A dev response to the CUOP situation

When first heard about CUOP from a GDP member, and we talked about the implications for the game and the community. We decided to not comment on it and let it play out for the following reasons:

  • The COUP project itself is not against the rules, it is entirely within the game’s mechanics
  • We are not part of it, not supporting the COUP team, nor any counter groups
  • We knew that if we waited and observed there would be a chance to learn more about the game and how players handle these kind of situations
  • We expected that this kind of economic conflict would happen at some point and thought it would be better if it is coming from a group we know that doesn’t have any malicious intentions

We expected that there was going to be some form of backlash from the affected players. If one effectively takes away whole colonies for weeks that will result in players that are (rightful so) mad. At this point we learned that the game is lacking tools for individual players to effectively counter such an aggression. We talked about many possible changes, but in the end there’s no simple solution to “fix” it. That doesn’t mean that we won’t do anything, but rather that we want to solve these problems on a larger scale. Player agency has now a higher status in game design as before.

In the meantime the taxes have been reduced to normal levels by the COUP governors except for resource extractions, and we thought that the COUP experiment would be over soon. We were wrong.

To put it simply, COUP has presented the game world with an unforeseen problem and expected everyone to say “challenge accepted”. But this was not the case. As CU and CU-based products re-appeared on the markets the discussion got way more personal, harsher and even to the extent where it violated our guidelines. There were players accusing each other of toxic behavior and even publicly announcing that they wanted to drive others away from the game.

This is unacceptable. I want to remind everyone where we, the community, came from. The community grew slowly from one alpha test to another, helping each other out. The community tried to make sense of the game, interacting with each other and with the devs in the most civil and helpful manner I’ve ever encountered in a gaming community. It is not only me who thinks so, ask anyone who has played the game for a couple of hundred days. To be honest, I don’t think that the community became toxic from one day to the next. I rather think that we have two opposing groups that are entangled in a fight and cannot let go without losing face.

So what now? I kindly ask to reconsider your past actions. Maybe it is time to agree to disagree? Maybe some of you overstepped at some point and an apology will fix it. None of this has to happen in public.

Considering the guidelines: I hate to say that, but in the future we will have to enforce them more strictly. It is not acceptable for players to drive others away from the game. You have been warned.

While I am writing this, Prdgi has announced that he wants to reduce his time with the game. This statement is not a response to Prdgi but a response to the situation as a whole.


It’s sad that it’s got to this stage truthfully.

But I like to think it shows the passion, engagement, and interest people have for the game and community. I also think it’s highlighted some of the different ways people play and what they seek to take from a game. I think it’s a good thing that the game and community are able to support these different approaches.

I suspect that some part of this is directed toward me.

I have heard various comments from the bigger players who do not seem to know I am. They seem to think I am some upstart that came out of nowhere. If you check my forum registration, it is Jan. ‘19. Even though I am not among the rich and famous, I have been a part of this community for a long time. Even after all these years, I am still one of the working class in this community. I understand that among the devs my statements have been confused with I_am_ Tex. IRL, even though we are both in South Texas, there is 500km between us. I am far closer to the frontera of Laredo. In game, we are like minded and allied, but my statements are mine and mine alone. Do not confuse my statements or actions with anyone else.

I have been nearly 15 years in these browser games. In most of them, I have stayed until they died. Nevertheless, as in RL, I have become a drifter and a longrider. The only constant in all of this is that I stand up against injustice wherever I find it. I stand up for honesty and fairness. Given the recent invention of thievery and the attempt to lock the community out of markets, we have clearly suffered injustices. To excuse these as “game mechanics” is complete bullshit. These are the repeated failures of our development team to have any consideration for the welfare or well being of the community for which they have assumed leadership responsibility. These are repeated failures of leadership.

As to Miguel, based on my personal dealings with him, I can assure you that he is Money Hungry. More than anything else, he is driven by profitability. The fact that he bought every available fab as he left our corporation did create some animosity in my corporation. I have had no direct communication with Miguel/Zang. As far as I know, no member of my corporation has had any direct any direct communication with Miguel/Zang. Even without direct communication, with the aid of known spies I was able to make it clear that I was coming to his planet. And that I was not coming alone. The planet chat was not going to be friendly. I wish that animosity could be credited as the reason for Miguel/Zang’s implosion, but it’s just not true. Miguel folded because of the shock of losing contracts and markets. His capitulation was not any form of intimidation. It was entirely market driven. The boycott worked. Our community found a way to use the precious “game mechanics” to our advantage. The boycott worked.

If there was ever any question as to my civility, let it be settled now. I am sure that you can see that I can be entirely civil but nevertheless painfully sharp. It is not any lack of civility that my friends object to. It is the discomfort of my pointed disapproval they object to.

As to driving players from the game, I know for certain at least one player from my corp quit the game and I understand that probably at least 3 more quit over the CUOP incident. Then there is Esabab and the unknowns who left with him over the thievery. The majority of the players driven from this game have been a surrender to the disappointment that that out trust, our protection had been abandoned by those we depended on for our sanctuary. How many more are deeply disappointed but stay? It is not players that drive players from the game. It is flawed leadership decisions by our management that bring our citizens to leave. Our devs have made serious miscalculations at the very moment when they need our help. The loss of the CUOP members and supporters would at this point be trivial. Let them leave.

I do have some regrets in all of this. I confess to an injured fondness for Prdgi. What has happened to us my friend? In the days of thievery you saw the intensity of my resistance. You so passionately and repeatedly tamped down my reaction so it all stayed private among you and a few. Knowing me like that, did you really think I would stand down for the next injustice? You knew that I thought the “game mechanics” justification to be complete bullshit. Did the months with Rubi and Shar convince you that the ultra-wealthy controlled this world, that the working class would never rise up? I dreamed that I touched your heart. At least, I hoped that you knew me better.

Nevertheless, this incident will not be soon forgotten. For my part, I have no interest in doing any business with any member or supporter of GDP or CUOP.

Now or ever.

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Contrary to you I come from nowhere and am new here.
Still your words are making me wanna vomit.

Phrasing something in pretty words does not change the underlying rot that is inside every fanatic.
Your moral ambiguity would be fun if it didn’t feel so real.

If it’s in the game and not deemed as exploit by the developers, it’s ok to use it.
Especially at Alpha stage, where it’s actually important to use everything so it can be properly tested.

This game has many faces to it and if you feel the need to mix game world with real world maybe playing games is just not for you. Don’t get me wrong, I’d hate to see you go, as passion for gaming is great, and yet when your narrow-minded view begins to hurt people outside game world I begin to have second thoughts about you being gone.

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boo , What the point of calling some one narrow minded thats worse than anything i’ve seen so far. Take it easy let these guys role play all they want. Houston Is a great guy don’t label him he doesnt deserve that or to be attacked for what he doing.

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Someone is mixing realities, it’s no longer roleplay, CUOP are great guys and are still allowed be in-game-assholes and this is fine. Either be in-game or not be here. Game mechanics allow for something? Use it or don’t use, but don’t ever dare to impose your point of view on other players, for any reason and mostly because of some moral highground. It’s a game, it has rules.

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I think everyone in this topic should calm down a bit!

I take it that you are talking about the piracy incident when you mean “thievery”. Just a quick comment on that. It has not been invented recently, it has been in the game ever since we released shipping contracts. When we designed the shipping contracts we asked ourselves what to do, if a shipment is in the shippers possession when the contract breaches (for whatever reason) and we decided that the shipper should receive the contents (mostly because of realism, it wouldn’t make sense to “beam” the contents back). That was not a random, but a deliberate choice. That this will allow some form of piracy was crystal clear at that point, and one of the trailers even mentions it. We can discuss if this was a clever solution to the problem and whether there are enough other game mechanics to counter piracy and maybe even if piracy should be in the game at all, yes, but to argue that it is not part of the game or not a game mechanic is not going to help.

I think we are misunderstanding the meaning of testing game mechanics. They aren’t meant to justify how bad or try and make it seem simpler than it is. I believe I proved this with my SCN/HMS experiment. Game mechanics are not a justification for behaviour. They have much more of a simultaneous and detached relationship with one another. I believe that it’s best to just let the matter drop - I led the Belzeran Opposition to Nullify Koups(BONK!) and life has basically returned to normal. HOWEVER, I have formed many more relationships with non-cuop members and the newbros. That specific circumstance can definitely be classified as testing game mechanics. “How does economic conflict influence intercorporation and interpersonal relationships?” It DOES NOT JUSTIFY taking these actions, but it does provide valuable information for the progression of the game.


I agree, it’s nice to have the game tested and see what people can and can’t do. However, if Houston wants to be righteous and not take advantage of people that’s his decision. PrUn being a game focused around economics and trade is a social game. Being able to work with like-minded individuals who you can trust is a big part of trade, a key component of this game. Houston doesn’t want to deal with people who would backstab him or he doesn’t seem trustworthy, that’s his decision and he’s free to express it.

Basing on what I saw from the trailers this game should be played however you want it to be played, not that there should be any “rules”. If you had enough money to start a loan business you could do that, if you only wanted to work in currency exchange go ahead. If you want to solely be a pirate you’re more than welcome to try, I don’t have to like you if you want to be a pirate. If you want to start a cartel go ahead, I don’t have to agree with it and I’ll do what I can to fight it. PrUn the way I see it is much like a sandbox and do as you will. There are no goals and no end game in my eyes.


I just want to put it out there that I didn’t leave because of what players were doing with the contracts. I stopped playing the current run because the contract issues along with population stealing and a list of other issues had been brought up in these forums, on discord and in the game chats many times and the devs never responded to them.

They are major issues that can make people quit the game and they are known and nothing was ever done about them (ex: ratings were known to suck and nothing happened until a blow up). It just became really painful to spend a lot of time thinking about the game and documenting issues and then later be smacked in the face with those issues.

It was especially painful as I was spending a large amount of my time trying to make things work (off CX economy) that have few of the tools they need to work. I ended up feeling like it was my job to community build and economy balance. Why should I do that and grow and maintain the player base if the issues brought up by the community were being ignored?

After getting out of the game for a while it became easier to see that the game is just not in a state that allows me to take it as seriously as I was taking it. I’m hopeful for a restart now that shipbuilding is in if they do some of the QOL changes and give populous and off CX life another look.

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