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What's Next for Icons' Monetization

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Less than a week after Icons: Combat Arena entered early access on Steam, common criticisms have started to rise to the forefront of the game’s discussion. While it is currently under development and is still a ways away from being a final product, most of the game’s criticism has centered on something other than it’s current fast but unpolished build — its monetization system.

While free-to-play games with built-in options to purchase short-cuts or additional in-game content are certainly not new to the industry, especially with games like Fortnite dominating the current gaming scene, Wavedash Games has received significant criticism for their current business model. The focus of these complaints is Icons’ approach to unlocking characters. Players start the game with 2 characters — Ashani and Xana — and are given the option to either unlock the remaining characters through grinding online matches for loot boxes or by purchasing the remaining characters for $25. If customers choose to purchase the remaining characters, they will also be given access to all future characters.

While initially this might seem like a common and reasonable business model, players find issue with the amount of time it takes to unlock the remaining characters, as well as the fact that you cannot play as or against locked characters in training mode. If you’re like me, you’re probably asking yourself how bad it could possibly be. Well, in a worst case scenario it would take a player approximately 43 hours to unlock their first new character and an extra 50 hours for each additional character. That means it would take nearly 250 hours to unlock the already small roster of seven characters.

Thankfully, Wavedash Games recently responded to a lot of the criticism with plans to address the issues with their current monetization system and to announce their intent to improve the experience for new players overall. This includes changes like reworking the in-game currency (spectra) system, cutting down the amount of play time needed to unlock new characters, implementing features that allow players to play-test locked characters, and the inclusion of Kidd as a starting character for all new players, effectively upping the amount of initially playable characters to three. While these changes will almost certainly take time to implement, developers have made it a point to inform players that changes to the monetization system are a top priority for them going forward.

If you want to get early access to Icons: Combat Arena, it’s available now on Steam. Give Wavedash Games your own personal feedback on the official Icons subreddit!

Updated on 7/17/18: Wavedash Games is now giving all Icons players 1100 spectra when starting the game. This is enough to unlock an additional character from the roster, meaning players can start with 4 unlocked characters. You can view the company's announcement on twitter here!

Updated on 7/19/18: Due to demand, all characters are now playable in training mode. This will give new players a chance to try out all of the characters before choosing which ones to unlock with their initial spectra. You can read the developers announcement here.

Author’s Note: I’ve spent a lot of my time in recent years thinking about the loot box model that Overwatch made so popular, and I have a lot of conflicting emotions about it. On one hand, I like that developers are making money and I’m always happy to see more in-game content and character customization. On the other, it blatantly plays off of the addictive nature of gambling and that specific aspect hits pretty near and dear to my own heart. I would love to hear your thoughts in the comments and maybe your thoughts on the Icons monetization model in particular.
 
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Michael "SuperCres" Ashby

Comments

If you’re like me, you’re probably asking yourself how bad it could possibly be. Well, in a worst case scenario it would take a player approximately 43 hours to unlock their first new character and an extra 50 hours for each additional character. That means it would take nearly 250 hours to unlock the already small roster of seven characters.
The intent is to provide players with a sense of pride and accomplishment for unlocking different heroes.
 
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To keep things short... if Icons doesn't fix themselves, Slap City's gonna be the bigger of the two. I feel like they're both in the competition to become the Mortal Kombat to Street Fighter, if you catch my drift.
 
Icons isn't going to become popular because it's got good gameplay and characters. It's only going to become popular because it'll be infamous for its EA levels of monetization schemes and backpedalling when it backfires tremendously.

People are sick and tired of loot boxes. Add that to a grinding system and what essentially equates to pay-walling all the content and calling it "DLC", and you got yourselves a spicy backlash meatball.

In my honest opinion, forcing people to either grind or--what the developers want you to do--pay for the characters in the game isn't a good idea at all. There's no fun in playing a fighting game if you can't unlock the characters within said fighting game by playing the game normally and within a reasonable amount of time. A fighting game needs to have a good-sized starting roster and have its characters be unlocked by playing the game itself.

These monetization schemes like putting your characters in lootboxes or forcing players to pay for them just doesn't sit right with me, especially when they've been fully developed and can easily be available at launch. Icons is not going to succeed because it's pushing players to pay for characters that are already in the game, and I don't care if you say "but you get characters in the future for free". I would rather have the additional characters be monetized as DLC rather than having in-game characters locked behind a paywall.

In short, screw Icons. And screw monetization schemes like this.
 
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Icons isn't going to become popular because it's got good gameplay and characters. It's only going to become popular because it'll be infamous for its EA levels of monetization schemes and backpedalling when it backfires tremendously.

People are sick and tired of loot boxes. Add that to a grinding system and what essentially equates to pay-walling all the content and calling it "DLC", and you got yourselves a spicy backlash meatball.
While I'm also not a fan of the model, I think it's unfair to compare this very small team to the likes of EA. And it's not really similar levels of monetization. EA sells full price (or $40, I can't remember) games and then hides extra content behind paywalls. Icons has free base gameplay with content hidden behind paywalls (again, I don't like this model and think it should change).

If they're willing to adapt and support the game, I'll continue to play the game.

But I think you're right about the fate of this game, unfortunately :/. Too bad- it started out as an amazing idea.
 
Honestly I would be fine paying the 25$ to unlock all the characters and stages etc but the problem is I can't really say I like the current build of the game enough to reach out and fund it. I mean I see the potential in said product and it could be a great experience at the end of the day but the game keeps crashing on me like a bandicoot in a box factory for one. Gameplay wise yeah I see a lot of potentially cool stuff but overall I don't feel comfortable in my current financial predicament to fund something I am on the fence about.

As the game stands I don't think I could play 43 hours of this particular build just to unlock one character. Me and my friend streamed ICONS when it came out and halfway through the stream we switched over to Slap City because we genuinely where more interested in playing that (i aint gonna link the VOD because we use bad doo doo adult language)

I play paladins, a free to play hero shooter VERY similar to overwatch and that game has taken so much money from me just for skins and to unlock all the characters and all the legendary cards. There payment system has messed me up as a player with them constantly changing currency value and game features. BUT despite all this I am still happy to play Paladins because I think its a dope game, I enjoy supporting the developers Hi-Rez despite there obvious coke habits and inability to find a stable monetary system because the game is just that good man.

And as it stands I do not feel that way about ICONS, in the future Id love to fork money over to pay for the "whatever elite founder pack thingy" for 25 bucks or 40 or whatever. Call me a cautious carl and I know if the game dosen't get support there wont be more builds but I am rarely in a situation where I can throw money at a game that I really am iffy about man.
 
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There's giving a sense of pride and accomplishment and there's overkilling it.

250 hours for only 5 characters is definitely the latter.
He's referencing a the response given by Battefront's developers when they were confronted online about their ridiculous loot box management and pay-to-play approach to their game. He definitely agrees with you.
 
I disagree highly with this. I got excited about Slap City after seeing all the videos about it. Just played it, and I got bored after about 10 minutes. I think Icons is a much better designed game. (Maybe I'll change my mind over time though.)

I agree with your other points, I just don't think Slap City is as good as everyone seems to be saying.
Did you play with friends and online or nah?
 
I feel they should implement a rotating character system like the one used in Killer Instinct or DoA5 for those going f2p.
That way at least players can get a feel of the rest of the cast before unlocking them.
 
D
I disagree highly with this. I got excited about Slap City after seeing all the videos about it. Just played it, and I got bored after about 10 minutes. I think Icons is a much better designed game. (Maybe I'll change my mind over time though.)

I agree with your other points, I just don't think Slap City is as good as everyone seems to be saying.
Personally opinion. But I found Slap City to be incredibly fun. Tossing weights at people as Fishbujin is tons for fun. Plus you got way more stage variety than Icons, an arcade mode similar to Smash's Classic Mode, a break the targets mode, a NEW game mode as well, 2v2, FFA, etc... It's a blast. For $7 honestly, it's practically a steal. And most of all, all the characters feel distinct and varied, rather than direct copies of Melee characters. You got Remedy as the Zoner, Fish as the Heavy Grappler, etc.. etc...

It's not even a comparison. For an Early Access game, Slap City offers you a NEAR complete package. He'll they're even gonna add a story mode. When it's all said and done, I'm sure the game will rival Smash 64 as a game. Fun is the one thing it most definitely is. Icons, on the other hand, feels like a cashgrab with how little it offers and how much it demands from you either in actual money or playtime. There's no fun to be had there, it's just a reskin of Melee with tryhard eSports garbage.
 
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It’s a bad monetization model, but there is more to it than that and why the game is sitting at mostly negative reviews.

The game hasn’t been able to shake the bad stink ever since it’s evo reveal. A lot of the complaints people have had are still there when they put it up for sale, more so in the free to play sense.

It’s been called out for being too similar to Melee with art design and sound design still needing work. This has been said before with MOBAs, MMOs, Call of Duty and now with Battle Royale. If people have these games, what are you offering to hook them? Because of the said Melee parts people think it is too similar. You can be a part of the same genre but you need to get that niche other than Melee/PM players who already have the game.

There is more to say about the sound and art design but that’s here nor there at this point it’s been said and it does need some work.

The lootboxes were a terrible idea along with locking characters. Lootboxes have a bad stigma as is, especially after the Csgo gambling issue, the us government looking into it and Europe saying they will shut games down using it. I’ll say what I have before, 95% of the time they are used to make money or batter you with frustration to get you to spend. All free to play games do it but lootboxes being random adds an additional element to it. Overwatch is the closest i’ve seem to being ok with it, also league but that game sells skins upfront where the random part is the free one. I still don’t think OW does it in a great way because buying things upfront can be a massive grind and spending money does not guarantee you the skin. Locking characters was an additional slap in the face. League does this too but it offers a lot of easy ways to get characters. This is way too grindy to do this.

My advice, work on characters standing out more, the most recent one I honestly think was well done. Keep the lootboxes to cosmetics and other map skins of the like. I wish the game the best since I don’t think this was with bad or greedy intentions like an EA or Activision game is. This is just what they did wrong with their reveal, design and marketing and how they can improve it.
 
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It’s a bad monetization model, but there is more to it than that and why the game is sitting at mostly negative reviews.

The game hasn’t been able to shake the bad stink ever since it’s evo reveal. A lot of the complaints people have had are still there when they put it up for sale, more so in the free to play sense.

It’s been called out for being too similar to Melee with art design and sound design still needing work. This has been said before with MOBAs, MMOs, Call of Duty and now with Battle Royale. If people have these games, what are you offering to hook them? Because of the said Melee parts people think it is too similar. You can be a part of the same genre but you need to get that niche other than Melee/PM players who already have the game.

There is more to say about the sound and art design but that’s here nor there at this point it’s been said and it does need some work.

The lootboxes were a terrible idea along with locking characters. Lootboxes have a bad stigma as is, especially after the Csgo gambling issue, the us government looking into it and Europe saying they will shut games down using it. I’ll say what I have before, 95% of the time they are used to make money or batter you with frustration to get you to spend. All free to play games do it but lootboxes being random adds an additional element to it. Overwatch is the closest i’ve seejnTo being ok with it, also league but that game sells skins upfront where the random part is the free one. I still don’t think OW does it in a great way because buying things upfront can be a massive grind and spending money does not guarantee you the skin. Locking characters was an additional slap in the face. League does this too but it offers a lot of easy ways to get characters. This is way too grindy to do this.

My advice, work on characters standing out more, the most recent one I honestly think was well done. Keep the lootboxes to cosmetics and other map skins of the like. I wish the game the best since I don’t think this was with bad or greedy intentions like an EA or Activision game is. This is just what they did wrong with their reveal, design and marketing and how they can improve it.
I agree that the loot box model in general is a pretty bad look atm, especially with government regulations starting to ramp up and with players getting more and more agitated with the amount of games that have co-opted it.

The league of legends comparison is a good one. I think that they're using League as a pretty direct reference in their design (I mean heck, they hired a former designer from the game lol), but the translation definitely isn't 1-to-1. I also agree that the newest character has a lot more personality than all of the originals they put out, but I also can't lie, I've pretty much played Zurongh exclusively from Beta to Early Release.

I've been trying to keep up on user reviews, and I think some are a little harsher than need be, but I guess hyperbole is the way reviews usually run so it's not a major surprise. But Icons has found itself in a pretty terrible situation, and I think some major changes are going to be needed to start turning the tides. Right now it feels more like damage control instead of adjusting features which is a sad state, but game development has a lot of moving parts and I don't want to trivialize the amount of work people are putting in.

Anyway, thanks for all the feedback guys. I get locked in my own thoughts a lot so hearing other people's takes is always refreshing.

Also I updated the article to reflect the newest announcement from Wavedash. Players now start the game with 1100 spectra, which is enough to unlock an additional character on the roster. Lets see how the world reacts.
 
why not just make the game $25 and release a demo with only 2 characters? same basic model, but reskinned to not resemble one of the worst PR disasters any game has ever had
 
why not just make the game $25 and release a demo with only 2 characters? same basic model, but reskinned to not resemble one of the worst PR disasters any game has ever had
It would be competing with rivals at that point since rivals base + dlc is the same price point. And yeah Rivals is the top dog for an Indy smash alike.

There isn’t a free to play smash a like outside of brawlhalla. So in that sense it is business smart to try and aim for a free to play model as an Indy.

Just in this case the monitization isn’t good and too grindy at the moment.
 
It would be competing with rivals at that point since rivals base + dlc is the same price point. And yeah Rivals is the top dog for an Indy smash alike.

There isn’t a free to play smash a like outside of brawlhalla. So in that sense it is business smart to try and aim for a free to play model as an Indy.

Just in this case the monitization isn’t good and too grindy at the moment.
I saw it's been patched by now, but if the original build had only 2 base characters and everyone else as effectively DLC, then a demo with 2 characters and a $25 full game would effectively be the same thing

being a F2P platform fighter is a niche they could fill, but when the free game only has 4 characters and you have to pay to access a decent amount of content I'd hesitate to call it fully free to play
 
I saw it's been patched by now, but if the original build had only 2 base characters and everyone else as effectively DLC, then a demo with 2 characters and a $25 full game would effectively be the same thing

being a F2P platform fighter is a niche they could fill, but when the free game only has 4 characters and you have to pay to access a decent amount of content I'd hesitate to call it fully free to play
League gets away with locking characters, but that game has a free rotation and a bigger cast. In addition to that, winning one game is enough to unlock a lot of characters in league, it’s the newer ones that you need to grind out. But it also offers champion capsules you can disenchant into blue essential.

I think they can fit into it but with this small of a cast locking characters isn’t going to work as well over cosmetics which people are A-Ok with in a free to play game.
 
League gets away with locking characters, but that game has a free rotation and a bigger cast. In addition to that, winning one game is enough to unlock a lot of characters in league, it’s the newer ones that you need to grind out. But it also offers champion capsules you can disenchant into blue essential.

I think they can fit into it but with this small of a cast locking characters isn’t going to work as well over cosmetics which people are A-Ok with in a free to play game.
If they had a huge cast of characters like Smash did... they might be able to get away with it. Might. Even then I doubt it. If anything, they should follow sort of a cross between League and Smash -- they could have most of the roster unlocked, but lock different and cool skins behind whatever they wanna do, and you can even grind a bit for/buy whatever their version of Echo fighters are.
Another thing that bugs me about Icons is that... none of the characters are iconic. Icons is part of Blizzard, right? Then that means they could easily shove Blizzard characters into this game, maybe with a little bit of creativity for certain ones, and maybe even reach out to some other companies for a little bit of crossovers. WHOOPSIE DAISY
 
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Icons is part of Blizzard, right? Then that means they could easily shove Blizzard characters into this game, maybe with a little bit of creativity for certain ones, and maybe even reach out to some other companies for a little bit of crossovers.
I'm not trying to be mean, but I said the name of the developer 3 separate times in the article and it definitely wasn't blizzard...
 
I'm not trying to be mean, but I said the name of the developer 3 separate times in the article and it definitely wasn't blizzard...
No offense taken, I'm a dumbass and I know it lol. I just thought that Blizzard was their publisher, set 'em up to it, or something along those lines, but I guess not.
 
D
No offense taken, I'm a ******* and I know it lol. I just thought that Blizzard was their publisher, set 'em up to it, or something along those lines, but I guess not.
They're completely indie, though they did get $6 million in investments from venture financers, like Machine Shop, or whatever that Linkin Park company was called. Oh, and Jason used to work for EA games, which might explain the Lootboxes.
 
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No offense taken, I'm a ******* and I know it lol. I just thought that Blizzard was their publisher, set 'em up to it, or something along those lines, but I guess not.
If you played the game, I completely understand why you would think that it was made by Blizzard. The reward system (ie: the taunts, skins, holograms, avatars, etc.) is extremely similar to Overwatch's gallery.
 
Hey, quick question. So yesterday I made two posts regarding my take on this whole matter. Today I got an alert that said they were merged due to double posting, which is fine. I don't see it here though. Like it didn't say it was deleted, just merged. In fact there's a very large gap I swear was filled with posts.
Any reason for that? Not saying anything I'm just curious.
 
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This has really been a time to watch. I've get to get my hands on it but I'll say this: Creating a f2p game that's both fun for players to play/earn but also has a viable business model is hard; especially because most f2p games rely on people spending money for convenience, or people not spending money and just paying with their time.

My favorite case study is when a studio was a bit too generous (among other problems.) Does the name Gigantic ring a bell?

(Though, just as a note, there were also rumors going around about the publishers named Perfect World)

Hey, quick question. So yesterday I made two posts regarding my take on this whole matter. Today I got an alert that said they were merged due to double posting, which is fine. I don't see it here though. Like it didn't say it was deleted, just merged. In fact there's a very large gap I swear was filled with posts.
Any reason for that? Not saying anything I'm just curious.
prolly better to ask a moderator about that. Venus of the Desert Bloom Venus of the Desert Bloom may be able to answer?
 
Giving us only one more character at the start won’t fully solve the issue. At best, it removes 100 hours of grinding, but you still have around 150 of them left.

And why give us enough currency for a fighter instead of, I dunno, just straight up giving us a fourth free fighter?

This is honestly not a great way to handle things and I hope the devs realize it.
 
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This has really been a time to watch. I've get to get my hands on it but I'll say this: Creating a f2p game that's both fun for players to play/earn but also has a viable business model is hard; especially because most f2p games rely on people spending money for convenience, or people not spending money and just paying with their time.

My favorite case study is when a studio was a bit too generous (among other problems.) Does the name Gigantic ring a bell?

(Though, just as a note, there were also rumors going around about the publishers named Perfect World)


prolly better to ask a moderator about that. Venus of the Desert Bloom Venus of the Desert Bloom may be able to answer?
That was entirely my fault since I accidentally merged several posts from this thread and another post on another thread.

I have no idea whose is who (except a few from @ManlySpirit and Substitution Substitution ). Here’s the posts:

To keep things short... if Icons doesn't fix themselves, Slap City's gonna be the bigger of the two. I feel like they're both in the competition to become the Mortal Kombat to Street Fighter, if you catch my drift.
Slap City is already the bigger of the two. It's consistently had more concurrent players for the past 3 days, and the gap is only widening.

And if I'm perfectly honest. It's also the better of the two games. It offers a lot of content for basically lunch money, it's got a lot of charm and is incredibly fun, it's got some really neat new mechanics that are fresh for the genre like Clutch and Aerial Smash Attacks, and on a technical side, it's also got a higher skill ceiling. It's very nostalgic and reminiscent of Smash 64. I highly recommend it.

Icons isn't going to become popular because it's got good gameplay and characters. It's only going to become popular because it'll be infamous for its EA levels of monetization schemes and backpedalling when it backfires tremendously.

People are sick and tired of loot boxes. Add that to a grinding system and what essentially equates to pay-walling all the content and calling it "DLC", and you got yourselves a spicy backlash meatball.

In my honest opinion, forcing people to either grind or--what the developers want you to do--pay for the characters in the game isn't a good idea at all. There's no fun in playing a fighting game if you can't unlock the characters within said fighting game by playing the game normally and within a reasonable amount of time. A fighting game needs to have a good-sized starting roster and have its characters be unlocked by playing the game itself.

These monetization schemes like putting your characters in lootboxes or forcing players to pay for them just doesn't sit right with me, especially when they've been fully developed and can easily be available at launch. Icons is not going to succeed because it's pushing players to pay for characters that are already in the game, and I don't care if you say "but you get characters in the future for free". I would rather have the additional characters be monetized as DLC rather than having in-game characters locked behind a paywall.

In short, screw Icons. And screw monetization schemes like this.
Locking your characters behind lootboxes, in a FIGHTING GAME, is just about tge stupidest thing you could possibly do.

Especially when you're only offering 3 characters for people to try out. It's like tgey don't understand fighting games at all. People pick mains, because they have a connection with them. At the very least, there should be a starting roster of 8 characters for free for people to try out, and then the rest are locked behibd a store you can buy individually with REAL money, and a means of getting them for free through in gane currency or whatnot. I know it's a f2p game, but if it's not feasable to have at least 8 playable characters right from the start, then all that proves is that f2p is a terrible model for fighting games. A fighting game where you've only got 3 characters to play at the start is pointless.

Too bad- it started out as an amazing idea.
Ideas are cheap.

Quick question.
Let's say you're a Joe Schmoe tournament organizer. How long would it take to unlock all the required content to make a tournament-able game? So like all the characters and stages. Alts I guess could be optional (though I do like me some good alts) And we may need multiple copies for multiple stations. This certainly sounds stupid, possibly incredibly so. But there's a reason why most fighting games tend to not bother with unlockables. Hell Smash is really the last game to do so, and even then it's been incredibly streamlined from the Melee days. And really a lot of it comes down to accessibility of content, fighting games like giving their players all their options as it's easy to start easy to set up. Especially nowadays with tournaments being all the rage.

Like Smash Bros for example probably takes about one or two days depending on how much you're grinding. Even Melee with stuff like Mewtwo and Game and Watch is overall not too terrible. Comparing that with Icons how long does it take to unlock that? 'Cause 250 hours for the potential of everything doesn't sound great tbh.

And before I head out I do want to explain something about the "feeling accomplished" line. And I gotta be honest be you, speaking personally as someone who's played Smash since the Melee games and plenty of other fighting games after that, I can't say I feel some grandiose for unlocking characters. Like yeah it's nice to be able to have Mr. Game and Watch or Marth, again. But the feelings I get for unlocking a character are vastly shorter than just having the roster. I can't really tell you the last time I've been openly excited about unlocking characters rather than being able to pick my main.

And especially if Icons takes that amount of time just to get one characters, I feel like by the end I'd just burn out. The potential of unlocking a character I may or may not enjoy isn't that worth it compared to just letting me pick the character I want to play.

And if I'm perfectly honest. It's also the better of the two games.
I disagree highly with this. I got excited about Slap City after seeing all the videos about it. Just played it, and I got bored after about 10 minutes. I think Icons is a much better designed game. (Maybe I'll change my mind over time though.)

I agree with your other points, I just don't think Slap City is as good as everyone seems to be saying.
 
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Giving us only one more character at the start won’t fully solve the issue. At best, it removes 100 hours of grinding, but you still have around 150 of them left.

And why give us enough currency for a fighter instead of, I dunno, just straight up giving us a fourth free fighter?

This is honestly not a great way to handle things and I hope the devs realize it.
Actually, I think giving users the currency is a solid choice. It lets you choose which fighter you unlock at the start, which is important since a lot of the people playing early access are also people who assisted in the beta testing (myself included). These are people that played all the characters, got attached to specific ones, and then had them taken away from them once early access started. Giving users currency gives new players some freedom, and reunites beta testers with their mains.
 
Giving currency is a good middle ground with the issue with locking and at least giving one for free while working on the others eventually.
 
Actually, I think giving users the currency is a solid choice. It lets you choose which fighter you unlock at the start, which is important since a lot of the people playing early access are also people who assisted in the beta testing (myself included). These are people that played all the characters, got attached to specific ones, and then had them taken away from them once early access started. Giving users currency gives new players some freedom, and reunites beta testers with their mains.
Haven’t thought of it that way, to be honest...
 
D
Just an observation:

This article has been on the front page for what... 3-4 days now, and while the posts in the comments section all have tons of likes, and this has been an usually busy story, the actual opening post itself doesn't have a single like. It's rather uncommon imo. Generally, you'll see the OP get the most likes out of any story or thread. It's somewhat indicative of the general opinion around these parts about the game. I notice that Icons-related stuff tends to be very unpopular on here, if not outright ignored. I mean, it seems that after their reveal last year, they simply were never able to recover. And Smash fans are their target audience... supposedly at least.
 
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It's a shame because they game is fun enough but it's clear the developers don't know how to create a complete package.

I'm now convinced that the only reason Project M was so good as it was, was because it borrowed a ****ton of assets from Brawl.

Real disappointed.
 
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Is that real?

Because THAT could be really helpful, honestly.

Try whoever you want in training, use the free currency to buy whichever feels best.

It's not gonna solve everything, but it's clear that they're putting the effort to fix this.
It is 100% true. They announced it on twitter/reddit simultaneously.
 
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