Interview with Team Dragonpunk
Following on from our story that Firaxis / 2K Games reportedly asked PC Gamer to pull an article promoting the Dragonpunk mod for XCOM 2, we were lucky enough to get an interview with Team Dragonpunk, to get more information on what exactly has happened, and where they plan to go from here.
A Change.org petition is underway, asking for 2K Games to allow Team Dragonpunk to pursue a KickStart campaign to help fund continued development work; assuming they do continue on the XCOM 2 development work.
As it stands, Firaxis are suggesting that the article was pulled was due to an SEO issue.
Trying to resolve this today. Apparently the official story is that it was an untimely SEO glitch. https://t.co/QonFMqoZg2
— Dragonpunk (@DragonpunkGame) October 6, 2016
Everyone will be hoping that is was a simple misunderstanding, so that Team Dragonpunk can continue developing the mod on XCOM 2. And so, without further ado:
ShemWorld (SW): This seems to have come about quite suddenly?
Team Dragonpunk (TD): We’re just a mod team and didn’t think this would be a big deal. Why (pull the article) the day before the XCOM 2 console release?
SW: Pulling it the day before XCOM 2 is released seems insane. It’s just the time when they should be showing they are ready to support the mod community, as we said in the article.
TD: Yes, that’s why I’m so hesitant to speculate. Heck, it could be that they didn’t want console players to complain about no Co-Op. I literally have no clue why anyone would do this.
SW: The last thing I wanted to do in the article was to speculate what the reason was… I hope that’s okay. As you say, it’s more the frustration that a mod that’s been under development for a long time suddenly has the brakes put on it, the day before the console release.
TD: Right, that’s why I’m unfortunately trying to be non committal
SW: Considering how much work has already been put in, I’m assuming it would be a massive amount of work to migrate to CD Projekt Red / whatever engine Amazon might be suggesting?
TD: Oh yes, we’d basically have to start over from scratch. Sadly, CDPR got their start as Modders, but haven’t released any great mod tools.
SW: That was my understanding – CD Projekt don’t seem to offer much in the way of SDK or mod tools; even though they are loved by the games community for being pretty open and honest. Perhaps they could consider some kind of Steam Workshop for GOG – although that’s a bit of massive pondering there.
TD: Yes, I would certainly love if they did it!
SW: Regarding the PC Gamer anon source – I saw you talk about “the suits”, and praise Firaxis assistance before this – would it be fair to say you’ve had support from the developers, and the problems are more so with the publishers?
TD: Yes, the developers have been wonderful, and I would have to assume this is a decision from 2K management.
SW: Is it okay for us to email 2K and ask them for their thoughts?
TD: Absolutely. I would love to hear the resolution.
SW: Thank you. You said in other tweets that you had been told you’d receive support previously from them, but they failed to follow through – so it feels like more than just this isolated issue?
TD: Yes, I have the emails from Firaxis promising us a Community Spotlight.
TD: We were talking with Firaxis PR until 2 months ago when all email traffic ceased. I figured they were just busy with the XCOM 2 console launch. No big deal. They did promise to do a Community Spotlight, and I was hoping to time that with the console release, so both of us could benefit.
TD: Our article in PC Gamer that was driving all our traffic now redirects to another mod article. I thought this still could be an error, so I reached out to a friend I have a PC Gamer. He said that they were contacted by 2K and asked to take it down. No reason was given.
TD: I contacted my Firaxis contacts over LinkedIn and those that responded said they were no longer allowed to talk with me.
Further clarification on the “SEO issue” that was experienced: our friends at SuperNerdLand brought out attention to this chain of Tweets by Editor-in-Chief at PC Gamer, Evan Lahti.
— Evan Lahti (@ELahti) October 6, 2016