Thomas Mahler, game director for Ori and the Blind Forest, and CEO of Moon Studios, took to popular game forum Resetera to express frustration at deceptive marketing practices.
Mahler’s post criticised Steven Molyenux, CDProjekt Red and Sean Murray, who he called “snake oil salesmen” for the promises they made when promoting their games to the public.
Of Molyneux, developer of games such as Black and White and Fable, Mahler said: “It took him to release some pretty damn shoddy games for press and gamers to finally not listen to the lies anymore.”
He next criticised Sean Murray, director of No Man’s Sky, who he said “hyped up the Multiplayer that didn’t even exist and was all too happy to let people think that No Man’s Sky was ‘Minecraft in Space’, where you could literally do everything.”
Finally, he said that CD Project Red’s PR Department “took all the cues from what worked for Molyneux and Murray and just went completely apeshit with it” and continued to say “They stopped just short of outright saying that this thing would cure cancer. ”
Mahler said that he had suffered personally as a developer, from the way the press handled these claims, saying that “Ori almost got the cover article of some magazine I read frequently, but ultimately they had to pick No Man’s Sky cause it was the ‘bigger game’.
“I really felt bamboozled” he continued, “once No Man’s Sky came out and it became clear that all this hype was really just built on lies”.
The post generated a lot of discussion, with Mahler facing a lot of criticism, before ultimately being locked by the moderators at Resetera.
Mahler took to Twitter yesterday (February 4) to apologise, saying that he had “screwed up” and that he “wasn’t thoughtful in the ways [he] presented [his] thoughts.”
Yup, I screwed up yesterday. Here's my thoughts: pic.twitter.com/4gH0KGxURA
— thomasmahler (@thomasmahler) February 4, 2021
Mahler concluded his statement with the following: “I am really sorry, especially to those that I mentioned by name. I promise that I’ll learn form this mistake and wish no hard feelings towards anybody.”