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

Saturday, 28th 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.



  1. OrbitMonkey

    Well he could of said “compared to Skyrim, our demo is fucking golden!” ;-)

    Going to have to put some time into it… Am feeling a bit worn out on the whole fantasy RPG at the min, but this has had some good word of mouth, even Tycho from Penny Arcade had positive views…

    #1 3 years ago
  2. DSB

    I went from “on the fence” to “probably not” playing the demo. I like the idea, but the world seems completely empty save for things to bash, and I can get that already in World of Warcraft or one of the clones. Actually they probably do a better job of it than Amalur.

    The Darkness 2 demo had the opposite effect. The only thing keeping me from a preorder is the sneaking suspicion that the entire game is exactly like the demo, with little variety in enemies and setting.

    @1 Man, I love it when someone important agrees with me. Tycho of course, not you.

    Except I consider used game sales karmic retribution for high prices and dubious quality.

    #2 3 years ago
  3. LOLshock94

    you better be sorry you little fuck nugget

    #3 3 years ago
  4. Phoenixblight


    Well if the original Darkness is anything to go by it shouldn’t be that even with a low budget the devs were able to have you change settings though the enemy variety only changed in one part. I probably will be waiting until Darkness 2 is 30$ on Steam. I prefer the PC controls vs. the console counterpart. The aiming is still really loose on the console.

    Its funny you mention WOW, when I saw the “elves” I totally thought Night elves because they have huge forearms and calves.

    #4 3 years ago
  5. Edo

    “was isn’t”?

    #5 3 years ago
  6. Stephany Nunneley

    @5 It’s called a brain fart and it’s fixed.

    #6 3 years ago
  7. TheWulf


    But that’s exactly what they have been doing and it’s why I’m so annoyed at the company in general. They haven’t been able to tell me, thus far, why their game is great without putting down other games. Some developers can do this and I’ll buy into their dream.

    These fellows however have mostly come over as total prats, and their game is boring, so it’s not something I’ll be buying on release. But I likely would have had a more charitable opinion to share and more of a recommendation for this game if they hadn’t insulted everyone under the sun.

    I’ve mentioned elsewhere (many times) that I like respect and I don’t like one-upmanship. It’s not cool, it’s not funny, and it’s not clever. These guys have been anything other than respectful. There’s been a … Langdell feel to them. I don’t like it. It makes them sound like flim-flam men.

    If they could speak more often over why they love this game they’ve created without having a bash at other game concepts or other games, then I’m ready to listen.

    #7 3 years ago

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