Late last year the Epic Games Launcher was released to much cynicism and side eyeing from the gaming audience, myself included. I won’t lie, I was very skeptical of the product and in some regards I still am, but I’m ultimately glad to see that there’s some real competition in the PC games marketplace for once. My issues with the Epic Games Launcher are mostly directed towards the very limited feature set which to be fair, they’re working on, but most of the anger and vitriol amidst the discourse revolves around how “aggressive” Epic appears when lining up exclusives.
A few months ago, Metro Exodus was gearing up for its PC release on Steam. It had been available for pre-order on Steam for quite a while and people were eager to play it. Weeks before it launched however, it was announced that the game would be a timed exclusive on the Epic Games Store. The Steam pre-orders would be honored and activated on release day, but people were not happy with the abrupt jump to this new platform. I’m guessing that was the start of everyone getting angry with the platform in general. Even I thought it was a questionable move, but I also had no intention to play Metro Exodus, so I moved on.
Since then, Epic has been courting developers of all sizes, encouraging them to release on their platform and enjoy a healthier cut of profits from sales. There should be no question that developers should get paid for the work they put into making these games, and if there’s a platform out there that better facilitates that, then it’s an easy decision to make.
But the internet is still a nightmare emporium where people will take any reason to raise their pitchforks and try to ruin the lives of others. That’s where Ooblets comes in. Ooblets is a game that appears to be mixing the elements of Animal Crossing and Pokemon together into one colorfully charming experience. Unfortunately, this post isn’t about how excited I am to check the game out (which I am), instead it’s about how on July 31st the studio behind the game announced that they were signing a deal with the Epic Games Store for a few reasons, income being the primary motivator. Let’s be clear, an indie studio doing what they have to in order to get paid more for there work is not something we should be grousing about. Developers need money to survive, and if the Epic Games Store is offering them a bigger cut alongside of a signing bonus, they should take that opportunity.
I bet you can guess what happened next. See, the team behind Ooblets put out a pretty hilarious and snarky blog post outlining the decision, while also making fun of how much people on the internet lose their minds when they hear about Epic grabbing another exclusive. I thought it was pretty hilarious but the internet did not. The internet found it so unfunny in fact, that they responded in some pretty shitty ways including racial slurs and death threats. You know, completely rational responses to a video game going to another store.
WARNING: If you want to see some of the garbage people have said, it’s here, but there’s some really horrific stuff in there, so click at your own risk.
So here we are in the aftermath of all of this, left with yet another tragic example of targeted hate campaigns over the stupidest and most inconsequential shit. The amount of hatred and anger over this move should seem unbelievable, but unfortunately the internet continues to remain a smoldering crater full of mutants with keyboards. I don’t have the solution to this problem, I can only encourage people to spare a thought for the people behind the product. It isn’t worth getting so wound up over a game that you verbally assault someone or threaten them. Nothing should prompt you to be that kind of person, especially not a video game.
It’s a shame that the developers and their insanely charming game have to be associated with this nonsense and I hope the developers are able to rise above the noise and push on. I’ve been interested in Ooblets for quite a while now and fully intended on playing it, regardless of what storefront it eventually wound up on.
Maybe it’s hard for people to wrap their heads around how to install a new launcher. Maybe they don’t like having two whole icons on their desktop for game related things. Those excuses are bullshit. None of it is worth threatening people. Get the fuck over yourselves.