One of the issues to arise out of the transition towards digital distribution has been the impact it has on gamers without internet. Be it a patch for a new release that hasn't yet worked out all the kinks (hello, Skyrim), the latest DLC, an indie arcade game, or the oft-maligned online pass, those without a steady bandwidth and credit line can be left in the dark.
Sure, it's easy to take the Internet for granted - especially since you're reading this article on it right now. But there are still many who can't afford it, have it blocked by their government, or, in the case of Reddit user and Bastion fan bolivar-shagnasty, are off protecting freedom in far parts of the world.
Stationed in Afghanistan, the user posted about not being able download Bastion from Steam because of a shoddy internet connection. He then used what feeble service was left to him and e-mailed developer Supergiant Games asking if the title would be coming to retail. What happened next was an inspiring story that delivered him to the precipice of human acheivement: the Reddit "/r/ gaming" front page.
Check it out:
I got a response back from Greg from Supergiant. This wasn't a customer service rep or PR guy. It was Greg Kasavin, a writer and designer for the game (it says it on their website so I don't feel like he would mind the name drop). He told me they had no plans on releasing a physical copy in the future, but if I gave him my address then he would see what he could do. A few weeks later I get a copy of the game and some Bastion swag. All he asks for in return is for me to get a copy on Steam when I come home. I've never really seen customer service like this before and thought Reddit would like to know.
We gave Bastion a 5/5 review, and the stylized action RPG went on to win our award for the best indie game of 2011 - so we don't doubt the soldier will enjoy it. It's awesome to see a developer reach out to help a gamer with extenuating circumstances, and even more so, one who's putting his life on the line for the rest us. We're already eager to see what Supergiant has in store next and hope that they can continue to keep their "super" customer service mantra intact.
Bastion is available for download on the Xbox Live Arcade and Steam.
Follow me on Twitter @Brian_Sipple