Lack of YYG updates brings open letter

YoYo GamesGameMaker Community member Dr. Watz0n has posted an open letter to YoYo Games on his blog.

The letter states his frustrations with the lack of updates provided by YoYo Games and the broken promises that they have made to users of their GameMaker software.

Like many other GameMaker users Connor is annoyed with the lack of progress YoYo Games have made with making their Instant Play plugin compatible with Firefox 3 and continually missed deadlines for the conversion of the Game Maker runner in to C++ and a Mac version of GameMaker.

Commenting on YoYo Games’ infrequently updated blog GameMakerTech’s Timoi wrote “Compared with before when Mark Overmars would remain silent for a long time and then release a version almost out of the blue, we are now kept a lot more up-to-date.”

I think that is the problem. With Mark there were rarely any broken promises as users were kept in the dark. User expectations were not high as people knew that for Mark GameMaker was a sideproject to his full time job. When YoYo Games came along the impression was given that this would change and GameMaker would move forward more rapidly. However time after time YoYo Games have made promises and then failed to deliver on them, disappointing their users.

For a company that keeps reminding us it wants to create “the YouTube of games” with it is rediculous that they have not yet provided an official solution to the incompatibility of their Instant Play feature with FireFox 3 which was released nearly a month ago. A couple of days delay is perhaps understandable if they had neglected to consider that FF3 might cause issues, however a wait this long really is pathetic when so many users have been able to come up with their own solutions.

What do you think?

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  1. I feel like a conversation killer, since I am now posting again after a few hours and nobody has since posted.

    I have just noticed that Sandy has reported that the firefox fix will be out on the 15th, with:

    “Sorry it took us so long, but this will be fixed July 15th midday (UK time). I can also look forward to using the latest version of FF3 myself now !”

    Wasnt too hard was it Yoyo? I really hope for the sake of all of you GM users that this actually happens….actually I correct that, I hope for Yoyo’s sake that this actually happens.

    Strange though that they havent even made reference to any of the other updated that they have promised.

    I stand to be corrected as I have not used GM other than a “quick flik around it” but the one thing I have noticed is that it appears to be a fairly stable and functional piece of software. Ive yet to see many serious problems being reported by users (forgetting the runner ripper), the majority of which seem to just be suggestions for new features.

    Its a shame that they adopted the friendly with customers attitude as this gives the customer a feeling that they are owed a response every time by yoyo, when in actual fact, compared to many other comercial packages GM is for the most part completely bug free…(or have I missed something)

  2. and sorry, I forgot to say. On the back of all these promises, does anyone really believe GM will get a Linux release? What about the briefly mentioned console platforms.

    If it takes this long to get them to even make a post on their blog, I wouldnt hold your breath.

  3. As I said a while ago, being “down with the customers” was always a bad idea. Whatever the reason for no software updates, having the attitude of being on the same level as the customers encourages the types of post that we are seeing on the Yoyo’s glog. Its hardly a good advert for a company when people are making angry remarks to a company and not getting any response.

    Another mistake of this “down with customers” attitude is all the claims they have made which are yet to be fulfilled. The MAC version is being written with Lazarus. Its an opensource pascal environment with delphi emulated class libraries. Its FREEWARE, and a supposed proffesional company is making a package with it that they intend to sell? Worse than that though, theyve told everyone that they are using it.

    Then we come to the C++ runner issue, which has yet to be mentioned, people have reported seeing job adverts for C++ coders in relation to Yoyo and yet again, Yoyo has lapsed into one of its trademarked silences whilst users post messages on the Yoyoglog that really dont fill any potential customer or investor with confidence.

    Firefox 3 has raised issues with the Yoyo site, and the only response they could make was words to the effect of “well we did tell them”

    Would it be so difficult for anyone in Yoyo to produce a quick message on Yoyos glog?

    Meanwhile, I continue to be impressed with the way Enigma is being handled, and I will get around to featuring it on my blog.

  4. There have been suggestions on how to get the plug in working since FF3 was released (something about nightly tools or editing the file yourself) so it’s not that big a deal. I can’t confirm if they work or not because personally I don’t even use instantplay. Am much happier just downloading things where I like.

  5. NAL, its one thing to complain because its ‘less practical’ to play a game if you really want to; but thats not whats being said here (not by the more intelligent ones at least). The reason I find it idiotic for YYG not to have fixed the Instant Play add-on on FF3 is because it harms them as a business.

    Sure, you say the have the GM for Mac and the C++ Runner, but these are all long term things that will benefit them in the future. When something BIG.. a big problem.. occurs that hinders the company’s instantaneous profit; something must be done about it – instantly!

    Sure, we have some committed members or some who love to play games on YoYo, and YYG wont lose these as they will still play the games on the site. However this number of members is really small to maintain profit on the YYG site (a thousand or two is simply not enough). What YoYo needs is to make it EASY for those who are not so committed to YYG to actually play games. For instance, since upgrading to FF3 the day of its release, I stopped playing anything on YoYo Games simply because I dont care enough to even open IE! But I used to play games, so in a way or another, YYG temporarily ‘lost’ a member like myself until they make their addon compatible with FF3 again.

    YoYo also wants to attract new members and casual players on the site. With the number of FF users (and therefore the number of FF3 users will be really close to that) is around a third of those who use the internet, and probably the ‘potential customers’ of YoYo games are even more dominated by FF and FF3 than in average. When such members – who have never used the YYg site before – see that it doesnt work on their browser, they wont bother trying again, since they dont really care most of the times.

  6. “GameMakerTech’s Timoi” – I do have a life outside GMTech you know….

    But seeing as you’ve commented on my comment, I guess I’d better comment. Not having Instant Play run on FF3 is annoying, but I do not depend on YYG to live so my life has not suddenly been turned upside because of this. In fact it is fun remembering the old way we had to do things; downloading, choosing where to save it, opening the zip, extracting it, finding the .exe and then finally playing. It makes me realise how amazing it is to just click one button and have the game play. There’s always *hackspit* Internet Explorer if you’re desperate.

    Anyway, I’m just not particularly bothered about delays. I’m patient and I’m not relying on any new releases.

  7. Highlight URL, paste into IE7, Play Now

    The effort burns. I think it’s pretty stupid that people are telling off YYG about their plug-in because FF3 is different to FF2… AND they should be making GM for Mac… AND they should be rewriting it in C++… AND giving everybody quicker responses to queries and helpdesk tickets. It’s not a huge workforce at YoYo HQ, and you wouldn’t be seeing ANY of this if it was still Overmars doing it all.

  8. I completely agree with every point he is saying. YYG promises too much and I really think rather than helping Game Maker there doing nothing but adding shitty customer support and holding bland competitions every month. Rather then improve Game Maker (which we haven’t seen any of e have just seen then slap there logo on GM 7 and give us registration problems.)

  9. Yep. Ever since switching to FF3 I have not used the YYG site. YoYo think that their site is soo valuable that everyone on firefox 3 will come up with a way to use instant play (either by using IE or by turning some of the new features of FF3).

    To be honest, to me, when it was between “switching to IE and use the YYG site” and “continuing as normal”, or “turning off features in FF3 to use the YYG site” and “using FF3 normally”, I always turned down ‘usingthe YYG site’, becuase truly; it isnt worth it. YoYo: you need incentives to let people use your site, not hinder the process of accessing it! If gmail had a problem with FF3 I might try anything to fix it, but YYG isnt that valuable to many members. Whats happening now is basically YoYo giving up 20% of their users if not more (temporarily perhaps, but still stupid).

MarkUp is back (not immediately)

YYG to finally make Instant Play Fx 3 compatible?