Coffee Talk, a conversation-based adventure game released on Nintendo Switch, PS4, Xbox One, and PC back in January. Players of the Xbox One version noted, though, that the game asked for some unusual permissions when first run, particularly with regard to collecting personal data. Now the developers of the Xbox One version at Chorus Worldwide (the original PC edition of the game was developed by Toge Productions) have answered players concerned about the game via a Twitter statement.
— Chorus Worldwide (English) (@ChorusWorldwide) June 28, 2020
The statement clarified to concerned Xbox One users that the permissions asked are a “default behavior” resulting from the way Chorus Worldwide developed the Xbox One port of Coffee Talk. This version used the Universal Windows Platform (UWP) framework, a development framework created by Microsoft for Windows 10, and intended to make Windows programs easier to standardize, install, and manage from the Microsoft Store. UWP also makes it easier to unify builds across Xbox One and Windows, which drove Chorus’ decision to use UWP for Coffee Talk on Xbox One. Unfortunately, despite the fact that Coffee Talk itself uses no personal data, UWP requires that data permission be given in order to save the game and register achievements, and they can’t be chaned, even after Chorus consulted with the Xbox developer support team. This has led to a situation where some players, if they rejected permission initially, would not be allowed to save their game or register achievements even if they accepted again later on.
Chorus apologized for the situation, and reaffirmed that they did not collect personal data at all, regardless of permissions given. Further, they took full responsibility, since the decision to use UWP in the first place was theirs and not the decision of Toge Productions. They pledged not to use the UWP framework in future Xbox One projects, including their next, The Coma 2: Vicious Sisters. In the meantime, they are currently investigating if Coffee Talk can be re-ported using another method than UWP, though they cautioned that such a solution might mean that the game may need to be re-released under a different app ID, potentially endangering players’ saves and achievement data (which is tied to the app ID of the game).
Coffee Talk is available now on PC, Xbox One, Switch, and PS4.