By gbrading 21 Comments
To: Christoph Hartmann, Managing Director, 2K Games.
Complaint concerning bad business practice; BioShock 2 PC
Dear Mr Hartmann,
I have been a player, and I must confess a fan of your company's video games for quite some time. Indeed, I have very fond memories of the games from your now consolidated developer PopTop Software, such as Railroad Tycoon and Tropico. Since the release of BioShock original in 2007, I have been most encouraged to see your company helping to publish and develop intriguing, entertaining and thoughtful video games, which help to stimulate and engage the player in different ways.
However, it is with a deep sense of regret and disappointment that I must inform you that over the past year my positive feelings towards your company have waned and have alas been extinguished by the shambolic standard of customer service which has been provided to users of the PC version of BioShock 2. I am unfortunate enough that my copy of BioShock 2 does not function correctly on my PC, and frequently crashes to desktop after playing for approximately half an hour. Despite this major flaw, I very much enjoyed the game, although still prefer the original. Following lengthy investigation, through both contacting your support department via email and by my own diagnostic tests, I have been forced to conclude that it is your game which is causing the crashes, rather than an issue with my computer. Despite my numerous support emails to your company and despite promises of patches which might correct these issues, it has recently been announced that there will be no further updates to the PC version of BioShock 2, and therefore, no way for me to play the game I bought as intended.
Furthermore, it has also not escaped my attention that the downloadable content for BioShock 2, "Protector Trials" and "Minerva's Den" previously slated for release on Xbox 360, PS3 and PC, has only been released on two of these platforms. It appears to be the case that these will no longer be released on PC whatsoever; a retraction of the statement previously issued. Naturally my disappointment is tempered heavily with a sense of resentment, in the fact that your company made a commitment to bring content to the PC, and then have manifestly failed to deliver on this commitment.
As far as I can see, such decisions as to no longer patch the PC version or to support it with DLC were made from a business standpoint: No doubt your accountants calculated that it would not be very profitable to continue to support the PC further. However, from a ethical standpoint, your company's decisions are almost the definition of bad business practice. Companies that fail to deliver on their commitments, or do not support their products fully are not acting in an ethical manner, and are not going to forge good relationships with their customers. I consider the relationship of trust which exists between company and consumer as an important one, from which brand loyalty and optimism bias can be obtained. Nonetheless, I'm sorry to say that in this instance, I feel like my trust has been broken.
I regret to say that this fiasco has severely damaged my opinion of your company and affiliated developers, and I will likely be refraining from giving you my custom in the future.
Giant Bomb Addendum
I wanted to leave a copy of my email here as well, since I am currently seething with a righteous sense of purpose, and wish for it to be seen. Other than that, I don't have much else to add here, except for Rock On Giant Bomb! :)