When a game studio takes advantage of Epic Games Store exclusivity, it risks the ire of the wider gaming community. However, there is a line that can be crossed in the way one can express disappointment and dissatisfaction. This line was crossed in the case of Ooblets.
Following Ooblets’ announcement that its quirky life simulation game will be exclusive to Epic Games Store, the developers received a wave of negative reactions.
No amount of appeasement worked.
Okay, so we did the thing!
The thing people get angry about.
But maybe don't get angry about it? pic.twitter.com/hZR9rTZVvP
— Ooblets (@ooblets) August 1, 2019
As they tried to explain their decision, reactions became even angrier.
Essentially, game exclusivity exists and will continue to exist because:
- Indie game studios secure their funding due to exclusivity — guaranteeing the money they would’ve potentially made on competitive platforms.
- Emerging platforms like Epic Games Store entice developers in order to expand their user base, in addition to offering free games.
It is a mutually beneficial relationship. It is perfectly legit and predictable.
With that being said, people love their established habits, platforms, and conveniences. The reality of doing business doesn’t enter into that equation. According to Ooblets’ developers, some people went way overboard:
“…been getting thousands if not tens of thousands of hateful, threatening messages across every possible platform nonstop.”
Epic repeats its message of not minding public discourse and criticism but draws attention to behavior that should not have a place in public discourse:
- promoting fake information
- creating fake screenshots and videos
- hateful harassment of partners
Although Ooblets’ developers expected a negative reception of their decision to go exclusive, no one could have predicted the scope and intensity of harassment that followed. Some developers were deeply shaken:
“I have been crying nonstop for the last two days and feeling like the world has collapsed around me.”
Perhaps this will give pause to such abuse in the future. Or perhaps, this will work in intimidating other indie studios to not pursue platform exclusivity. Only time will tell.
What do you think about the Ooblets/Epic Games Store controversy? Let us know your thoughts in the comments below!
Images courtesy of Ooblets, Twitter/@ooblets.