We Happy Few

We Happy Few

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Captain Scarlett  [developer] Sep 20, 2017 @ 12:17pm
Retail/Gearbox thread 2
Hi everyone!

Having witnessed a very wide range of responses to the August announcements, we wanted to update the announcement/Gearbox thread with answers to a few questions that have been asked since then. Please give it a read, and remember that Compulsion Games and Gearbox Publishing are staffed by human beings just like you, human beings who love games and work hard to produce amazing content that hopefully brings “joy” to a great number of people. Our number one goal is to create the best game possible.

Here is our original announcement blog post[compulsiongames.com]. It contains a great deal of info, but we’ll expand upon it below.
Here is the original thread, in case you want to read through the discussion.

You might still be asking…

What is Gearbox’s role with regards to We Happy Few and Compulsion Games?

Gearbox Publishing is a separate entity from Gearbox Software, led by Steve Gibson and staffed by over 30 highly-accomplished industry veterans.

They are our publishing partners, taking on the responsibility of getting the game to market, promoting the game, and helping us with some of the less fun parts of game development (eg localization and in depth QA), while we focus on making the best game possible. It’s a fairly standard publishing situation in this regard.

All ownership of the We Happy Few IP and our studio still rests solely with Compulsion Games. Gearbox Publishing didn’t buy the IP behind We Happy Few or fund development in any way.

Couldn’t You Just Self-Publish?

Sales on Steam (Early Access) and Xbox One (Games Preview) have allowed our studio to continually re-invest in this project and our growing team, but we’re a studio dedicated to our community and creativity, with a staff and resources that currently limit us to digital distribution only. In order to bring We Happy Few to Retail and generate a marketing campaign capable of broader outreach, we began considering the possibility of a publishing partner back in 2016. Basically, to create the game we think people want to play, we needed to increase the scope of the game, and it grew beyond the point where we could self-publish digitally.

Why the scope/price increase?

When we launched on Early Access, we were aiming for a full launch price of US$40. However, as we absorbed early feedback, we realised we would need to reinvest and grow the project accordingly. From a strategic standpoint, raising the price to US$60 and bringing the game to retail was the path most likely to lead to us recouping our increased investment and hopefully funding the development of our next major project.

We’ve managed to hire some of the best people in the industry, to bring the story to a new level of depth and sophistication, and to make We Happy Few the best game it can be.

But the “Life in Technicolour” Update doesn’t feel like a $60 game!

Because it’s not. It’s the last of five major early access updates, and represents core gameplay systems as working within a basic sandbox. Although it contains select encounters, it has none of the critical story content that has been continually built in the background for the 1.0 version of the game. We’ve been very careful to keep the bulk of game content behind closed doors to ensure that we can surprise and delight our earliest adopters as well as those new to We Happy Few when it launches Summer 2018.

Okay, I get that you’re making a much more robust version of the game, but why did you raise the price during Early Access instead of waiting until the final release?

Unfortunately, there is no good alternative. Once the game becomes available for pre-order at retail, the price point must become consistent across all platforms. In addition to a 15% discount, what was once the Early Access build has effectively become an incentive to pre-order 1.0 on PC and Xbox One. If we were to close or lock off the Early Access entirely, we would have no way to support our current players or continue receiving their feedback. We thought about it, but in the end decided this was the most open approach.

Fair enough, but didn’t Gearbox strong-arm you into doing a DLC/Season Pass?

Nope. It was an internal decision to pursue DLC. Put simply, it means we can keep building out the world and supporting the game once we ship 1.0. We explain this in detail in the announcement blog post, but DLC is the best way to roll the team onto new projects right after code submission (as we won’t be ready to move onto the next game), and it allows us to explore characters and tell stories that we simply couldn’t within the context of the 1.0 storyline, whether that is because they were in contrast to the larger story arcs or simply too large to consider as anything but a full DLC episode. Internally, we narrowed down a number of ideas into three very distinctly original offerings that we felt you guys will love after completing the entirety of 1.0.

Wait, can you explain a bit more about the Pre-Order?

Instead of splintering exclusive offers across many different retailers, Gearbox suggested a universally discounted price across all regions and stores, and we thought that was a great idea.

Because of Early Access, we are able to provide new Xbox One and PC consumers with what amounts to a SP Beta (Life in Technicolour) that can be accessed and played months before 1.0 launches in stores. The feedback we are receiving on “Life in Technicolour” is also helping shape the final parts of development, which we are super excited about.

As you may or may not know, retail and 1st party (Microsoft + Sony) requirements dictate we must provide some sort of incentive to pre-order customers, and we felt the Jolly Brolly was a neat weapon idea that we conceived specifically for pre-order to add some flare to combat without affecting game balance or providing any unfair advantages. In the end, no one will be disadvantaged by not having it, but it’s a cool thank you to Early Access players and people who pre-order.

But why in the hell would you release a Collector’s Edition without the game?

Because so many have already secured their copy of the game via Early Access, we chose to create a collection of premium merchandise that would be celebrated by our most dedicated fans.

-We recognize the error in referring to it as a “Collector’s Set” or “Collector’s Edition” (we didn’t actually use that term but Collector’s Set was too similar) and have since re-named it the “We Happy Few Time Capsule” to better reflect its contents. Note that the collection is not yet available for sale.

Additionally, we’ve been collaborating with Gearbox Publishing to refine the designs, materials, and finer details of all included items. Besides reviewing digital assets and renders, we’ve actually held some of the prototypes in our hands, and they’re looking fantastic.

So you really think you made a good decision teaming up with Gearbox Publishing?

Absolutely. They’ve been incredible partners, collaborating on the creation of all marketing assets (Trailer, Official Web Site, Time Capsule, etc.), while acting on the feedback from our community and team (Adjustments to Regional Pricing) and assisting us with preparing the game for submission wherever possible (Quality Assurance, Play Testing, and extensive Localization).

Okay, fine, but maybe if you’d communicated more regularly…

We strive to be as transparent as possible with our incredible community in the form of Weekly Journals (over 120 at this point), as well as responses across all major forums, social media, e-mail, and events. However, negotiating a deal like this takes substantial time, and building towards a major announcement requires a little bit of secrecy. We hinted at what was to come in our weekly journals as much as we could, given the circumstances.

If you haven’t yet read any of our journals, please check them out here: http://compulsiongames.com/en/3/whats-new

It still doesn’t excuse you for selling out and partnering with Gearbox Publishing.

We understand how passionate gamers can be (we’re passionate gamers ourselves), and we respect that you might have opinions that differ with our own. We are Compulsion Games, makers of We Happy Few, a game that would have released digitally solely on Xbox One and PC had it not been for a partnership that will effectively bring the game to PS4 and retail locations across the globe. We didn’t sell anything, we simply increased the availability, visibility, and awareness of a game we’ve been working on diligently for almost four years now.

I’m still mad.

We get it. We know that there have been publishing tactics in the past that have angered and frustrated you. Some companies have abused the system with pre-order gimmicks or Season Passes that failed to deliver great content. Hopefully you better understand why we made the decisions we did. If you don’t agree with them and have no interest in playing We Happy Few, we regret that you won’t get a chance to experience the results of our team’s hard work. But we’ll also understand that you, as a consumer, have every right to vote with your wallet.


As always, we’re happy to answer any questions you have about why we make the decisions we make. To do that, it’s best if we collate all the discussion so that we don’t have to repeat ourselves, so we will continue to redirect all Gearbox-related threads here. This thread will remain stickied and will continue to serve as a centralised place for feedback. As one group of gamers to another, we would like everyone to please try to be civil and polite to one another, and thank you to everyone who has been so far.
Last edited by Captain Scarlett; Jan 19, 2018 @ 10:43am
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Showing 1-15 of 308 comments
Zimbabwe Salt Co. Sep 20, 2017 @ 12:21pm 
We were so close to getting 666. How about we try it again?
Captain Scarlett  [developer] Sep 20, 2017 @ 12:25pm 
Originally posted by Zimbabwe Salt Co. Team 💯:
We were so close to getting 666. How about we try it again?

That actually saddens me. I try to live by those rules[www.churchofsatan.com] everyday.
Zimbabwe Salt Co. Sep 20, 2017 @ 12:26pm 
Originally posted by Captain Scarlett:

That actually saddens me. I try to live by those rules[www.churchofsatan.com] everyday.

Can you not just reopen the thread and spam it with All Star lyrics till you reach 666 posts?
Last edited by Zimbabwe Salt Co.; Sep 20, 2017 @ 12:26pm
custume Sep 20, 2017 @ 12:28pm 
Facepalm...

Look, it was better before, this post dont help at all anything, only makes largest gap between sides.
Captain Scarlett  [developer] Sep 20, 2017 @ 12:30pm 
Originally posted by custume:
Facepalm...

Look, it was better before, this post dont help at all anything, only makes largest gap between sides.

Thanks for the feedback, do you mind elaborating?
custume Sep 20, 2017 @ 12:37pm 
I write a big post stating the problem and you guys did not even say anything there, why I even going to bother now.

EDIT: this is another post for people to dump hate
Last edited by custume; Sep 20, 2017 @ 12:41pm
Dravvad Sep 20, 2017 @ 12:52pm 
While this made me laugh a little bit, I still stand by that it won't help. A big key point I see here is:
Originally posted by Captain Scarlett:
Although it contains select encounters, it has none of the critical story content that has been continually built in the background for the 1.0 version of the game. We’ve been very careful to keep the bulk of game content behind closed doors to ensure that we can surprise and delight our earliest adopters as well as those new to We Happy Few when it launches on April 13th, 2018.
Early Access isn't meant to lock main content for months to do a normal release.
Last edited by Dravvad; Sep 20, 2017 @ 12:53pm
Captain Scarlett  [developer] Sep 20, 2017 @ 12:53pm 
Originally posted by custume:
I write a big post stating the problem and you guys did not even say anything there, why I even going to bother now.

EDIT: this is another post for people to dump hate

Between trying to answer everyone and going back to our regular work schedule, it is possible that it got lost. If you feel like none of your questions were answered by all of our posts and FAQ, feel free to reformulate it here.
Last edited by Captain Scarlett; Sep 20, 2017 @ 2:41pm
Captain Scarlett  [developer] Sep 20, 2017 @ 1:04pm 
Originally posted by Dravvad:
While this made me laugh a little bit, I still stand by that it won't help. A big key point I see here is:
Originally posted by Captain Scarlett:
Although it contains select encounters, it has none of the critical story content that has been continually built in the background for the 1.0 version of the game. We’ve been very careful to keep the bulk of game content behind closed doors to ensure that we can surprise and delight our earliest adopters as well as those new to We Happy Few when it launches on April 13th, 2018.
Early Access isn't meant to lock main content for months to do a normal release.

Early Access is used for all kinds of purposes for devs. To get feedback, to refine their features, to start getting some money early to keep on supporting their game, some even abuse the system as you all know.

We use it to get feedback and understand what our players like and don't like. It also helps us tune our features.

It doesn't make much sense to add the story to Early Access, this isn't something we need feedback on and not something that should be released in portions, it should be experienced as a whole. Adding bits and pieces of the story in Early Access would just spoil it and give our players nothing to look forward to for 1.0

Nothing is "locked", we are still building it.
Last edited by Captain Scarlett; Sep 20, 2017 @ 1:04pm
Bleep Sep 20, 2017 @ 1:08pm 
oh great. please don't feed them. I'm sick from it.
custume Sep 20, 2017 @ 2:05pm 
Originally posted by Captain Scarlett:
it is possible that it got lost.

Is on the 2º page, but I already starting to see post disappear, so go ahead and delete that one too.

I'm done, going to the dark side.
Captain Scarlett  [developer] Sep 20, 2017 @ 2:28pm 
Originally posted by custume:
Originally posted by Captain Scarlett:
it is possible that it got lost.

Is on the 2º page, but I already starting to see post disappear, so go ahead and delete that one too.

I'm done, going to the dark side.

We don't delete/lock threads unless they get out of hand where people are just insulting one another or start going in circles.
Aki Sep 20, 2017 @ 3:41pm 
I am afraid that many people won't read this, because it's so long :(
FATKIDONCUPCAKE Sep 20, 2017 @ 4:20pm 
when do you plan on going Gold?
Doctor-Gadget Sep 20, 2017 @ 4:28pm 
Originally posted by Captain Scarlett:
Originally posted by custume:

Is on the 2º page, but I already starting to see post disappear, so go ahead and delete that one too.

I'm done, going to the dark side.

We don't delete/lock threads unless they get out of hand where people are just insulting one another or start going in circles.
I can post the link to Custume's thread: http://steamcommunity.com/app/320240/discussions/0/2765630416822766749/
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We Happy Few > General Discussions > Topic Details
Date Posted: Sep 20, 2017 @ 12:17pm
Posts: 308