So, I thought Phoenix Point looked like a really cool game back when they started developing it. This was some time in 2017, I believe. I saw that the game was two years out at the time, but still decided to throw in my $30 for the game when it eventually does drop. I mean why not, right. You get to back a game from the guys who developed the original XCOM games. I’m not sure if they are actually part of the original Microprose team or not (I need to do more research on these things but don’t find the time). When I was growing up, I played the very early XCOM games. They were a challenge. They evolved over time; but the most difficult game I found was still the first one. Terror from the deep was certainly up there with UFO Defense as well.
Some of the earliest turn based strategy games I can remember, UFO Defense would run on your PC as long as it was a Pentium 3 or higher with 128 MB of RAM. That’s right, not 1 GB or 2 GB. Or 4 GB. We’re talking 128 MB of RAM. Hey, it was a lot back then you know. Man went to the moon with less.
Anyways, let’s get back on track and talk about Phoenix Point. So I shelled out the $30 to be a backer. Proud to be one. Or was. I eventually noticed that, although I was a backer right from the beginning, I apparently didn’t shell out enough money. You have to pay a minimum of $50 to get access to the Backer Builds.
This was somewhat frustrating upon learning this gem. I couldn’t recall if they told people that when they started developing the game, but that felt like a bit of a money grab.
Still, I decided to be a good sport and email Fig support. I advised them that I’d be happy to pay the extra $20 just to have access to the backer builds. I also blabbered on about being a huge XCOM fan.
The response from support was somewhat helpful, which was there was no way to upgrade my pledge, so they would be happy to refund the $30 (which was more then that due to conversion etc). so I can use it towards upgrading my pledge to the $50 category.
I was planning to go ahead and do that, but then after reading more about the first Backer Build from Phoenix Point, I realized that it’s only a single mission that’s currently available (like a demo). And that does make sense, but I also realized that it’s probably not even worth shelling out more money right now just to play a single mission.
A few days after this realization, I noticed that there was an announcement that the release date has been pushed back further. I guess I’m glad that I’m no longer a backer! Although the finished game should be awesome; I guess I won’t be taking part in the backer builds. Oh well. Back to more Witcher!
Update – October 4, 2019 – Backer Build 5 released last month (September)
I’ve been patiently awaiting the release of the full game of Phoenix Point, like most players. I’ve considered paying the $50 some odd dollars for the game, so that I get it when it’s released Q1 2020. By doing so, I’m supposed to also get access to the backer builds.
Everytime I consider doing this, I read the comments on the most recent backer build, and then change my mind. The comments on this page about backer build 5 did it for me this time. Users report not getting a key; users report that you can’t play backer build 5 if you buy-in right now – you had to buy in before this point. Users report that on the launch day of backer build 5, they couldn’t actually obtain the game due to some issues with the Epic launcher. Some users also report the game crashing, etc.
Understandable on many aspects – that this is not the full game, so we have to wait for the full game for all of these kinds of things to be ironed out. The developers have pushed back the release date, in order to ensure they’re releasing a quality game.
With that being said, the level of unknown around buying in right now makes it so that I don’t really want to buy in. If I knew for sure that I could pay for the early release, and be able to play Backer Build 5 without any issue, I’d be all for it. But I don’t have that level of confidence; that I’ll be able to actually obtain the newest Backer Build right after paying, and have it work without crashing on my system.
I also just checked on the latest price, and the price has gone up. The developers are now charging $74.99 (which converts to even higher because I’m in Canada). This is really not cool, as it’s more expensive than any other PC game on the market right now.