In a long post on ResetEra, Thomas Mahlerfounder of Moon Studios and creator of Ori and the Blind Forest and Ori and the Will of the Wisps, goes wild against CD Projekt Red and other names in the video game industry, guilty according to him of misleading advertising towards consumers.
The developer certainly does not send them to say, and obviously disappointed with what happened with Cyberpunk 2077has decided to share all his thoughts on an element of great debate in recent years regarding video games: the differences between what is presented and what the player then gets.
Suffice it to recall striking cases such as the presentation of the first chapter of Watch Dogsone of the most criticized games in this respect, but over the years we have seen other situations of this type.
Mahler points the finger at some recognized names in the world of video games, in particular the one already mentioned CD Projekt Red for the Cyberpunk 2077 case, but also Hello Games (No Man’s Sky) and the veteran Peter Molyneuxwhich has had a lot of headaches working on Fable in the past.
Ori’s creator starts from Fable’s father, considering him a sort of precursor of this worrying tendency to “deceive” consumers with false promises:
It all started with Molyneux. He was the master of saying “Instead of telling you what my product is, I show you what I think it could be and you all get excited!” And that was fine, until you actually put your money down and then the game didn’t look at all like what Peter said it would be. He’s been pulling this shit out for a good decade or more with reporters and gamers who loved hearing Uncle Peter and the amazing things he was doing for the industry.
Mahler then recalls another quite sensational case, that of No Man’s Sky by Hello Games. If today we talk about a rich survival with many activities, at launch, as you may remember, Sean Murray’s title was extremely different from the one that had been advertised in previous years, and this obviously generated a wave of fierce controversy. The creator of Ori not only remembers the (right) criticisms leveled at Murray, but also lashes out against the specialized press and Geoff Keighley in particular, who he said they forgot Hello Games’ broken promises too soon and misleading advertising for the promotion of No Man’s Sky:
Then came Sean Murray, who apparently had learned directly from Peter Molyneux’s handbook. This guy apparently loved the spotlight. Even days before the release of No Man’s Sky, he glorified multiplayer that didn’t even exist and was only too happy to suggest that No Man’s Sky was “Minecraft in space”, where you could literally do it all. […]. Of course there was a huge backlash when No Man’s Sky finally came out and the product had nothing to do with what Murray was extolling. But what happened next? They’ve released a ton of updates, so let’s forget about the initial lies and deceptions and hey, let’s shower it with rewards again, because in the end he somehow delivered what he said the game would be years ago. Thanks, Geoff Keighley. Rewarding that kind of behavior is sure to help the industry grow stronger.
There are harsh words, of course, also for Cyberpunk 2077 and CDPR, which in recent months have made this burning topic of misleading advertising topical again. Mahler is a river in flood against the Polish studio – especially when it comes to PR:
Here the entire PR department of CDPR took all the cues from what worked for Molyneux and Murray and went completely out of their minds. Gamers had to believe this was “First Person Science Fiction GTA”. Would it be possible not to love him? Each video released by CDPR has been carefully crafted to create an image in the minds of players that is simply and insanely compelling. […]The product was a fraction of what the developer advertised it to be and on top of that it barely worked on consoles on which it was supposed to “work surprisingly well!”.
Mahler then closes the long post with a consideration, declaring himself embittered about how the audience is all too compliant against some studies and characters from the world of video games that are stained with misleading advertising towards consumers, a practice that condemns without half measures:
I’m talking about liars and people who are okay with outright deceiving others. I’d say we should all agree that this shit is no good. If I go out to buy a car and the car salesman sells me a car that supposedly has 300 horsepower, but on returning home after the purchase I notice that he has turned off the engine when I was not looking, I would be rightly pissed, because I was deceived.
What do you think? If you are interested, you can read Mahler’s entire post by clicking here.