Sorry seems to be the hardest word
When Platinum Games announced that they would be using Kickstarter to bring The Wonderful 101 Remastered to Nintendo Switch as well as PC and PS4, I’ll admit, I wasn’t overly fussed. The Wii U exclusive, while being as an eclectic experience as they come, was cumbersome and unpolished, making it difficult to become utterly immersed in. Likewise, Nintendo wasn’t too enthused by Platinum’s decision as they seemingly gave up exclusivity rights rather than front the $50K themselves – not surprising given the games lukewarm sales on the Wii U. Regardless, I backed it. I backed it for a few reasons. I backed it to:
- Support a developer that I admire and want to see do well
- Get any exclusive perks
- Receive the game early
- Save a pretty penny
As of July 14th, my copy of The Wonderful 101 Remastered, which I backed on Kickstarter in early March, has finally arrived. Well, it hasn’t quite yet but I’ve received the fabled silver customs slip that will add a further £16.68 to the cost of my copy of The Wonderful 101. Once I pay that, I’ll get my copy sent back out, so likely it will arrive on Friday 17th July. Total cost: £50. Not bad for a game that has been available in stores for a couple of weeks now for around the £33 mark!! Honestly, I’m torn whether to even pay the fee at this point.
While I acknowledge that a worldwide pandemic might slow things down, the lack of communication from Platinum Games on the matter has been, for want of a better word, shocking.
Firstly, my copy was reportedly shipped on 16th June. The provided tracking information stopped updating as of 22nd June. What happened to my game since? Where exactly was my copy in the meantime?
Secondly, aside from a few Kickstarter emails, there has been nothing from Platinum in the way of an apology. They have acknowledged the import taxes, but having refused to mention them in their campaign. Their nonchalance regarding these fees is nothing short of offensive.
We reached out to Platinum Games for some clarification and unfortunately, they sidestepped our correspondence with the grace of Wonder Green.
The final nail in the coffin was Platinum Games’ admittance that they didn’t actually need to Kickstart the project and it was more a way of generating some hype. A social experiment of sorts, if you like.
Well the actual reason we decided to do a Kickstarter campaign was not for funding at all, it was more about gauging interest in The Wonderful 101. This is a game we’ve always wanted to revisit at some point in time, so we thought it would be a good opportunity to bring the fans together—to unite them—and gauge interest. And in essence, to release the game. So it wasn’t really about the amount of funding at all, it was about self-publishing, bringing fans together, and revisiting The Wonderful 101.Atsushi Inaba – Platinum Games
I want to clarify that we didn’t do the campaign to ‘get money’ or anything like that—that wasn’t the point of it. The main goal was to bring the fans together, gauge interest, and find a good way to revisit and release the game.
Despite being severely out of pocket, many fans would see an apology as some form of comfort. However, Platinum Games’ silence is doing little more than diminishing the reputation of a stellar studio. So today, I write this.
Dear Platinum Games,
We backed your project because we care about you as a studio, because we believe that your previous standing had earned you the chance to realise your vision.Sincerely,
We showed you the respect that you deserve by backing the project, now it’s time for you to do the same. Apologise to the community, to the backers. While we’re not naive enough to expect you to reimburse us for our costly and tardy copies of Wonderful 101 Remastered, we perhaps are naive enough to believe a genuine and heartfelt apology, regarding your handling of this experiment, is in order.
Having conversed with your PR team, we’re aware of how competent they are. Being pro-active and putting out a statement when the matter came to light would have saved you some face, but it’s not too late. Say sorry.
Founding Father of Nintendad