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Ghost town forum?

Is there something going on with GameSparks?  Have they reduced support staff?  I never see any new replies to forum posts.  What is going on?


6 people have this question

Since this was posted 2 days ago and no reply, I'm guessing my question is answered.  lol

Yeah,


I have noticed it aswell. Since the change to bring in forum's and not just have the Q&A's they're pretty much dropped off entirely, it's a worry because the training documentation leave a pretty significant amount of blanks. Looking at some of the old tickets the used to provide pretty indepth code examples of how things work.


The upside is that there are few people in the community which help and reply to a lot of tickets and GameSparks as a back end is really great.

This is a great question, I've noticed the same thing. Is the future of GameSparks secure? If there are changes, or it disappearing coming, it'd be far better for us to have a heads up so we can plan accordingly. It's very risky to invest time into a service without a clear future.


Cheers,


Susan.

They seem to have scaled down their use of their own website since Amazon bought them. There's little interaction on the forums, and they respond to bug reports but don't actually fix the bugs. They've also stopped updating their blog, which they used to update on a weekly basis: https://www.gamesparks.com/blog/  However, they do still post frequently on Twitter: https://twitter.com/GameSparksltd

I was surprised to see Twitter so active compared to all other means of communication. And as someone who is currently at the very beginning of adding a backend to his game, I do feel a little bit worried. It makes me question if I maybe bet on the wrong horse. I do love the GameSparks system, but I am still at a point where I could switch to a different BaaS provider and I am debating whether I should.

It is kinda weird that there is this big acquisition by Amazon and the huge rollout of version 2 and then they fall silent. I don't know what to make of it.

Do you think that Amazon is going to overhaul GameSparks?

The activity on Twitter seems basically automated blurbs about GameSparks, and not anything new or conversational.

I really feel uncomfortable speculating about another company, so let's try to just look at the facts.


When the acquisition happened, I was really happy. I feel that GameSparks is a perfect fit to work with Amazon's GameLift and Lumberyard (even though I am not a Lumberyard fan). I also feel that GameSparks is leaps and bounds ahead of the competition in regards to what they offer and in the transparency of their price structure. The only odd thing about the acquisition was that it apparently happened in Q2 of 2017, but the official announcement only was made in Q1 of 2018. 


GameSparks does have a couple of high profile customers and games like Lara Croft: Relic Run are still being actively developed and use GameSparks as their backend. Animal Super Squad was released in May and is quite successful and 7 Days to Die seems still pretty much alive (pun intendend). So the service is being used by games that are profitable and by companies of a certain weight.


The things that are a bit concerning:


1. Their Twitter is active, but only repeats automatic, pregenerated tweets. There is no interaction with the community

2. Their repository at repo.gamesparks.net has had no updates since June. If you compare the activity from 2017 to 2018 it is very easy to tell that very little happened this year after a first burst at the beginning of 2018.

3. Their forum activity is basically nonexistent at this point. Recent threads marked as answered are almost exclusively answered by community members. 


Having all the information above, we still don't know the reasons for and the implications of all this. Maybe they are working on the next big thing in regards to amazon integration and only do maintenance work on their current release. Maybe their policy on customer support changed with the acquisition and they realized that investing into Indies does not really make them any money. When I started with GameSparks in 2017 I had a few great and very fast email exchanges with them and seeing that you, Chris Rock, have been waiting over a month for your Indie Application review seems very different from my own experience.


I am afraid we won't get any farther in our analysis without some insider information that is free from corporate politics and marketing speak. It is a bit sad that big companies like Amazon can't afford the candor to speak freely and with transparency. That is a luxury only afforded to us indie developers.


1 person likes this
Mmmm. As long as GameSparks isnt shutting down im not that phased, ive only ever been around while the community was the only people who answered tickets. Its very poor form from the company but im too far in to change this now. This shouldve been a ticket that was answered 4 - 5 days ago in my opinion, even with just a 'yes we are still alive and are not going anywhere'. I will most likely be looking to change platform on the game i release after this one simply because if the company has lost interest they'll open up the market for a new competitor and the service offered there to indie developers would be better. That being said, it may very well be what they want, as you pointed out patrick, the indie market may just not be profitable for them, a big company like amazon wouldnt hesitate to let that program die through lack of support and no new applicants. Alternatively, they couldve just paid a whole lot of money to shut it down and introduce an amazon branded substitute. Seems like a waste of time when they have a functional product. Either way, i dont have much knowledge but im trying to start answering tickets because other people have been good to me. Cheers

2 people like this

Hi everyone, we’re still here! 


We're glad that we've been able to help so many of you build great games, and we can't wait to continue sharing even more to enable you to build, scale, and tune games to what your players want most. We’re committed to providing you all with service maintenance, monitoring, security, and support. 


Apologies as this thread slipped under our radar the past couple of days, but rest assured we are here for you. The best and fastest way to get in touch with our team is always through a support ticket.


Thanks and happy dev'ing!

Paul



1 person likes this

Paul, thank you for the reply.  Can you give us any information on what Amazon is planning with GameSparks?

Good on you Paul, thanks for the reply. Id like to ask for more support in the Q&A section rather than through private tickets. Reason's being three fold: 1. We can get answers from the rest of the community if your turn around time doesnt meet our expectations, which saves you time. 2. Other users are able to learn from the answers that you guys give to issues which helps reduce your overall support 3. Seeing you active in the community assures us we have someone we can turn to for answers on things. Theres other, less constructive criticism that could be given but i know you're just the messenger, so if you can pass those 3 points on i know the entire community would appreciate it. That being said, you gave me my 'we're still here' i requested and i am satisifed using the well built system that is gamesparks, so thank you :) Side note: i keep replying to these threads in my gmail and for some reason it kills the concept of paragraphs entirely, so apologies for a long string of text. Cheers,

Hi Paul!


Thank you for replying to this thread. This reassurance does help a lot. I have also received an email from David in which he stated that the integration into the AWS sphere has taken a toll on the outwardly visible work, but that there GameSparks is here to stay and that is good enough for me. :-)



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