Bannerlord was a grift

Users who are viewing this thread

Vekar

Recruit
People who love this game have almost never experienced WB's great mods. This is what I see.
Most of the love is from STEAM users who are raving about the game without having a clue about what is really happening, thus TW keeps failing upwards and it reinforces their "do nothing" attitude. Like the idiots who keep buying EA Games, Bethesda, Blizzard, etc.
 

GMBarak

Regular
A reply to all those who complain: It's a free world and a free market, if you think you can create a better game and do a better job, go for it...
 
A reply to all those who complain: It's a free world and a free market, if you think you can create a better game and do a better job, go for it...
Oh, boy, this crusty old argument. It's almost as if we're expressing our fReE MaRkEt freedoms to voice our discontent with the failure to deliver the product we purchased. Also, the solution to a bad product is not "make your own", if I go to mcdonalds and order a big mac and they give me a chicken sandwich, my solution is not to start my own fast food chain. That would be nonsensical.
 

Vekar

Recruit
A reply to all those who complain: It's a free world and a free market, if you think you can create a better game and do a better job, go for it...
Yeah, because we who PAID FOR SOMETHING in EARLY ACCESS while they gave a long list of "we will do this" and never delivered, are not allowed to criticize them for failure to uphold their end of the business arrangement. You must really love signing contracts and never getting paid for what you do because hey, you are not allowed to complain when someone does not uphold their word nor contract. Which is what EA is: a contract based around the promise to provide something in exchange for early investments.

That is what we are: investors. Said investors want our freaking moneys worth because they made promises then never delivered. What they provided was a husk, and a moldy husk at that.

As Roy said: your argument in utter nonsense and I will add more: you are a troll. As a fun final note: modders have been fixing the game for quite a long time and been doing a better job than those being paid to do so. Funny that.
 
Yeah, because we who PAID FOR SOMETHING in EARLY ACCESS while they gave a long list of "we will do this" and never delivered, are not allowed to criticize them for failure to uphold their end of the business arrangement. You must really love signing contracts and never getting paid for what you do because hey, you are not allowed to complain when someone does not uphold their word nor contract. Which is what EA is: a contract based around the promise to provide something in exchange for early investments.

That is what we are: investors. Said investors want our freaking moneys worth because they made promises then never delivered. What they provided was a husk, and a moldy husk at that.

As Roy said: your argument in utter nonsense and I will add more: you are a troll. As a fun final note: modders have been fixing the game for quite a long time and been doing a better job than those being paid to do so. Funny that.
Not really.
Early access is you paying to be able to play the game earlier in its current state. There is no contract that you signed...
 

noblej7

Recruit
This is a thread going into more detail on a post I made last month here.

I will avoid the usage of the word "scam" as that could be seen as disingenuous and possibly libelous, even though as I will outline below, the figures are roughly correct, and it isn't libel if its true. Nevertheless, I'm going to lay forth a claim that Bannerlord, at least in its current state (And, as far as we know, the past few years) was simply a grift. Here's why:

Part 1. The Financial Breakdown

There will be bold in statements which are amendments to my previous post, or things needed to be added.

The average game developer in Istanbul (similar to Ankara) makes about 60 Turkish Lira an hour, which equates to about 7.05 USD, with an average pay of 125,000 Lira per year (about 14,500 USD). There are 131 employees at Taleworlds as of 2020. Therefore, the employee pay would be roughly 1,899,500 USD, probably a little less or more based on currency exchanges. I am not sure about Turkish tax law, but assuming their payroll taxes are roughly the same as the US, lets say 10%, rounding up lets say 2,200,000 for payroll and payroll taxes per year. Overhead is somewhat difficult to calculate, but I would put their facility costs (With electricity, which is cheap in Turkey) is probably around 5,000 a month, that is just a rough estimate based on how many employees they have and how much square footage they would need. So, overhead would be roughly 60,000 USD a year. To be conservative and account for accidents/miscellaneous expenses, lets put their expenses aside from marketing at roughly 2.5 million USD.

Bannerlord has sold between 3-5 million copies, according to steamdb and steamspy. At an average price of $45 (it depends on region, some places sell for less, some like pound and euro sell for more), after Steam's 30% cut, this leaves Taleworlds with roughly $31.50 for each sale. To be conservative, let's put it down to $30. With roughly 4 million sales, Taleworlds has made roughly $120 million in revenue from Bannerlord. Bannerlord has been in development since 2012 as far as we know, lets give them 2 years pre-announcement of development, which equals 11 years. Assuming 100% of their time at Taleworlds was devoted to Bannerlord (which it wasn't, warband was still in development well during this time period), this means that 27.5 million dollars was spent in expenses, lets double that for marketing. This expense of 55 million yielded them 120,000,000, which, with much wiggle room, cushions and conservative estimates, 65 million dollars (likely more because I doubt taleworlds spent that much in marketing, and salaries are probably less than I calculated, could be as much as 100 million USD). I may have gotten some calculations wrong along the way, and I may have estimated poorly, but no matter what, that is a lot of profit for the garbage can/excuse for a game that we got.

Part 2. Gameplay Features, or lack thereof

The gameplay of this "game" is, to put it lightly, lacking. There are more than enough threads to complain about the bare-bones, hollowness of the game. I am not a singleplayer player, I like multiplayer. The lack of multiplayer support for this game is at this point astounding and legendary. The fact that modders for various projects are simply waiting on Taleworlds to just let them get their hands on it so they can improve the game for everyone's enjoyment is beyond me. It is so snail-brained and what few "Explanations" taleworlds has given are vague and meaningless. They use a lot of words to say nothing.

The recent patches to the game have improved almost nothing, and the dev diaries show us no hope. With feature after feature being cancelled or postponed, it seems like Taleworlds is just doing nothing while goading us to trust them, holding a carrot in front of our eyes. Not even heraldry can be fixed.

tenor.gif


Part 3. Bannerlord Online

The lack of support for the Bannerlord Online mod, made by one random Russian guy in a basement, an absolutely gorgeous mod with so much ambition and potential, but most importantly what the fans wanted. The ambivalence towards it by Taleworlds shows, after years of people begging for co-op campaign somewhat proves that Taleworlds doesn't give a damn what their fans want or think. This is the most egregious example, but there are more. Gone are the days of improving upon mods like Mount and Musket, in with the days of "WE KNOW BEST **** OFF MODDERS!"

Part 4. Time

Bannerlord took forever to release and it is still in early access. You would think that a game with more time being tacked on to development would be better, not worse. But here we are, 11 years later, with nothing to show for it. What were they doing all that time? Twiddling their thumbs?

Conclusion: Bannerlord was a Grift
With all this being said, I think it is safe to include that, while perhaps Taleworlds intentions when they first developed Bannerlord wanted to make a better game, the idea of grandeur and money probably got the best of them. It's hard to exactly pinpoint when Taleworlds decided that money was more important than keeping fans happy, but I would wager around 2015-2016 was when the idea of an excellent game was thrown out the window in favor of cash. Do you agree?
i understand the frustration, but i will wait until they take it out of beta or quit doing stuff to the game to call it a grift. Its not star citizen. maybe in a year or 3
I'll change my mind
 
Not really.
Early access is you paying to be able to play the game earlier in its current state. There is no contract that you signed...
Your kidding right? You think that the state of early access (or it being in early access at all and not complete) is acceptable? Nobody (well, some are, but not me) is levying legal questions or complaints towards Taleworlds, we are simply pointing out early access should have happened in 2013, not 2021. Anything later than 2015 for a full release of the game, based on how long it’s been in development, quite frankly is unacceptable. It shouldn’t even take that long. With the resources they have it should not take 5 years to make a game, let alone 12 and still be in early access. That’s absurd.
 

Vekar

Recruit
Your kidding right? You think that the state of early access (or it being in early access at all and not complete) is acceptable? Nobody (well, some are, but not me) is levying legal questions or complaints towards Taleworlds, we are simply pointing out early access should have happened in 2013, not 2021. Anything later than 2015 for a full release of the game, based on how long it’s been in development, quite frankly is unacceptable. It shouldn’t even take that long. With the resources they have it should not take 5 years to make a game, let alone 12 and still be in early access. That’s absurd.
+1
 

Life_Erikson

Master Knight
M&BWBNWVC
Your kidding right? You think that the state of early access (or it being in early access at all and not complete) is acceptable? Nobody (well, some are, but not me) is levying legal questions or complaints towards Taleworlds, we are simply pointing out early access should have happened in 2013, not 2021. Anything later than 2015 for a full release of the game, based on how long it’s been in development, quite frankly is unacceptable. It shouldn’t even take that long. With the resources they have it should not take 5 years to make a game, let alone 12 and still be in early access. That’s absurd.
The problem is more like selling the game under wrong promises.

The grief is that they sold the game as EA whilst not willing to improve on it. When they said the game was almost finished, they were truthful.
The problem was we didn't listen and shielded the game with "it's still EA". If I got the chance now I would refund it without the blink of an eye. But at the time of launch I still had hopes that SOME of the stuff that was promised, SOME of the vision that was conveyed to us in devlogs would be realised when the game is finished. But that wasn't the case.

BL is a prime exemple of how EA can be used to underdeliver on a game and then shield oneself from any criticism. Not by claiming that it is "just EA and bugs are to be expected" but by keeping unrealistic hopes up until everybody paid his money and won't get it back.

They should have sold it as a finished product with fixes to come. That would have been honest at least.
 
⭐Nice. I hope the sheep that come here from the village idiot's video took thier Adderall today so they can make it to this post.

Also, hope we get warband remastered someday too.

A reply to all those who complain: It's a free world and a free market, if you think you can create a better game and do a better job, go for it...
It's a free world now? Go show your mom your big post so she can put it on the fridge!
 

Pentagathoos

Regular
People who love this game have almost never experienced WB's great mods. This is what I see.
I started playing M&B when the original game was still in development, I played a ton of mods and I absolutely love Bannerlord. The combat feels so much more fluid, the animations feel more realistic, the graphics are a joy and the horses zooom like never before. The depth of immersion is indeed very lacking, but this was the case in Warband, even with most of the great mods. I find I can play Bannerlord for much longer before I get bored because the combat is much more exciting, and ultimately the combat has always been the core of the game.
I have been very disappointed with the lack of features that were shown before release of early access and I'm not particularly hopeful for the future of this game but I don't regret buying it. Doubt I'll purchase the elephant DLC though.
 

mexxico

Sergeant Knight
I’m posting this from my phone, so forgive the readability if it sucks. I’m also moving it to this thread as it seems more relevant than where I first put it.

The history of the game is the rags to riches dream of any new game developer. In this case starting from nothing, then making a basic working concept medieval fighting game. WarRider.

Then expanding and building an engine with a small development team into a real marketable game. Mount & Blade.

Then they expand just a little more on that rock-solid foundation of tried and true software and expand the features and improve the quality with the standalone expansion. They document the simplicity of modifying the code so that the game’s life is extensible even by amateur developers and modders FAR past its release replayability.

Warband, a beautiful game I spent probably over ten thousand hours playing. I’ve played it more than any other game.

Then they decided to take the next logical step.
They’re not Indie anymore, they’re ready to be the biggest video game development studio in Turkey.

A true sequel successor is what makes sense.
Bannerlord.
What could go wrong?

Well if you’re starting from scratch creatively on a brand new software engine with a large development team and you’ve never done that before...

Anything, everything can absolutely go wrong and if you do not know the way, with something like software development, it is virtually guaranteed to go wrong.

I’ve been absolutely saddened by the state of BannerLord. I’ve sort of moved on.
I’ve also lately been absolutely intrigued by learning about software development as a discipline.

My favourite channel to listen to about this subject is Continuous Delivery.

He posted a video today describing in some detail his understanding of the efficient production of software.


I think what has happened is that much of the early development time was lost. This is really a very ambitious and complex project. They probably had to scrap much of their progress due to an inefficient development cycle. Hence the need for an even now incomplete refactoring of the code.

I don’t think it’s anybody’s fault really. The fact is that the game is too large of a project for certain development strategies.

If the development strategy is not correct from the beginning there is potential for massive amounts of time and work to be wasted.

I get the feeling that this may be what has happened. It’s an honest mistake, I think.

Whether the game’s development can be saved at this point remains to be seen. At this point TW has got to be feeling the heat. I want badly for them to succeed, but the state of the game is improving too slowly. It’s just not fun enough, and it won’t be until some point after the refactoring is satisfactory to TW and the modding community can finally get their teeth into the gameplay side of things.
Thank you @RalliX , this is really close what we had experienced.

I will try to write something about these topics, its hard to talk about these complex topics with my weak English but will try sorry for grammer mistakes or wrong wordings at the end important thing is understanding and sharing key points and we can do it somehow.

I can say that anybody at top of TW are not focused on getting more money with giving players something not good. Thats why development took so much time. I understand your frustrations. However hype was always ready to rise. Its hard to slow it down or reduce. Even now sometimes we talk about a basic feature in forum (fe. war reasons) then there become big expectations. Then I have to write "please do not expect something big - it is not game changer" to slow down expectations. I cannot defend weak communication of top but they are not scammers. Armagan is a good person I do not know why he does not prefer communication during EA but he is not a guy focused on making more money, he is well educated and trustful person which are rare to find around these days. I understand your situation when you cannot see enough communication from him - I also feel same like you - become like you lost one of your closest friends. I am not happy with this direction and I also criticized even at forum. However I want to underline that I really do not understand or can defend halting his communication with players - probably its because no time remains for that after company grows too much.

Money is something meaningless after some point. Reputation is more important. Even 1M$ is enough for living in good conditions in all your life without working. He can take maybe 10x of this money after Warband's success and can live happily ever. It is hard to create a product which will make end users mostly happy especially after a sequal of a successfull product. You should always think about your project during day and night and you should spend your life for it even you should not spend enough time with your family. Otherwise it can be hard to understand what players want or need. In Warband he communicated players much and this yield with a higher ratio of end user happiness. However it is easy to do if you are indie company and if you have lots of energy, ambitions and dreams. After company grows you need to deal lots of other boring stuff so time remained to player communication reduces. This can reduce your product's gameplay. This can reduce happiness of community. In that point you should give some of your power to others and split responsibilities - however this is not done at TW. Also probably it seems ambition reduces after a success is gained - maybe related to human nature.

After all these points that's why I also want to take some long rest first (maybe half / one year) get away from computer and spend time on different hobbies free my mind & travel (we are coming to life once, money is less important - life is more important) then create a small indie company later and will try to focus on smaller projects with focusing on perfect gameplay. I do not believe things can change here, feel like it's good time to create a new way.

In addition we had several unlucky situations in last 10 years. For example we are living in a country which has really beautiful climate and geography and cultural mixture however it is not managed by good people. We had even coup in 2015, we had gezi resistance in 2013 which most of our devs also attended. All these was also fault of government then government used that coup to increase pressure over opponent press members or politicans. So we devs always think about what should we do in future because justice system and freedom of press and education systems went worse in last 20 years here. While coding here I always think also how things would be sorted out. I do not want to leave my country to bad politicans we want to save here from them. In short our brains are not relaxed and its hard to focus on projects. At least mine but I believe there are many others. Democracy is a good system but if politicians controls also media it is so easy to manupilate most of country and get needed votes at elections. So all young educated generation here is trying to go abroad and save themselves and their next generations. My friends at same college are 90% at abroad currently. So quality of all products also human quality reduces. This is something really bad for TW also. Because it will be more and more hard to find quality devs if Turkey cannot save itself from current government.

Also Covid-19 effected us badly too imo. Of course it increased sales (timing of EA release was only a luck, EA release date was determined before Covid outbreak) however I prefer working in office all together with other devs. Discussing game features face to face is always better.

In short I reject Bannerlord is a grift. TW is not a company trying to sell players scam (at least until now - I cannot know what will happen future). However in current direction and conditions it will be hard to create perfect projects in future - this is only guess, I am not talking about ok projects, of course these can be produced. Thats why I want to create a new way to myself also. There are more reasons which I cannot tell public ofc, not everything was perfect, I also had lots of disapointments. However just note that managers are not bad people or scammers. After college finished at 2008, I worked for bad people who prioritize money before TW so I know how they are like. At the end of first year I could not continue that and past TW because most important thing is creating projects with people you trust, believe and have similar importances / characteristic. There are too many rich but bad people in world and they use potential / clever / educated / ambitious people to rise more. Its frustrating to work for these people. TW was not a place like that. We worked here to rise good people and they succeed this (with the additional and so important helps of Warband modders also, they created tons of mods with no financial expectations).

Also thank you all for your all support you give. TW is a lucky company which have really devoted fans. I know why you criticize much. You see TW from your family or like a friend you know for long time and you want us to be successful and use all potential game has.
 
Last edited:
Top Bottom