Following the news that indie game Ooblets is going Epic Store exclusive, many backers of the game were upset. The blowback from the announcement has been so great that the studio and publisher Epic Games have made a statement.
Ooblets developers Rebecca Cordingley and Ben Wasser talked up the outrage in a new update posted to their Patreon.
“We’ve been getting thousands if not tens of thousands of hateful, threatening messages across every possible platform nonstop,” they wrote. “It’s especially hurtful since we’ve had such a positive, supportive relationship with our audience throughout development.
“I couldn’t have guessed the scale of what it would feel like to be the target of an internet hate mob. I already had a lot of empathy for other targets of previous hate mobs, which is why we wanted to address that sort of thinking in our announcement, but I had no idea it was this bad.”
When the developer announced they would be exclusive to the Epic Store for a time, Wasser said people threatening to pirate the game because it isn’t appearing on another storefront is the embodiment of “immature, toxic gamers,” and that despite the potential for anger, you’d do better to remember this is a video game, and it’s “nothing to get worked up about.”
It’s worth pointing out there were reports of Wasser and Cordingley brushing off fans who wanted to support the game, but couldn’t because the Epic Store currently doesn’t support their local currency, among other complaints with the manner in which they address fans. The developer has dismissed such claims – noting they are falsified.
Epic Games CEO Tim Sweeney was originally boasting about the manner in which Glumberland confirmed they’d be exclusive, but the recent blowback has prompted Epic to put out a statement on “misinformation and abuse.”
“The announcement of Ooblets highlighted a disturbing trend which is growing and undermining healthy public discourse,” Epic said in the statement, “and that’s the coordinated and deliberate creation and promotion of false information, including fake screenshots, videos, and technical analysis, accompanied by harassment of partners, promotion of hateful themes, and intimidation of those with opposing views.
“Epic is working together with many game developers and other partners to build what we believe will be a healthier and more competitive multi-store world for the future. We remain fully committed, and we will steadfastly support our partners throughout these challenges. Many thanks to all of you that continue to promote and advocate for healthy, truthful discussion about the games business and stand up to all manners of abuse.”
Ooblets will be released exclusively via the Epic Store, alongside its Xbox One release.