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Buena Vista Games Is Now Disney Interactive Studios, But Their Support Still Sucks

By TronFAQ on Friday, February 09, 2007 at 8:28 AM
A big shout goes out to TRON-Sector member Boingo_Buzzard for this news tip. Yesterday, Buena Vista Games (BVG) announced that they are changing their name to Disney Interactive Studios. Well, returning to it, is more like it.

The gaming division of Disney started with that name, over a decade ago. Then it was split into two entities. One stayed with the Disney Interactive name, and the other division was named Buena Vista Interactive. The idea was that DI would continue releasing the traditional children's titles, while BVI would start taking risks by releasing more adult titles. TRON 2.0 was released under the Buena Vista Interactive label. But shortly afterward, yet another reorganization occurred. Both DI and BVI were merged under the umbrella name, of Buena Vista Games. And now finally, the whole thing has come full circle, with BVG returning to its original name. What a convoluted mess.

The renaming of the studio immediately brings to mind many questions. Is this just a simple renaming, or is there more going on behind the scenes? A restructuring, perhaps? Is this name change simply to gain recognition due to the "Disney" name, or is there more to it? Does this mean that Disney considers BVG's attempt at more adult titles, a failure? Will the studio be returning to mainly kiddie fare?

Or, is it perhaps, because they hope to leave behind the negative connotations that have been built up around the BVG name? The resentment that their customers continue to hold, because of their abysmal support?

You'd think that perhaps by now the situation would have changed, and that the poor support TRON 2.0 game customers had to endure would be a thing of the past? Think again. Over in the Desperate Housewives game support forum (gag), the complaints are overwhelming. Customers cite the game was rushed into production, minimum requirements on the packaging are misleading, and a patch was required right out of the box to even get the game running properly. Customers are also talking about the feasibility of a class-action lawsuit. Sound familiar? Any of you who have been regularly reading this blog, would have heard several of these complaints before.

How about if you want to download the latest patch to TRON 2.0 from the BVG DI site? How difficult is it? Here's what was involved, up until a few weeks ago . . .

Step 1                                Step 2

Step 3                                Step 4

Step 5

As you can see for yourself, the support section of the site is needlessly arcane and complex. Finding the patch required going five levels deep, before reaching the anticipated result. A recent update to the support section has reduced this to four levels. Still, the hoops through which customers are expected to jump to find the patch, are rather ridiculous. Of course, it doesn't help that the game is no longer even listed on the site. And visiting http://www.tron20.net/ simply redirects you to the main page.

Good luck finding their phone number if you live in the U.S. or Canada (hint: it can be found on the company page), or their e-mail address (the forms you fill out on their "help system" actually generate an e-mail, or at least it used to be that way, so an e-mail address exists).

I recall reading more than one interview where the company's execs stated how their mission was to make BVG DI become a premier, first-rate publisher. Yet, they continue to offer third-rate support to their customers. Whether or not there has been any actual reorginization happening behind the scenes . . . all I see is the same shit, in different packaging.

To think that the future of any TRON games, still rests in the hands of BVG DI. May the Users help us.

UPDATE: Unbelievably, the day I post this article: the Desperate Housewives game forum went down temporarily. (I thought maybe it had disappeared.) Regardless, the game is no longer listed on the BVG DI site! Hahaha! History repeats itself! Well, sorry BVG DI . . . but just in case you decide to try and nuke the game's existence from your sites entirely, you can't hide your dirty laundry so easily (read the comments).
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5 comments so far.

  1. David S February 09, 2007 7:25 PM
    TronFaq, we should get the community at DH's forum, the guys like you, Red, X, etc., and brign them here to show them BVG'sDI's ways.
  2. Anonymous February 10, 2007 6:42 AM
    Wow, BVG does it again. You'd think they would have learned something by now.
  3. Anonymous February 10, 2007 10:38 AM
    Great article, TronFAQ!

    I love the whole name confusion approach you took with the crossed out words! lol

    Interesting documentation of how to download the TRON 2.0 patch. What the hell was that all about? Seems like it would require so much more effort for THEM to do that kind of crap than to simply offer decent and easy to navigate support pages like EVERY OTHER game developer on the planet.

    The "dirty laundry" comments were particularly interesting to read. They make it seem as if Disney doesn't support the games they sell people? Hmmm... Of course, we know otherwise. :-P He he he.
  4. Anonymous February 10, 2007 2:45 PM
    Still the same: business cannot do entertainment, entertainment can't be business. The should sell their kiddie thingies and leave the real entertainment into the hands of those knowing what it is (or should be) - at least fun.

    P.S.: by the way DI, BVG or what ever, if you should read this (officially surely not, but we all know you do...): give out that source-code for Tron2.0. You can't, wouldn't or being able to do anything with it, so leave it in our hands so at least Tron2.0 has a chance to be taken seriously.

  5. TronFAQ February 13, 2007 9:43 AM
    Check out the comments on Amazon.com, regarding the PC version of the Narnia game.

    Narnia customer comments on Amazon.com

    I found one comment by "MarfyBarfy" to be spot-on, here's an excerpt from it:

    There are many people who are having serious trouble with the Narnia game. It is NOT their fault. It is NOT because they are whining. It is NOT because they are doing something wrong, or their computer didn't meet the requirements.

    It is because game companies would prefer not to mess with PC CD-ROMS because they can be copied. Game companies are slowly whittling down their PC divisions with the ultimate goal of closing them to concentrate on console games (such as Interplay did with Black Isle Studios on December 19 2005). They are not hiding it. Game companies don't like making PC Games.

    Narnia is another "adapted" game. It is not built for PC's. The GOF Potter game is another "adapted" game, and another fiasco.

    I believe that PC games are a wonderful, fun way for kids to learn about computers. I don't like what is going on with the game companies, but what I like less is the PC community at large blaming parents... instead of being outraged at what the game manufacturers are getting away with.

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