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During an interview with NME, Kahraman responded to claims that the studio is ‘scamming’ people with failed game launches.
“There is this confusion going on that people say like ‘Yeah, the guys from Blue Box, they’re scammers, they use their games to get money or something… to get funds’,” he revealed.
“With Rewind we did a Kickstarter – then we had a private investor, and the game got cancelled a year later because we needed more funds. People are saying that we used that to keep the funds… but that doesn’t make any sense because the funds would then be returned to the investor, right? If you don’t return it then it becomes a debt. An investor isn’t going to say ‘Well, here’s the money – if it doesn’t work out, just keep it.’ It doesn’t work that way! I’m just trying to figure out – how are we scammers?”
The trouble seems to come from the fact that Blue Box Game Studios have seen six failed game launches since 2015. One of the studios other games, a horror-themed mobile title called The Haunting, never left the early access stage of development.
“It had a lot of bugs and it felt really broken – it didn’t feel right,” he explained. “At that point we were like, ‘You know what, we’re not going to let people pay for this’. So, we reached out to Valve and asked – could we just disable the purchase option on Steam?”
Since then, development has passed to a group of four friends known as CreateQ Interactive who are working on the game in their spare time. But with Abandoned now the studio’s top priority, development on The Haunting has slipped.
“We need to finish the game and then put it all behind us,” he said.
“People are now calling us scammers because they’re like ‘Yeah, you leave an unfinished game and let people pay for it.’ That is the last thing we want to do, that is absolutely not why we’re here in this industry.”
Abandoned has also seen its fair share of controversy, but Kahraman revealed that this is a good example of how Blue Box Game Studios wants everyone to be treated fairly.
“The Realtime Experience app for PlayStation 5 – Sony was like ‘In certain countries, for example Germany, you can’t put it free on the store because there are laws.’ They suggested that the best thing we could do is charge 25 cents. But I was like ‘No, that’s unfair for our customers.’ Because the world will get it for free, but Germans would have to pay for it and that didn’t feel right.”
Kahraman eventually found a way around this – bringing the app to PlayStation Plus.
“I don’t want people to be treated unfairly,” he explained. “Then, at the end, to be labelled as a scammer – that is really painful, and I’m really depressed. I don’t sleep well, I don’t eat well – it really, really bothers me.”
In fact, it’s also having a big impact on Abandoned’s development team, too.
“Team members of Blue Box, and also freelancers we work with, they don’t feel comfortable to show their faces right now,” he revealed. “It’s not fun being labelled as a scammer, right? So, yeah, that’s the reason why people don’t feel comfortable right now showing their faces or even publicly announcing that they’re involved with Abandoned.”
“I’m really depressed right now,” he explained. “I can’t sleep, I can’t eat. The biggest thing that’s bugging me is just that people are labelling us as scammers. That is the big thing that really, really hurts me. Because that is not my intention at all, you know?”
“We’re just here to make games that people enjoy,” he added.
Meanwhile, Alan Wake 2 may be coming sooner than we thought as it’s said to have shifted into full production.