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Default The Witcher - Atari Signs up for NA

February 6th, 2007, 23:22
I had an installation problem with NWN, so I visited the official forum only to discover a huge number of complaints and an Atari ignoring every single post. The only kind of support came from the Bioware site, as it turned out my problem was Starforce related and Bio actually released a patch removing the protection!

What made the most impression though was the kind of treatment from Atari, with responses like 'your copy is pirated' or 'update your drivers'. I'm not talking just about me but about hundreds of posts!

At some point Atari stopped supporting NWN alltogether and that was not long after the game's release. Maybe someone from Bio could give more details, but I have the feeling that NWN's success was no thanks to Atari.
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February 7th, 2007, 00:26
NWN never had Starforce.

While Atari shouldn't have ignored your posts the Bio boards have always been the definitive location, so you were in the wrong place. I couldn't say to what extent Atari is responsible for NWN's success (presumably quite small since much of the development took place under Interplay) but I can't see where they didn't get the job done, as required.

Again, I'm not an Atari fan and I'd prefer CD Projekt had signed with someone else but I can't see NWN as a case for Atari's failure.

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February 7th, 2007, 01:21
Originally Posted by Lethal Weapon View Post
At some point Atari stopped supporting NWN alltogether and that was not long after the game's release. Maybe someone from Bio could give more details, but I have the feeling that NWN's success was no thanks to Atari.
?

Atari supported it right up until NWN2 came out - even with the 1.68 patch and Premium Modules.

As for Starforce problems and the attitude on the forums, that sounds more like Demon Stone …

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February 7th, 2007, 01:52
As for Atari and copy protection: they're using Securom with NWN2 and a lot of players havent been able to play the game because of it, as witnessed in this sticky thread in the official forums. I too have had that problem (although not before I completed the first act) and it took me some time before I figured out what caused it, but not everyone has been as lucky.
And that's what's annoying me with this announcement: The witcher will probably have Securom as its CP device.
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February 7th, 2007, 01:58
Securom isn't Starforce and that difference is important. Securom is the largest disc DRM vendor and there's a good chance you'll get it with many major publishers, so let's not cloud the issue. Eidos, Take 2, Vivendi and Blizzard all use it.

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February 7th, 2007, 02:03
I know it's not Starforce, but when it actually prevents people from playing the game they've bought, it can become an issue.
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February 7th, 2007, 02:06
@Dhruin

You're right of course, my mistake, it was Securom not Starforce. But that hardly changes anything. This particular version was so bad that Bio removed it with a patch, see patch details here. Daemons home then accordingly updated their list, see here.

What's more interesting is that the entire NWN thread soon after strangely disappeared from the official Atari forums. Talk about supporting the game!

[edit]

after writing this post i revisited (after a long time) the Atari site and discovered this very interesting thread. 818 posts so far, the last posts being 'show some respect to your customers' and 'last time I buy an Atari game'. Certainly brings back memories.
Last edited by Lethal Weapon; February 7th, 2007 at 03:18.
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February 7th, 2007, 04:45
Well we could all get the EU version instead of giving atari our money.

Trust me, most of the names I have been called you can't translate in any language…they're not even real words as much as a succession of violent images.
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February 7th, 2007, 07:43
Nope. I guess CD Projekt will publish in Poland, perhaps Czech, but Atari was announced as the publisher for EU and Asia last year.

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February 7th, 2007, 10:05
Originally Posted by Lethal Weapon View Post
after writing this post i revisited (after a long time) the Atari site and discovered this very interesting thread. 818 posts so far, the last posts being 'show some respect to your customers' and 'last time I buy an Atari game'. Certainly brings back memories.
This is really off-topic, but this *is* the internet - visit ANY game company forum and you'll find similar threads

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February 7th, 2007, 11:12
From the main holding of Infogrames downwards there are several Atari subsidiary companies as can be seen on this organisation chart… http://corporate.infogrames.com/IESA…ion_chart.html

Atari,inc….although a subsidiary, is a *separate company* together with CD Projekt they should work well for 'The Witcher"
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February 7th, 2007, 11:27
Originally Posted by txa1265 View Post
This is really off-topic, but this *is* the internet - visit ANY game company forum and you'll find similar threads
Really? Give us a link from the Jowood Gothic3 forum then. The only thread I could find was the collective 'Official complaints thread' which was far from being a set of posts by infuriated customers. And we all know the problems that the game had out of the box. Also Jowood made it a sticky instead of deleting it. I also found many threads providing technical support.

When a publisher decides upon deleting all threads relating to a specific game - and that was *long* before the arrival of NWN2, I can hardly describe this as usual.

@Wulf

Those are not subsidiary companies, those are subdivisions of the same company. Big difference. And the way that Atari has mishandled several titles, Gothic 2 NOTR included, has led major players like Bioware and PB to disengage. Others like TROIKA were not so lucky and had simply to shut down.
Last edited by Lethal Weapon; February 7th, 2007 at 11:41.
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February 7th, 2007, 14:03
Originally Posted by Lethal Weapon View Post
Really? Give us a link from the Jowood Gothic3 forum then.
I can't access their site from work for some reason … but that wasn't my point. My point is that finding a huge customer complaint thread isn't all that uncommon- even without pulling references I can recall them from tons of products from Palm and Newton to Oblivion and Half-Life 2 and on and on …

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February 7th, 2007, 15:48
Still, my personal experience with Atari has been so bad that I can't be optimistic. To this day I can't understand why the company that chose a particular copy protection system failed to provide any kind of technical support for it and instead treated me like I was an idiot.
Atari also made me purchase NOTR twice, first the German edition which I played with a fan translation mod (having to tolerate the audio constantly switching between languages, since my original G2 was English), then the English Gold edition by Aspyr which appeared 2 years (!) later if I'm not mistaken.

When ToEE was released I refrained from buying simply because of the fact that the publisher was Atari. A brief visit to the forums only to see the usual complaints *again* made me not to regret my decision.

It seems that with NWN2 history kind of repeats itself. To me its sort of another version of my NWN1 experience. A difference is that Obs is not Bio and I doubt they will release a patch removing copy protection any time soon.
Last edited by Lethal Weapon; February 7th, 2007 at 19:59.
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February 7th, 2007, 16:22
Originally Posted by Lethal Weapon View Post
Still, my personal experience with Atari has been so bad that I can't be optimistic. To this day I can't understand why the company that chose a particular copy protection system failed to provide any kind of technical support for it and instead treated me like I was an idiot.
Old news. Inforgames who bought the name Atari (to clear up bad rep) has been in bad situation for many years now. They made som bad games (MoO3/etc) in the past and aqcuired a major debt which they are desperately trying to repay. I expected them to go belly up long time ago allready but somhow they still float.

Posted Jun 15, 2006 4:22 pm PT

Atari reported its year-end financial figures yesterday, the results of which were keenly felt by parent company Infogrames today. According to a Reuters report, the French publisher today addressed its current financial state in a news conference.

"We are not changing our course," Infogrames chief executive Bruno Bonnell told the conference. "Our priority is to pursue debt reduction…the second priority is to work on the recovery of the US operations, which are far from being dead or in a desperate situation."

While Infogrames said it posted modest operating profits in Europe and Asia for the year ended March 31, its American operations more than offset those, leaving the publisher with an operating loss of 154 million euros ($194.6 million) for the year. The year before, it posted a loss of 33.9 million euros ($42.8 million).

In Atari's annual report, it blamed its results in part on poor retail performances by The Matrix: Path of Neo and Marc Ecko's Getting Up: Contents Under Pressure. As part of its turnaround effort, the company has said it is shifting its focus away from internal development. Earlier this year, it cut about 20 percent of its workforce and sold off the rights to a pair of games in development: TimeShift and Stuntman.

Infogrames stock closed the day trading down more than 11 percent to .47 euros ($.59). Shares of Atari slid almost 5 percent today, down $.03 to $.58.
Seems like they are still struggling.
Last edited by zakhal; February 7th, 2007 at 16:39.
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February 7th, 2007, 16:29
Originally Posted by Lethal Weapon View Post
Still, my personal experience with Atari has been so bad that I can't be optimistic.
Not disagreeing - in fact I think I referenced Demon Stone earlier in the thread … the problems and terrible support were rampant on that one. There is also the hysteria - if tech support didn't answer within an hour you'd be sure to read a 'OMG teh lawsute!' post!

Then look at Boiling Point and the glacial pace of Atari releasing patches to the US on *that* game - in fact, I think they *never* got to the latest patch!

Originally Posted by Lethal Weapon View Post
When ToEE was released I refrained from buying simply because of the fact that the publisher was Atari. A brief visit to the forums only to see the usual complaints *again* made me not to regret my decision.
That is a great example of where they completely failed to support a product they funded and released.

Originally Posted by Lethal Weapon View Post
Atari also made me purchase NOTR twice, first the German edition which I played with a fan translation mod (having to tolerate the audio constantly switching between languages, since my original G2 was English), then the English Gold edition by Aspyr which appeared 2 years (!) later if I'm not mistaken.
I'm having a hard time seeing this as anything but nonsense. PB got a lame English release from Atari with no support or marketing - that much is clear and true. PB failed to get an English publiser for the NotR expansion, and many bought the German release when a fan-made language mod came out. Then Aspyr released the whole G2 + NotR for a budget price of $20 (less than most expansion packs) in anticipation of releasing Gothic 3. So at what point is Atari to blame for your purchasing decisions?

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February 7th, 2007, 16:44
Originally Posted by txa1265 View Post
I'm having a hard time seeing this as anything but nonsense. PB got a lame English release from Atari with no support or marketing - that much is clear and true. PB failed to get an English publiser for the NotR expansion, and many bought the German release when a fan-made language mod came out. Then Aspyr released the whole G2 + NotR for a budget price of $20 (less than most expansion packs) in anticipation of releasing Gothic 3. So at what point is Atari to blame for your purchasing decisions?
Easy to explain. From what we´ve heard - which is not much I admit - JoWooD had an international partner for TNotR. Atari. Who decided not to release it.
This doesn´t explain the 2nd half of the delay though. JoWooD could have put a higher priority on finding another partner a year earlier than they did.
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February 7th, 2007, 16:48
Originally Posted by Gorath View Post
Easy to explain. From what we´ve heard - which is not much I admit - JoWooD had an international partner for TNotR. Atari. Who decided not to release it.
This doesn´t explain the 2nd half of the delay though. JoWooD could have put a higher priority on finding another partner a year earlier than they did.
Thanks for clearing that up! Apologies to Lethal Weapon!

As for the further delays, perhaps there were no 'bites' publishing a > year old expansion to a > 2 year old game which hadn't sold well outside of the original territory anyway … ?

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February 7th, 2007, 17:14
This subject was talked to a hysterical death on the Atari forums of ToEE at the time, and I can testify that no one from Atari had any interest in supporting the product. Period. They handed off all responsibility to Troika, who was in no position apparently to be able to do much about it, being involved in VTM: Bloodlines production as their only hope of survival at the time.
Atari could have had a very profitable franchise from this game —and MOO3 as well IMO— and basically they just couldn't be bothered. Their interest in the consumer after purchase was nil.
The forum didn't even have a moderator most of the time(one mod for about 20 fora-and his interest was fps)so the flame wars were unbelievable—tho it was also pretty amusing as well I believe there were about 4 or 5 total posts that came from an Atari employee, and they were plugging Demonstone.

Atari has a well-deserved reputation for lack of post-release support. However, they do have a marketing and distribution system that will serve CD Projekt's interests, and hopefully they as developers will be more conscientious about the fate of the game once it hits the shelves.

Where there's smoke, there's mirrors.
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February 7th, 2007, 22:14
To get this back on track - I don't think too many people are arguing that Atari's reputation deservedly sucks - I just got stuck on using NWN as an example, which I think is probably some of their best work.

At any rate, while I'd probably prefer Ubisoft, magarette is right that CD Projekt really just want good distribution and visibility in the shops. CD Projekt is well-financed and own the IP, so they should be able to provide adequate support themselves.

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