The Internet -- Twitter, in particular -- has allowed developers and fans to communicate in a way that just wasn't possible in the distant '00s. Do they use these channels to forge better content and promote better relations for everyone involved? What? Of course not! Why would anyone want things that aren't just plain awful?
Spider-Man for the PS4 was a huge success, and one of its features is allowing players to use various spidey suits from various incarnations of the titular fly-eater. However, one suit was glaringly absent, the one from Sam Raimi's beloved duology and repressed Spider-Man 3. Fans just couldn't deal with having only upwards of 20 goddamn amazing suits, so they tried to fix the matter just like anyone inspired by an honorable super-hero would ... by filling the developers' mailboxes with death threats.
After dealing with "fans" sending them messages somehow worse than the script of The Amazing Spider-Man 2 for months, the developers ended up giving the suit away, completely free of charge. Whoa, so it really does pay off to be an awful person, right? Seemingly yes, but not in this case in particular. The devs later revealed that they weren't holding out on the suit just because messing with e-villains is a fine idea -- which it totally is -- but for legal reasons.
Like Spidey says, "With great licensing deals comes great fan abuse ..." or something like that.
They intended for the suit to be in the game since day one, but the legal ramifications were so serious the developers sadly couldn't even dare to soothe the minds of all the poor hatemongers online.
To promote 2005's Advent Rising, publisher Majesco announced "Race to Save Humanity," a contest in which they would award $1,000,000 to the first hacker who managed to break the game's security. Considering how this is something hackers usually do, not just for free, but even at the risk of a hefty fine, it shouldn't come as a big surprise that the contest would be over pretty quickly ... Just not for that reason.
As evidenced by how most of you are reading about Advent Rising for the first time right now, you can tell that the game didn't sell much, or at least not enough to burn an extra million dollars. The publisher decided to call off the competition, citing that there turned out to be too many security flaws involved with, uh ... challenging all the hackers in the world to break the game's security.
Day One: Garry's Incident is a strange phenomenon. On the one hand, it's okay if you haven't heard about it because it sucks; on the other, its specific brand of suckage is so interesting it warrants some popularity. Upon release, late gaming personality Totalbiscuit made a video review of Garry's where he claimed the game to be trash -- which was, well, true. Did the developers gracefully accept the criticism? No, instead, they chose the petty road less traveled and launched a ghoulish DMCA campaign claiming the bad reviewers were guilty of copyright infringement. How convenient.
The stunt naturally ended up blowing up on the developers' faces, as everyone saw through their BS. Did they cower in shame and disappear? What? Who do you think you're dealing with here? Out of nowhere, the game started getting good reviews from newborn accounts with no reviews in their history. This naturally prompted people to suspect the developers were buying fake Metacritic reviews. While the astroturfing claims were never confirmed, one of the developers stated that upon seeing how unfairly people were treating the game, a lot of totally real gamers came out in solidarity and started showering Garry's with praise. ("They game in Canada; you wouldn't know them.")
Hatred is a mass shooter simulator from 2014 where players get to play as the villain of too many real-life scenarios to count. What a thrill, right? People panned this fart-imitates-life of concept so hard that even Epic games, owners of the game's engine, told the developers not to include their name on any promotional material. Steam even went as far as to remove the game even before launch.
Blasting a game out of existence simply because of its inherent violence might be a gamble, but this one paid off, as journalists found out that some of Hatred's developers were oh so very surprisingly connected to hate groups.
The good news is that despite claiming that liking a far-right "Catholic Jihad" group on Facebook doesn't really count as an endorsement, few fell for it. The bad news is that one of the few who did was Gabe Newell. That's the owner of Steam, who not only reinstated the game for reasons unknown but even gave our literal hatemongers a letter of apology.
Though, as you're about to see, that wouldn't be Gabe's last interaction with d-bag developers ...
While most of the abuse is done by fans and targeted at devs, sometimes devs are also pretty bad. In this case, however, it's both, as they're the same person. And that would be indie creator Mike Maulbeck, who was unhappy about how his upcoming Paranautical Activity game was incorrectly listed as an "early access" title for its promotional banner on Steam. This could sway away possible buyers, as it basically labeled the game as unfinished.
The easily solvable issue angered Mike so much that he went on a Twitter rant in which he hurled two consecutive death threats at previously mentioned Gabe Newell, the head of Steam.
Newell, not one to enjoy receiving death threats or criticism for the extra shifts he takes as "guy who mislabels games," made "Paranautical Activity" go from "early access" to "no access," causing "Murderbeck" to quit the industry forever...
... for a while. Luckily for Maulbeck, this is the gaming industry, which allowed him to respawn (with a dinged k/d ratio) and rejoin his team shortly after.
Ion Fury is a fairly spot-on revival of '80s shooters in the style of Duke Nukem, at least in the sense that it revived '80s homophobia, transphobia, and misogyny pretty accurately. It's never a good sign when your nicest compliment for a company's game is, "Hey, at least it falls 'racism' short of Bigot-BINGO." While playing, fans found out some cringe-y jokes about gay people, including a shampoo named *sigh* "Ogay." While digging into the game code, they found yet other equally dumb shit and politely pointed out to the devs that including things that make you not want to talk to your dick uncle on Facebook are probably things that make you not want to play a game too. The devs promptly apologized and promised they'd remove the hateful content.
But obviously, it couldn't just end there, as the sensible answer prompted "gamersTM" to start a review bombing campaign of Ion Fury that dropped the game's Steam score to "overwhelmingly negative" overnight. That's naturally a big deal, but not one that would make a team of badass devs straight out of the A-Team cower and sacrifice their integrity ... J/K! The Ion Fury team responded by rolling back on their promise to remove any hateful content and doubling down on their original bigotry. They cited not wanting to compromise their artistic integrity, which is the word they use for wallets in their native language: Dick.
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Top image: Destructive Creations, Sony Interactive Entertainment