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Ooblets Controversy: Epic condemns “spread of fake news and abuse” against Ooblets devs

Ooblets Controversy

Ooblets Controversy:  Last week, we discovered that Ooblets will be an Epic Store exclusive on PC, guaranteeing the developers the money they would have made on other platforms. A blog post from the Ooblets programmers explaining the decision sparked even more outrage for its dismissive tone.

 

As a result of that revelation, the developers claim they have “continuously received dozens, if not tens of thousands, of hostile, threatening messages.” “We badly overestimated how furious so many people would be,” the two-person studio writes on Patreon (via GamesIndustry.biz).

“Coordinated and purposeful manufacture and propagation of false material, including bogus screenshots, videos, and technical analyses, coupled by harassing partners, promoting hostile themes, and intimidating individuals with opposing views,” Epic states in a statement.

Thanks to everyone who continue to encourage and push for healthy, genuine dialogue about the games business and stand up to all forms of abuse.

They said they “couldn’t have predicted the extent of what it would feel like to be the focus of an internet hate mob” despite some support from their Patreon community. “I have been sobbing continually for two days and feel like the world has crashed around me,” one says.

Ooblets Controversy: Indie Game Developer Replies to “Horrendously Toxic” Epic Deal Comments

For the previous five days, Wasser and his wife Rebecca have been the object of a major online storm. “We’ve been trying to be as accessible as possible to newcomers — some welcoming, some confrontational — and regrettably many of them have over numerous boundaries into harassment.”

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This year’s trend has been striking exclusive timed release window partnerships with Epic’s online shop. Since its introduction last December, Epic Titles Store has delivered exclusive PC games including Metro: Exodus and Dauntless. Fans have called for a boycott of the store and the companies who sign such partnerships, but the money paid by Epic makes the exclusive window appealing to smaller creators.

It doesn’t matter if a game is accessible on one platform or the other, or if someone calls you entitled, Wasser says.

“Love us or loathe us, we are absolutely supporting economic rivalry amongst retailers, out of a solid belief that this will eventually benefit both creators and gamers,” said Epic Games founder and CEO Tim Sweeney in February.

Epic Games Store also provides studios a lucrative revenue share. The studio keeps 88 percent of the income, compared to Epic Games’ main rival, Steam, which keeps 30 percent.

“People forgot their humanity to participate in video game drama,” stated Wasser. Let your modest displeasure not grow to badly injuring another human being.

Wasser posted screenshots of messages he and his wife got on Medium, which contain racist insults and suggestions to sexual and physical abuse. According to Wasser, the screenshots represent “just a sampling of the things supplied just to us.”

The greater gaming community is poisonous, says Wasser. “I dare anyone to be on the receiving end of this for a few minutes, hours, or days,” he says. “I disturbed people by saying that term. Imagine someone being upset by my use of the term ‘toxic’ in relation to what this gang has said and done to us.”

… The launch of Ooblets highlighted a worrying tendency that is developing and hurting good public conversation. We are entirely dedicated to supporting our partners through these difficult times. You all who support and push for healthy, genuine dialogue regarding the games business and stand up to abuse are greatly appreciated.”

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