Twenty years have passed since world leaders offered an unconditional surrender to alien forces and XCOM, the planet's last line of defense, was left decimated and scattered. Now the aliens rule Earth, building shining cities that promise a brilliant future for humanity on the surface, while concealing a sinister agenda below and eliminating all who dissent from their new order.Only those who live at the edges of the world have a margin of freedom. Here, a force gathers once again to stand up for humanity. Always on the run, the remnant XCOM forces must find a way to rise from the ashes, expose the insidious truth behind the occupation, and eliminate the alien threat once and for all.

Post news Report RSS XCOM 2 “Fan Expansion” Modders Receive Cease And Desist From Take Two

Firaxis’ parent company shuts down Dragonpunk fan-expansion after proposed Kickstarter campaign.

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In an interview with Super Nerd Land, A team of XCOM 2 modders claim to have received a Cease and Desist notice from Take Two the parent company of XCOM 2 developer Firaxis Games. The team, named Dragonpunk – which is also the name of the shared universe its multiple XCOM 2 mods inhabit – is most well known for the development of a co-op XCOM 2 mod, which allows multiple players to co-operate in the campaign missions.

Toward the end of 2016, the Dragonpunk team took to its social channels to propose the creation of a fan-made standalone expansion pack for XCOM 2, set within this Dragonpunk universe. This expansion pack would comprise elements of the existing Dragonpunk mods, but would ultimately exist as a total conversion inspired by the Shadowrun series.


Seemingly aware of the legal quagmire they were entering into – due to the solicitation of money from fans in a Kickstarter campaign using the XCOM 2 intellectual property - the Dragonpunk team created a petition to ask for Firaxis’ blessing. Included in that petition was the proposal to to send any funds raised “directly to Firaxis to further build trust and confidence in this campaign”. However, Firaxis’ parent company, Take Two, officially declined to allow for a Kickstarter campaign to take place.


Dragonpunk’s official statement regarding Take Two’s response follows:

“We just received a call from Take Two, the parent company for Firaxis. They respectfully declined to allow a Kickstarter. We always knew this business model was not without risk, and we respect their decision. Please look for our Dragonpunk Demo built in Amazon Lumberyard!”

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The aforementioned interview expands upon the team’s cease and desist notice, and also reveals intentions to bring the co-op mod to Long War 2:

“This summer we were set to release a Co-Op version of Long War 2 that would allow 4 players in the same strategy campaign at the same time with the ability to split up the tactical mission amongst the 4 players. With just a few more months needed for development, we’re contemplating finishing it, but we’ve just all been put off by how this whole situation was handled.”

Moving forward, the Dragonpunk team now intends to create a standalone game from similar concepts, using the Amazon Lumberyard engine. The first step is the creation of a conceptual demo, funded through a small business loan, that the team hopes will lead to further funding opportunities if its vision and ideas can be communicated.

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Comments
Gamemaster_Fox
Gamemaster_Fox

Well at least Take Two didn't give the go ahead and then sent out a CnD later...

... were they polite in the denial? If so, then they're ten times better than most companies.

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Alandauron
Alandauron

From the other article it looks as if Take Two was very professional, they denied the Kickstarter because it would attach Dragonpunk to them, but were fine with the continuation of modding for XCom 2. From how it reads Dan wants to make sure he can pay his artists so doesn't want to continue with modding, which is his right, and so technically shut that part down himself.

We can't really blame Take Two in this regard because comparatively speaking there is very little real support for Dragonpunk and there is also relatively little to show for their work so far. Such is what happens when working primarily on paying artists rather than developing the mod with existing assets though. Very costly to pay artists and modelers for their time.

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feillyne StaffSubscriber
feillyne

That is odd, a mod team could just become an indie team and make an indie game while using their own, original, proprietary indie assets to make mod equivalents as well.

Why push for a paid mod when you can make your own indie game and use its assets to make a total conversion mod out of it as well?

(Aye, compared to just one, two projects are more of a burden, that is the only downside. Well, but if there is anyone in the dev team to code it all in and adjust the art pipeline to fit both the separate indie game and the conversion, it is not that much of a problem. Two birds with one stone, or perhaps one and a half stone.)

Reply Good karma+9 votes
Alandauron
Alandauron

Dan, the one who came up with the concept, was trying to attach Dragonpunk to 2K and to get support and funding towards making an "official" paid dlc to XCom 2. So not so much a paid mod as an expansion pack of some sort. Also over 90% of the coding has been done by one person, Elad who has done a great job, but Dan has to work his job as well as deal with all the business aspects so he hasn't been as helpful as he had hoped to be on the project.

Dan made a big statement before XCom 2 even launched and talked about committing a large amount of funds to developing the project. With the C&D he is now backing out of that statement and commitments he talked about, for good reason of course, and is changing focus to trying to make a "AAA" demo to show the concept. I hope they manage but I have grown skeptical about whether or not Dan will manage in the game industry, especially with him taking down a comment I made(on their Facebook page) that merely pointed out that Dragonpunk has relatively small support [in comparison] which is most likely why 2K didn't go for the pitch. 1200 signatures is nothing when Long War(a mod for XCom Enemy Unknown) was done completely for free and received much more recognition and support than Dragonpunk. I think Long War had 100,000 unique downloads and over 15,000(compared to 1200 signatures) endorsements before Firaxis and 2K ever made any acknowledgements about supporting them.

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feillyne StaffSubscriber
feillyne

Well, all the more reason for them to focus on an indie/"AAA" game first, forge and solidify their own Dragonpunk IP and build up some recognition, and only then think about free or paid mods for XCOM. Kind of a shame to take the slippery road first and be burnt by the "C&D" they received. Total conversions are the hardest of mods to make.

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LordIheanacho
LordIheanacho

If there is no C&D letter than why is this article telling us they received a cease and desist from Take-Two? Now this title looks like ******* semi-clickbait. I hate clickbait.

Pet-peeve aside, I am glad T2I declined it formally without an intimidating letter threatening legal action and I don't blame them for doing so.

When I saw this article on the front page headline, I almost thought T2I was truly going the way of Konami, CCP Games, or Nintendo, after reading all this, it explained everything. How could the modders think charging Kickstarter would be a great idea for their mod? Defeats the purpose of calling it a mod if one must throw away their money to them.

Community is vehemently against paid mods for a VERY good reason and it should stay that way. If they truly want to make money, they need to go indie. There's NUMEROUS opportunities to make your game without worming your way into a big AAA studio so there's absolutely NO excuse otherwise.

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Zebo12345
Zebo12345

They had a kickstarter going, and T2 told them to stop. That's a ceace and desist, even if it wasn't done with a letter.

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LordIheanacho
LordIheanacho

Where exactly did Take Two mentioned this on their Kickstarter? Proof or it didn't happen. Screen-cap or something.

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OhNoesBunnies!
OhNoesBunnies!

Dumbasses.

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howitzerjunkie928
howitzerjunkie928

really what did they think would happen though?

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Firelord475
Firelord475

so they tried to charge money for a mod?

Idiots

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IamInnocent
IamInnocent

Charging for mods isn't recommended choice. They took the risk, and they failed. There are quite a few cases about people charging mods for money. Most of them failed, and it won't be an acceptable choice for a while. Still change is desirable, as Valve is slowly opening this door of petition towards modders, even though it is rejected by the majority of the community.

The choice would have been good if both parties corporate and discuss about their plans before the game was released, as money plays a big role in making big businesses going round. Games were getting more and more expensive, and for some people like me, I have to think twice before spending my money on games because of the inflation of Malaysian currency.

I love the idea of a Sci-Fi Fantasy world. Dragonpunk seems to be the perfect choice. But I haven't obtained a copy of XCOM2 yet, so I have to think twice before spending RM 290, (80 USD, discounted for the currency switch in Steam,) in order to play the mod. :) Then I would have to be on the lookout for discounts. :D

P.S. A fine meal costs around RM5 in Malaysia.

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feillyne StaffSubscriber
feillyne

Actually, if you wanted to go full cheapskate, you could buy XCOM 2 from Humble Bundle for 12 bucks in January: Humblebundle.com a bit too late to look for discounts now. (May take more than a few months before the price goes perma down and then is further discounted.)

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IamInnocent
IamInnocent

I didn't notice this mod back then. If I had notice it during that time, then I might consider skipping 8 meals for it. :)

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Alandauron
Alandauron

The Sci-Fi Fantasy overhaul won't be done on XCom 2. Currently they have a few mods out but nothing that makes a significant change to XCom 2 anywhere close to their desired goal. If you're interested in Dragonpunk keep an eye on their Twitter account as that's where they make all their announcements, but don't buy XCom 2 for that Sci-Fi fantasy experience, it isn't there.

They were planning on make the Long War 2 mod 4-player co-op in tactical missions but have abandoned that since receiving the C&D...if it can be called a C&D, it was a weird one to be sure. They were only told not to request support from Firaxis/2K in continuing their plans and to not solicit money from players, which makes sense. If for some reason Dragonpunk wasn't delivered, or if the delivery was extremely lacking 2K would receive the same amount of criticism as Team Dragonpunk, and they would be impacted more by the criticism.

Dan, the one who came up with the Dragonpunk concept, wants to lead a AAA development team, or at least that's what it sounds like from everything I've gathered while following this project. He has been busy working in another job so hasn't had the time to contribute to the project and has been paying others with the money he earns to work toward his goals.

Overall it's a very ambitious project that I hope succeeds, but I've grown skeptical as Dan made a bunch of promises that he's now backing out on. Life happens and plans change and all that, but their support is relatively small in the scheme of things and the goals are way too big given the low amount of support. I think the focus should be changed to indie otherwise this is all likely to go absolutely nowhere, but only time will tell.

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IamInnocent
IamInnocent

Thanks for your clarification of the details that I should know about the game. Guess I will wait to see how things goes. :/

I want this project will succeed, (because there are Dragons inside!) but as you mentioned that if the content was not up to what the audience wants, then the criticism they received will impact their image. From here I can see why switching the development towards an Indie game is a more viable option.

Ambition is a driving force for people to succeed, it's what makes Dragonpunk look so attractive in the first place. Still the higher the ambition, the more work it takes for the game to finish. From the sounding of the situation you described, it can deduced that the burden of making the mod has overwhelmed the passion of creating the mod, making Dan backing out. It looks like it's time for a change of pace, unless Dan is willing to spend more time on the development of the mod.

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TheVidmaster
TheVidmaster

this one was deserved

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muerte2mortal
muerte2mortal

Looks like Lord Gaben words got too far, and someone tried to catch pluto with a hand from the earth.
Xcom2 its an unnoptimized mess, what i really wanted was a map editor for "Enemy Within", because not even long war could save me from jawning after seeing the same UFO, Terror, Bomb defuse maps over and OVER again. Also your soldiers cant even crouch.

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Firelord475
Firelord475

I thought both games had map editors by now

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muerte2mortal
muerte2mortal

Xcom2 has it, but Enemy Within does not.
Do a quick search over the internet, you wont find custom maps, what Long War did was to change your spawn point, but its the SAME damn map, and for a game as Xcom its like a crime because it gets boring FAST. Add the simplified gameplay due to casual players(they just want instant fun, not to think too much), console limitations, and there you have it.

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Firelord475
Firelord475

You say simple fun like the first video games came out were not for simple fun.

Thats why long war exists though.

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muerte2mortal
muerte2mortal

Mate did you read fully what i wrote? XCOM2012 was SIMPLIFIED to appeal to a broarder audience, casual players dont like to THINK too much when playing (no offence meant, but they should play mobile games). If we rate complexity and tactical difficulty between XCOM Ufo defence and XCOM2012, then the first one wins by a kilometer. Also we have CONSOLE limitations because they cant hande to much on screen.
Have you ever wondered why civilization revolution for xbox360, its extremely watered down in comparison to its PC cousins?

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Maggy_

I don't think they should really be trying to make paid mods. We already have very affordable or even fully free game engines that are even easier to work with than modding a game.
I hope they can start making a standalone game instead of trying to make a paid mod for a game

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JachAnen
JachAnen

"...to further build trust and confidence in this campaign" Maybe earn trust before going ahead and make a Kickstarter on their property?? I think they lost trust from this.

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Alandauron
Alandauron

Lol, yea that was my thoughts while they were actively working toward the Kickstarter. I couldn't help thinking that it would have been better to create mods without trying to be so high profile and then, if they gained popularity, taken the road they started out with.

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rkraptor70
rkraptor70

Aaaaan this is how companies like EA justifies removing mod support.

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CloneWarrior85
CloneWarrior85

In what world would they thought that charging people for content that they don't own (the XCOM IP) would work out?

If you want to get players to support your mods, add a paypal button.

If you want to charge for your work, create your own company, create your own IP, pay the bills it comes out from it, and then get the profits.

It's really sad the world we're getting into.

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ArmageddonEvil
ArmageddonEvil

They definitely deserved this. At least they are trying to create their fantasy sci-fi universe now but they could've went about it a little bit better...

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TeamDragonpunk
TeamDragonpunk

Hi All,
This is Dan Connery from Team Dragonpunk. I know the interview is a bit long, but I recommend reading it before listening to someone who was kicked from the team for verbally abusing others (Alandauron). I'm seeing that a lot of these comments are based on incorrect information. Just to clear up a few misconceptions from these comments.

1. We were not charging for mods. Our mods are, and always will be, free and open source.

2. The pitch for a Kickstarter through Take-Two was standard business practice. "Acqui-hires" are how Google purchased Android and Chrome.

3. Alandauron likes to claim that there is very little to show because he has no technical background, and doesn't understand the complexity of the Co-Op mod. That took several professional software engineers half a year to complete, and only after we released some incredibly sophisticated free XCOM 2 modding tools.

4. Regarding making our own indie game. Well, there is certainly merit to that, but like most game developers these days, the trick is getting millions of dollars in funding to do so. Back in the day you could create a simple indie game and eventually raise the funding through the profits. Unfortunately, it doesn't work like that anymore. Always happy to answer more questions on this complex issue, as we pride ourselves on being open and transparent.

5. We wouldn't have made any actual profit from the Kickstarter. It was all to fund the art assets through Firaxis. Total conversion mods are good business for the base game only.

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Alandauron
Alandauron

Verbally abusing others...lmao so a smear campaign on me.

The truth is I told Dan that if he had expectations of me then to let me know otherwise just remove me from the team. I joined on because I wanted to help but also had real life issues that were more important than a mod I wasn't going to be paid to create. Someone else joined with the time to work on the co-op and did a wonderful job with that. The team is great and I wish them all the best but I find it funny that Dan wants to claim I was removed for verbal abuse of any kind.

1. Dan said HE was going to do the co-op mod himself and I told him to let me know when he decided to start on it and I would help out. I was not going to make the mod for him for free though without his contribution to it.

2. I got along great with the other members and only ever exchanged words with Dan because I was willing to question his decisions. I kept those exchanges between myself and Dan though.

3. I have given Dan plenty of credit, it is very time consuming working with companies and keeping fans involved in development which he has done a great job at.

4. I volunteered to help in other ways, updating the website which hasn't changed in over a year, making some small mods that involved rescuing "Team Dragonpunk", and some other things and he told me that wasn't until later so I returned to my own projects.

Dan I'll say this again, I hope you succeed at this but considering your sensitivity to criticism I fear you don't have it in you to do business in the game industry. Also as I stated on your FB before you deleted it I'm not surprised that 2K didn't go for it because your support is relatively small in comparison to the other mod team that is being supported and really small in the scope of a publisher looking for potential profits. Good luck, please try and stop being so sensitive though, you need thicker skin in the game industry. Look at the amount of criticism XCom 2 received, also Destiny at launch.

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Kontra_Kommando
Kontra_Kommando

I've notice mods get shut down, once they start using kickstarters, or go fund mes.

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