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Beamdog Fraud

Beamdog sells computer games like Balder's Gate Enhanced Edition. They advertise features like multiplayer. Multiplayer didn't work on any platform for over 3 years after the game was released. It still doesn't work on the Mac App Store version which they stopped supporting indefinitely. When I wanted the update that finally came out recently, customer support told me to buy another copy of the game on a different platform.

Beamdog also violated my reasonable expectations by not releasing the new expansion pack on the Mac App Store. If i wanted to play the expansion I'd have to buy the base game again on another platform then buy it there. Or wait god only knows how long (3 more years?).

Multiplayer has been unplayable due to game-breaking bugs like being very very laggy, items frequently duplicating, and sometimes being prevented from saving or resting. Also it crashes often. Overall it has not been in a usable state. Beamdog has known this and left it broken from release for over 3 years while advertising the multiplayer feature to prospective customers the whole time. This is fraud.

They said the next update would fix multiplayer. It's finally here. I haven't tested multiplayer with it yet, but there are reports multiplayer still doesn't work.


I bought the game again on Steam, and installed it, it wouldn't run. At all. Customer support replies once per day and wastes your time. They blame my computer for being too old. It's a modern retina iMac. The game has very low system requirements like 1ghz and 512mb ram. I have 4ghz and 32gb ram. What does support say? They say their own website lies to prospective purchasers about the system requirements, the real system requirements are higher. What are the real system requirements? They didn't say. Nevertheless this is an old game and my system is easily good enough. But after telling them my system specs they just reply telling me I need to give them more system specs (but they didn't say which ones). My 10 year old plastic macbook – that was low end when I bought it – could easily run their game. Yet they think somehow my high end iMac has such bad specs it prevents the game from running at all? Bullshit waste of time. And why don't they just ask for a crash log that includes my specs in it? Or actually give instructions for giving them whichever specs they want? Just asking for specs and then blaming people for not including whichever particular ones you wanted is ridiculous (and then demanding more specs and still not saying which you want).

I even deleted my Mac App Store version, deleted all the related files from my computer, deleted the steam version, and reinstalled the steam version to get it nice and clean. Still wouldn't run.

I knew customer support would never help so I bought the game, again, directly from Beamdog, and got a refund from Steam.

Their own version is also broken. When you're downloading it, it shows the patch notes from a couple years ago. They didn't update the installer. After downloading it, it doesn't run. You run their launcher, click "launch", and no game opens. (Fortunately I managed to troubleshoot it myself using advice from other players on the forums. It runs now. Unfortunately it has some new anti-features like they screwed up the way the game map works and there's no option for the old behavior.)


To summarize:

The Mac App Store version is unsupported indefinitely. No refunds. Fuck you. Beamdog blames Apple but they can't seem to get things to work on other platforms either:

The Steam version for Mac doesn't run on a fresh install.

The Beamdog version, from their website with their own installer ... also don't run on a fresh install.

A major feature they advertise, multiplayer, was broken on release and was left broken for over 3 years on all platforms, and may still be broken on all platforms. This is fraud. Want to play with your friends? Buy the game again away from the Mac App Store and they're advertising it works, though reddit suggests otherwise. Can I have steam keys at no cost to you? No, fuck off. (They have a general policy of giving out free steam keys to people who buy the game on their website. They could easily solve this Mac App Store problem at no cost to themselves. They don't want to. They are choosing to have bad customer service after defrauding customers with false advertising. They really seem to think telling people to pay for the game a second time is the best way to handle things.)

The system requirements they list on their website are a lie according to their own customer service.

The system requirements for the game are being increased to get the new patch, according to their own customer service. Anyone who doesn't meet the increased requirements will never be able to play multiplayer. Too bad, you can't have what you paid for.

I really wanted to like Beamdog because they have worked to restore and enhance some of my favorite computer games. But I can't do it. They defraud customers and have really awful customer service. Fuck Beamdog.


Beamdog is also, non-coincidentally, a social justice warrior company. They hire leftwing activists to put transgender characters into their games and rewrite the personalities of existing characters like Safana. At least she got fired after causing a bunch of bad press.

But why would you hire someone for an Enhanced Edition who thinks the original games are bad and need changing? Why not hire a fan who loves the games? Because the company leadership is trendy leftists too. This isn't some accident. Their bad values range from social justice to fraud, awful customer service, and broken game features.

Breitbart has a nice article:

Not only is it grossly out of character for Minsc, it’s a little bit of the Internet’s ugliness that quite simply didn’t need to be there. Where the transgender character is an expression of the developer’s intentions toward inclusion, Minsc’s dig is designed to exclude people with whom Beamdog disagrees. It’s trite, it’s catty, and it makes Beamdog’s other in-game statements come off as posturing rather than sincere.

Beamdog CEO Trent Oster ridiculously calls all the criticism "ridiculous" and expressed sadness that anyone has different values than he does. Read the whole article.


Elliot Temple on August 28, 2016

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