Dark Matter’s developer, Interwave Studios, has admitted the game they put up for sale on Steam last week isn’t complete “due to time and money”. Instead of releasing the complete story the developer and publisher decided to release an episode of the game. They didn't mention this in the game's title or description and players are asking for refunds.
The publisher has admitted that "at present, the end of the game may cause confusion and is not satisfactory", and that"it is not of the standard we would expect." Considering it abruptly ends the game with a black screen of text you can understand why.
Darm Matter comes to an abrupt halt after you open a door late in the game. You’re met with a black screen of text and clicking the mouse will take you back to the main menu.
You can see for yourself in this Let’s Play video:
Confused players took to Steam’s forums to question the game’s ending. At which point one of the developers responded, saying:
"Hello, just to answer all these questions.
“No, the full story is indeed not complete yet because originally we wanted a longer game (12-16 hours) but couldn’t finish it completely due to time and money (and Kickstarter failing). So, we choose to go with a 6-8 hour game instead to bring something out to the world and show everyone the world of Dark Matter.
“We are going to change the "to be continued" text to something else, to make sure this will be the end of the game as is in a clear msg to everyone."
GOG responded to complaints by updating the game’s description to reflect its status and are offering refunds to customers who bought before 21 October, saying “Since we don't ever want to sell a game to someone because they believe it is something that it is not, we wanted to let you know about this and let you know what we're doing to make it right.”
Erik Schreuder, the CEO of Iceberg Interactive, the company who published Dark Matter following its failed Kickstarter, also took to Steam to explain events but refutes the claims of the developer who said the game was incomplete.
“[T]he game is exactly as described on Steam (including that it contains 14 levels) – it is simply not true that the game is unfinished, or unplayable. Some people have misquoted the developer as having admitted that the game is incomplete; we should reiterate that what was meant was that this is not the $30 full-priced game, but the episodic budget version (currently selling at $13,49 at 10% off).
There are presently something like 5-9 hours of absorbing and highly entertaining gameplay to be had.
“It is true however, that at present, the end of the game may cause confusion and is not satisfactory. We sincerely apologise for this, as it is not of the standard we would expect. We are working to offer a more conclusive and satisfying ending to the game as we speak and expect a fix to appear as soon we are able to.”
Schreuder’s claim that the developer was misquoted sidesteps the point that he himself says the game’s ending “is not of the standard we would expect” and yet they released the game anyway, with no mention of an episodic release in the game’s title or description.
Later in that thread Schreuder weighs in on why there is no reference to the game’s episodic nature, saying “We have considered labelling it Episode 1 but we felt this could also be constrived as misleading as it isn't certan that there will be an Episode 2 [sic]. So we had to make a choice. Like with any new gaming universe there are always more stories to be told but finances will dictate its viability.”
Of course, the real problem is...
With a weary sigh the writer decides to end his news story with a lazy parody of the game's lazy ending.
If questioned about this decision later he will explain that he always wanted to write a complete piece but didn't have the coffee or time to do so.
There may be more to this story in the future but only if the developer releases more information or the writer comes into a new supply of caffiene.
Click anywhere on this post to hear a satisfying clicking noise.