Dark Souls 2 screenshot
Dark Souls 2 screenshot

Following this week's response from From Software, Namco Bandai has advised VideoGamer.com that it considers the Dark Souls 2 downgrade case closed and that it likely won't be issuing any further comment on the controversy.

Namco's response follows further contact from VideoGamer this week asking why the publisher continued to promote Dark Souls 2 using footage that didn't accurately represent the final console version up until 6 weeks before release, and whether it was aware that the final version would look noticeably different to the "gameplay" footage released prior to launch.

We had previously asked Namco why Dark Souls 2's lighting, texture work and geometry had been altered so significantly between the pre-release version and final console build, whether Dark Souls 2's pre-release footage was actually a concept render rather than actual live gameplay, and if the footage had been captured from the PC version or an unannounced next-gen version, to which we were offered the following response:

"Throughout the game development process, a game is constantly being balanced not only in game playability, but also in the realm of resource management.

"A developer is always challenged with creating the most rewarding gaming experience while delivering continuity in graphical quality, gameplay dynamics, and balance within the game. The final version of Dark Souls II displays the culmination of this delicate balance and we're very proud of the positive media and fan reception for the game."

Are you happy with Namco Bandai and From Software's response, or do you think there are questions that still need answering? Let us know in the comments below.

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guyderman's Avatar

guyderman@ NM_Che56

While I certainly don't condone this trend of show casing a product that is not representative of the finished product at least the game was actually a good game - unlike colonial marines.

I'm actually wondering if Namco Bandai and Fromsoftware are in a sh!tty position at the moment as what was shown may well be a next (current) gen version of the game that they are actually keeping quiet about while it's being developed as they obviously would want to sell the current (last) gen version now and not have people just wait for the other one. - just a thought - I'm probably wrong though (I usually am according to my wife!)
Posted 15:38 on 21 March 2014
NM_Che56's Avatar

NM_Che56

And before FromSoftware apologists come screaming in, raging that the game is still fun:

Whether or not the game is fun, despite the bait and switch, is not the issue. The issue is that video game developers are free to sell you something that does not 100% represent what you pre-ordered and are not required to give a disclaimer.

This is not the first time it has happened and a developer giving a cagey response:

1) Aliens Colonial Marines
2) Watch Dogs

Those are the only ones I can think of immediately.

They can just freely take your pre-orders, charge you before the reviews come out (embargo). You've already opened the game, so you can only hope to "trade it in"; however, the likelihood of you doing so is minimal because they got you where they want you. You have game in hand. You've been anticipating it. You're too emotionally invested in the purchase.

My advice to consumers would be:

1) Stop pre-ordering games. Or, at least, only pre-order if the retailer allows you to cancel the pre-order before you get the game (in-store).

2) Do NOT open the game until the reviews come out and you get an implicit "all clear". Retailer return policies notwithstanding, most will take back your UNOPENED game and give you a refund. Check the return policy first.

Until a developer takes a sizeable hit in the wallet for their less than honest tactics, there will be no incentive to change.
Posted 15:30 on 21 March 2014
NM_Che56's Avatar

NM_Che56@ Kuldorn

I completely agree. That's called bait and switch.
Posted 15:21 on 21 March 2014
skidoosh's Avatar

skidoosh

Internal conversation between FromSoftware and Namco Bandai:

FromSoftware: I think we should detail the changes we've had to make to ensure this release doesn't have the same issues as blight town?

Namco Bandai: Say a f**cking word and you'll be homeless by the time we finish with you!

FromSoftware: ... O.K.

Remember people if a publisher thinks releasing information about a product will damage their RoI, they won't give it.

As far as Namco Bandai are concerned, we're all juicy plump cash cows ready for milking and they wont do anything to make us prematurely dry up.
Posted 21:43 on 20 March 2014
Kuldorn's Avatar

Kuldorn

If your taking pre-orders for a game early yet are not showing final build quality then in my opinion it is outright wrong, and should even be considered illegal.
Posted 17:30 on 20 March 2014
Lalaland's Avatar

Lalaland

Defo not happy, no-one is claiming that game companies should only release 'final' footage Namco, we understand not every goal is met but when your code goes gold and looks nothing like your promotional material then you have an obligation to at least put out 1 piece of honest media before release.
Posted 17:22 on 20 March 2014

Game Stats

Release Date: 25/04/2014
Developer: FromSoftware
Publisher: Namco Bandai
Genre: Action
Rating: PEGI 16+
Site Rank: 57
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