Reckoning: 38 clarifies online pass, sorry for “buggy” demo

Saturday, 28 January 2012 14:08 GMT By Stephany Nunneley

38 Studios has clarified details regarding what the online pass included with Kingdoms of Amalur: Reckoning entails, and as it turns out, it’s actually DLC new buyers get for free before it’s released as paid content.

Newcomers get the DLC free

According to a statement handed to Joystiq (via Ripten), the House of Valor questline isn’t locking anyone out, but “created as stand-alone content, and was always intended to be the first DLC.”

“Instead of holding onto it and charging for it later, we opted to give it to everyone who purchases the game new, for free, on launch day,” read the statement.

EA responded to the hoopla as well, stating it will be available to all new purchasers whether through retail or the digital versions purchasable through Steam and Origin.

The fact that it is being called an “online pass” instead of “bonus DLC” for new adopters, well, it’s no wonder so many were a tad upset over the situation, especially considering how online pass is a hot button issue with gamers at the moment. But, all is well in Amalur for now, it seems.

Schilling takes to GAF to apologize for demo

38 Studios founder Curt Schilling took to NeoGAF (via Ripten) to apologize to those who found the demo for Kingdoms of Amalur: Reckoning a bit “buggy,” promising the forum’s users the sampling was not “representative of the final code or product.”

“Let me start by apologizing, he said. “The demo? Ya, it is way way wayyyyy more buggy than anything ANYONE should ever release, much less a demo.

“A demo is supposed to be a demonstration of the game. In some ways, for you without buggy demos, it sort of is, but it’s just impossible to convey the depth of breadth of a game that has anywhere from 40-50 hours (main quest line play) to 2-300 hours (for completionist) in it at launch.

“That was exactly why we argued EA in favor of not having the demo. It’s also exactly why I was wrong, and EA was right. Yes there are people that were on the fence who now will not buy it, there were people who weren’t buying it anyway, who still aren’t, but the massive awareness and the insane amount of ‘had no idea about this game, now it’s a day one buy” and “was on the fence but am now sold” posts mean EA hit this one perfectly in intent.”

Schilling said from an awareness prospective, the demo had been a “God send”, but he is also aware that “shipping old code out three months prior to gold master” can be problematic.

“I am sure they made the best demo they could but as a studio packed to the gills with gamers, we refuse to believe code has to be unplayably buggy at launch, it doesn’t,” he said. “So to those that have had a horrid demo experience, I’m sorry, it’s on us, our name is the name on the box we care about.

“That is not going to change your demo experience, that is likely not going to make you buy it if you decided against it, but you spent your time (which is every bit as valuable to us as your money) playing something we made, and we owe you that much. It’s why, even though it’s painful, reading the good with the bad is essential. If you don’t listen to players you stop making games players want to play, and that sucks.”

In the end, Schilling said, “quality trumps all” and even after releasing what some users felt was a less than stellar demo, he promised that when the studio is in 100% control of the work, “we will set a bar that will be insanely challenging to meet, and continue meeting it as long as we’re around.”

Reckoning is out early next month on PC, PS3, and Xbox 360.

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