Mahler makes many quality prints. Advertising a product is fine but lying about sales even before the product is launched is totally unethical and even potentially illegal. It’s been decades since users have been warned not to pre-order games. But it is always happening and perhaps will continue. Well, Mahler called Cyberpunk 2077 and No Man’s Sky developers “snake oil salesmen.”
We often see game designers making promises about upcoming titles, but consumers are just disappointed when released most of the time. Founder of Moon Studios and director of Ori series, Thomas Mahler, is sick of this trend and has highlighted those liars, including the developer of Cyberpunk 2077 and No Man’s Sky, “snake oil salesman.”
In a post on ResetEra, titled, “Why are gamers so eager to trust and even forgive the snake oil salesmen?” Mahler writes that a British game designer, Peter Molyneux, who was behind the Fable and Black & White series started this practice.
“He was the master of ‘Instead of telling you what my product is, let me just go wild with what I think it could be and get you all excited!” – And that was fine until you actually put your money down and then the game was nothing like what Peter was hyping it up to be.”
Mahler mentioned the name of Sean Murray, founder of No Man’s Sky developer Hello Games. He used the hype before releasing NMS extensively, and when it was postponed by about six weeks, the studio received death threats. But that excitement was converted into disappointment on the game’s arrival with missing features, a lot of bugs, and many other issues. Such a great discrepancy led to an investigation by the UK’s advertising standard agency and Valve requiring actual in-game screenshots for Steam listings.
After spending years in patches and bringing new content, No Man’s Sky is now close enough to what Murray promised with the consumers, making the game win many awards.
“They [Hello Games] released a bunch of updates, so let’s forget about the initial lies and deception and hey, let’s actually shower him with awards again, cause he finally kinda-sorta delivered on what he said the game would be years earlier. Thanks, Geoff Keighley. Rewarding that kinda behavior will surely help the industry grow stronger.”
Well, Mahler saved much of his hostility for Cyberpunk2077. He detailed the issues coming with CD Projekt Red’s RPG. The company apologized in a video and claimed that CD Projekt Red’s testing couldn’t show various problems faced by players. Moreover, the company denied the popular E3 demo was “almost entirely fake.”
Mahler states, “Here, the entire CDPR PR department took all the cues from what worked for Molyneux and Murray and just went completely apeshit with it.” Moreover, he added, “Every video released by CDPR was carefully crafted to create a picture in players’ minds that were just insanely compelling. They stopped just short of outright saying that this thing would cure cancer. This strategy resulted in a sensational 8 million pre-orders.”