed to work the word into practically every post, it was amazing.

      Then again I don’t know who he’s referring to so maybe it’s spot on.

      • dethtoll says:

        HP Lovecraft was notoriously racist, especially in his early works.

        • Acorino says:

          Is Amnesia racist, too? If not, what’s the problem then?

          • dethtoll says:

            Racism isn’t Amnesia’s problem, no (I was only mentioning it because it’s kind of a defining feature of Lovecraft’s personality.)

            The problem with Amnesia is the problem Frictional has with all their games as well as games like Eternal Darkness. There’s a million different ways to do a cosmic horror story. Everything from Warhammer 40k to Mass Effect to Neon Genesis Evangelion to Final Fantasy 7 (or 9) to like, friggin’ Aztec mythology. Hewing so close to Lovecraft that it’s like something he wrote (Penumbra is pretty much At the Mountains of Madness: The Game, and Amnesia draws quite a bit from “The Shadow Out of Time” and “The Outsider”) when the possibilities are practically endless is inexcusable and it’s lazy. And let’s be honest, Lovecraft really wasn’t that great of a writer.

  27. HisMastersVoice says:

    Devs will never learn.

    On a slightly related note, fuck platform exclusivity and fuck consoles.

    Yeah, all better now.

  28. faelnor says:

    I don’t feel very concerned by this, considering The Chinese Room still have to prove they can make a game by themselves. Dear Esther (the mod) and Korsakovia had interesting ideas but showed in many ways that Pinchbeck still had a lot to learn about game making. Dear Esther (the game) was almost a one-man tour de force by Robert Briscoe, who doesn’t work at TCR.

    Let’s see how A Machine for Pigs turns out first before being annoyed by such exclusivity deals, eh?

    • HisMastersVoice says:

      The thing that really gets me in situations like this is how insincere the devs can be about their relationship with the audience. They tend to create the illusion of familiarity and close knit community because it drives brand attachment and sales. Lots of back patting, some tears of joy when a small project becomes a hit, stuff like that. But when push comes to shove, the hard reality of money comes to the fore. It was always there, pulling all the levers and turning all the wheels, just coated with some PR bullshit.

      And that’s fine. Money is important. You can’t live on good will, at least not for long. But be honest about it. No one in their right mind will blame you for making a living.

      • Marijn says:

        Well, that’s the thing with artists: everything else has to take a backseat to doing as much justice to the artistic vision as possible. We saw it with Tim Schafer and Broken Age, and we’re seeing it now: choosing between compromising your vision and having to leave a part of your original audience behind isn’t much of a choice, really. And that’s a good thing: better that the game becomes absolutely stunning as a PS4 exclusive than mediocre as a platform-agnostic game.
        Plus I really don’t think genuine gratefulness to your existing audience and being pragmatic about your business decisions are mutually exclusive.

        • HisMastersVoice says:

          Can we please leave the art out if this? No one creates art by default. Art is what happens between the creation and audience.

          And no, you can’t be genuinely grateful to someone while at the same time telling them “well, sucks to be you, we’ve got a better deal elsewhere”.

          • Marijn says:

            Well you can, if you have the completely reasonable view that you’re not actually betraying anybody by making one game for another platform. And I only mentioned artists, and the way a lot of them think. You brought up art (and by the way, I completely agree with your definition).

  29. Fenix says:

    “but enough of us are multi-platform gamers to make this work for us.”

    I really wish he didn’t say this. I respect their choice (it’s their own game after all), but that sentence was completely unnecessary and icky.

    • Acorino says:

      yeah. I don’t multi-platform for economic reasons. Too expensive.

    • KingFunk says:

      But he just meant that there are quite of lot of folk who have a console AND a gaming rig, so they figured it wouldn’t hurt sales too badly.

      And the console next to his PC is that shiny new PS4 which he bought with the cheque from Sony.

  30. Kodaemon says:

    Boycotting Machine for Pigs hard.

  31. tellrov says:

    As long as it’s not a video game I don’t see what the big deal is.

    • UncleLou says:

      Oooooooh. This is one of them cleverly set up internet traps, isn’t it?

  32. TightByte says:

    “And without sounding like a bought man, the PS4 is genuinely a really, really cool platform, and if people have never bought into console gaming before, this is the time.”

    Except, you sound completely like a bought man, because Sony has sunk tremendous effort throughout the lifespan of the PS3 in order to ensure its customers felt like a particularly smelly kind of cattle starting from the moment they’d successfully been separated from their cash. The only reason the PS4 MIGHT seems slightly less like an unmistakable middle finger to the face is that Microsoft found a way to be even more hostile to their customers by comparison.

    There’s still no reason to buy into console gaming and like the man in black said, the only people who say otherwise are selling something. SOMETHING WITH A SONY LOGO ON IT.

    As an afterthought, I won’t be buying anything from thechineseroom. I’ve got loads of disposable income, but I can think of no better way to spend it while shopping for satisfaction than to not purchase their games. Fancy that; a product that provides fulfillment in dividends for every unit of time you don’t have it. Kind of like herpes.

  33. trjp says:

    What did all these children do before the Internet came along and gave them somewhere to vent their baseless, over-entitled rage about something which is nothing to do with them whatsoever?

    OK – the article is baiting people, it’s tone even encourages such behaviour which is disappointingly unjournalistic but still – put the rattles down please…

  34. Velko says:

    “All eggs thrown into singular basket, Sony Santa Monica contacted, everybody likes each other, lots of love for the project. Long dark night of the soul mulling over implications of shifting across to console. Mix of pragmatism and excitement about the possibilities win out.”

    You are now reading this in Mordin Solus’s voice.

  35. Aberaham says:

    One less “game” sans gameplay. Good riddance.

  36. kikito says:

    I don’t think I’m entitled to play this game in my medium. But I hope it goes badly nevertheless, but not out of spite: I simply don’t want exclusives to thrive, in general.

  37. Jools says:

    I hope this is a complete failure.

    Which is a very rude thing to say and I feel bad about feeling that way, but it has nothing to do with “entitlement.” Platform exclusivity as a business practice needs to go away. I’d feel the same way about a bizarro universe where Microsoft used Games for Windows Live or Valve used Steam as a platform for PC exclusivity.

    The bottom line is that there are no longer compelling technical reasons for games to be exclusive to any given platform. It’s possible someone might make a PC game so technically demanding that consoles can’t deal, but even that seems incredibly unlikely. Exclusivity’s only purpose is to create differentiation in a market where no actual differentiation exists. It’s a shady, consumer-unfriendly practice and it needs to die. The best way for that to happen, other than Sony and Microsoft suddenly deciding that consumers actually matter, is for developers who tether themselves to exclusivity deals to fail.

    It’s shitty all around, and it’s especially shitty because I’ve got nothing against thechineseroom for making what clearly seems like a good business decision. Still, I probably won’t be buying anything from them anymore, and I certainly won’t be buying a PS4 for this. Exclusivity is just feeling more and more obviously like an attempt to strongarm consumers, and I don’t really want any part of it.

    • tellrov says:

      Am I the only one that doesn’t see the problem with exclusivity? Especially on a site for PC games, you’d expect everyone to embrace it because the biggest reason for games being toned down or not reaching their full potential is console limitations. Even among consoles themselves, think about the PS1/PS2/Xbox/N64 era; a lot of exclusives for every platform in what’s considered to be the golden age of gaming. You might need to get more than one platform but so what? Shooters/strategy games for PC, platforming/fighting games on consoles. No hassle with ports or limitations.

      • Jools says:

        The problem is that there’s no reason why shooters/strategy games should be exclusive to the PC. There’s no reason fighting games should be exclusive to consoles. PCs can be hooked up to TVs and they can have controllers plugged in. There’s no reason consoles can’t be designed to support the keyboard and mouse.

        There is effectively no longer any differentiation between platforms. The one exception, and I hesitate to even mention it, is the PC’s ability to remain on the cutting edge technologically. That’s kind of a moot point, though, because very few developers are ever going to target people on the bleeding edge. Exclusivity is a way for Sony/Microsoft/Nintendo to get people who have already invested in one system to spend $400+ on a different system. That’s it. It’s shit.

        Edit- Just as a random point, my absolute favorite kart racing experience lately has been playing Sonic & All-Stars Racing Transformed on my PC. I’ve been playing kart racers – a traditionally console centric genre – since Super Mario Kart on the SNES, and this is my favorite one. I play with a 360 controller, but I’d have never even touched if it was a console exclusive since I no longer own any consoles.

        • Sparkasaurusmex says:

          You are right but the problem remains the OS and the corporations that control the consoles.
          Imagine if PS5, Xbox 2, and PC all run Linux or something. Games don’t have to be released for any hardware, simply for linux, windows, whatever… and we can just dual boot OSes!

      • harbinger says:

        There is plenty of reasons to not have a game on every console, from server infrastructure that was largely a hindrance for MMOs in the last generation, to the inherent hardware restrictions that come with the old hardware, to UI and control restrictions that make things like MMOs, strategy games or Point&Blick Adventures largely unplayable since the console companies that be largely only support Controllers.

        There is no other reason to not have a game on the PC, especially one that is expected to sell other than “big corporate entity paid money to make it that way. No matter how the developers might try to explain or whitewash that fact, the final point in the matter is that they sold out.
        As far as I know there is no entity that demands a game be PC exclusive and paying developers to that end. The only ones that might even have an interest in that are hardware manufacturers like Nvidia or Intel.

        This kind of practice has nearly put PC gaming in the dark ages once before, I’m not sure why people apparently don’t remember this anymore but Microsoft for instance actively stopped internal companies like Ensemble, Aces, FASA from making PC games not long after their console toy came out because they didn’t want people playing on PCs anymore.
        They also ended up buying up other studios like Bungie, Lionhead, Digital Anvil (including some other console devs like Rare) to have games “exclusively” for their platform.

        And then they also went off to pay third parties like Epic, Remedy, BioWare, Double Fine etc. for even more exclusivity solely for their platform. It’s a business practice that stems only from these big multinationals waving wads of cash in front of developers eyes till they give in: link to

        I am not going to dignify this kind of move with any of my money, or my respect and people who do are frankly short-sighted. I might understand it, but I don’t have to like it and I certainly don’t wish them “success”.

        • petran79 says:

          the irony is that all those companies had their most creative years on computers, even in pre-Windows era. Moving to consoles often resulted in loss of freedom and creativity. This happened also with Japanese computer gaming in the 90s. Eg compare the late 80s Kojima to the one now.

          Of course both computers and consoles (arcades are no more) play a crucial role in gaming, but computer games have been far more creative and daring than console games, that were plagued by censorship for years. While console games generate more cash, which is good both for sales and technology.

          Plus I doubt if anyone can label themselves indie, when their finances are managed by someone else….

          Other developers put even their houses on mortgage.

          • harbinger says:

            Yes, that is right. Most of those companies fate changed for the worse.
            Ensemble Studios was disbanded after Halo Wars didn’t turn out well. FASA was closed after Mechassault 2 and Shadowrun weren’t as profitable as needed. Aces was closed in 2009.
            Lionhead became a Fable conveyor-belt producing machine instead of producing titles like Black & White and The Movies until Molyneux left and founded yet another studio.
            Digital Anvil around Chris Roberts & Co. was closed in 2006.

            Remedy pushed their luck somewhat too far with the assumption that Alan Wake will be a console seller and similarly successful as Max Payne in their previous efforts, they released a PC port to make some additional money and are working on another Exclusive as if they haven’t learned anything.

            Bungie had tremendous success as a flagship-franchise maker, but they ultimately bought their freedom to end up under Activision.

            Epic has been largely successful until late with their Gears of War franchise and Unreal Engine licensing, although they were saying that they can’t bet their entire company on single titles for much longer when they announced Fortnite, a year later the Chinese gaming company Tencent Holdings bought 40% of Epic Games, most of the key figures (Cliff Bleszinski, Mike Capps) left and Impossible Studios which they had just opened, closed.

            Double Fine recognized the error of their ways and made some money with a lot of PC ports, although their future is up in the stars.

            BioWare got bought up by EA before Microsoft could grab them, hard to ponder if they’d have done better otherwise, but it’s hard to believe that there would even have been a port of the first Mass Effect, let alone the sequel(s) if Microsoft grabbed them.

            That is the ultimate fate of short-term exclusivity/profit thinking and not taking a long-term approach (although Sony does have a better track record than Microsoft). Unfortunately that often won’t become clear to a young studio head that is promised heaven until it is ultimately too late and they’ve been used and discarded for 1-2 Exclusive titles to sell consoles in the machinations of proprietary control.
            On the other hand, maybe quick fast money might be their goal since Peter Molyneux for instance went through this twice, first by selling Bullfrog off to EA, then by selling Lionhead to Microsoft and now he’s trying to build up his third studio.

            I can’t say I hope thechineseroom fare better if they decide to take this path thinking that this time it’ll be different.

      • MusicforMovies says:

        Understand from a funding aspect, but I really hope this makes it to the PC: some of us don’t own console for various reasons. My own person reason is I hate the game pad period. I’m not sure why a keyboard and mouse seems less immersion breaking, but it does – certainly less clunky. Not to mention the price tag aspect. I can spend a good $500 and get a multi-tasking unit – PC – that does work and games, or blow $500 on something that only does games, forces the use of a clunky controller, and limited gaming options (i.e. reduction of options in an RPG).

        I don’t mind a multi-platform game, but I do get upset when great PC titles have been reduced in their potential due to the limitations of consoles – Elder Scrolls I’m looking at you (though it has slowly gotten better): about the only console port to PC that caught my interest was L.A. Noire which I enjoyed.

    • HamsterExAstris says:

      “Bizarro universe”? Umm, I hope that you were just being ironic, since that sounds like the one we live in now. (Unless there’s some magic way to run Steamworks games without using Steam that I’m not aware of?)

  38. harbinger says:

    Can someone also pester the guy about Oculus Rift implementation in Dear Esther, please?

  39. P-Dazzle says:

    According to Sony it only takes 2-4 months to port a PC game to the PS4 and vice versa. This was one of the plus sides of the next gen consoles.
    Instead of lying, why don’t they just say it how it really is – “Sony are paying us money to make it a PS4 exclusive”.

    • scim says:

      I have to stop you right there. Sony isn’t forcing anyone to do anything unless they accept that contract. From all the indie devs and games they’re signing to be console exclusive to their devices almost none have a contract that prohibits them to release on other platforms that are not Nintendo/Xbox. Vlambeer is still putting their stuff on iOS and PC. Devolver Digital is also still releasing on PC. I’m fairly sure The Witness is also still releasing on PC etc. If there is any form of contractual exclusivity it is because the dev involved accepted those terms.

      Hell Sony is doing the whole drugdealer spiel by sending out dev kits to any indie dev that wants them. But I’ve yet to see one actually getting into bed with them and being forced to give up their soul. This one would be the first of this generation and from what I hear from the other devs about Sony it’s wouldn’t be “forced”.

  40. Totally heterosexual says:

    Exclusivity sucks. Hoping best for the devs despite this.

  41. Creeping Death says:

    I don’t understand the rationale of a lot of people here. Clearly your anger at this deal shows you care a lot about TCR’s work… so you hope this one sells absolutely terrible, possibly resulting in crushing the enthusiasm of the studio or layoffs? Right, real loyalty there guys.

    I will be curious to see how the game sells on PS4 though. I expect it’ll depend on just how much of a spotlight will be on indie games. I’ve not used a PS3 but I know that from the 360 Dashboard it is incredibly rare that you’ll see mention of any particular indie games (especially outside of the blockbusters like Fez, or Super Meat Boy). Even when you dig down into the indie category in the store, if it isn’t a new release it very quickly gets buried in the piles of crap on there.

    Very best of luck to them. I’m looking forward to A Machine For Pigs in a few weeks.

    • DatonKallandor says:

      Why should we have any loyalty to them if they clearly don’t have any loyalty to us?
      They fucked us. There is absolutely no reason not to wish them a fucking in return.

    • Hauskamies says:

      Yes, we care for TCR’s work. But how can we care about it anymore if we can’t play their games? I’m not one to yell bloody boycott or wishing them to crash and burn(I will be bying AAMFP) but if they did crash and burn, it would be a warning to other indie devs not go exclusive. One studio for the sake of all the indie industry? I’d make that sacrifice.

    • CSM says:

      Why would we care if the developer isn’t going to release for PC anyway? The best we can hope for is that this project fails so other developers don’t get the same idea.

  42. Turkey says:

    Half of Sony’s Gamescom conference was just a guy going down a list of indie dev names and what games they’re making for their consoles, so expect a lot more of this in the future.

  43. Oktober Storm says:

    What the fuck!?

  44. RProxyOnly says:

    So how much were they paid to make it PS4 exclusive?

    The company is now on my ignore list…Pretty underhanded, get the PC users to do their advertising, to be their hype machine, then pull the blanket out from under them for the benefit of a different market.

    No, I don’t believe their ‘excuses’. Of course it could just be a precursor to sticking their hand out for more funding, yuck.

  45. DrGonzo says:

    I’m devastated,my heart is broken. I loved Dear Esther, and before that I played your mods, read your blogs, I even came to your lectures, and you were an inspiration for me in level design at uni. Call me entitled, call me a raging child, but I was a loyal customer and you just turned your back on me, so I will do the same with a tear welling up inside.

  46. Sparkasaurusmex says:

    There was a word that my group of friends over used in the 90’s to describe a band that put out an album for a niche audience, then followed it up with a radio-friendly album for mainstream audiences. That word seems appropriate to describe Thechineseroom now: Sellouts.

  47. mbr says:

    Sony jail has got itself yet another inmate.

  48. The_Great_Skratsby says:

    Fan of Pinchbeck’s academic stuff; papers, Phd and his mods, bought Dear Esther too, but ugh.

    They can hop in bed with Sony if they want but that’s an absolute shame as far as I’m concerned.

  49. Scumbag says:

    Company don’t release a product on platform of choice = Worst! Company! EVA!