“Snake Oil Salesmen”: Ori Director Criticizes Cyberpunk 2077, No Man’s Sky, and Fable Makers for Overhyping Games

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Image: Moon Studios

Moon Studios CEO and Ori game director Thomas Malher has posted an extensive rant on the ResetEra forums accusing game developers of overhyping their products and baiting gamers into purchasing their half-baked releases. Among those named are CD PROJEKT RED and Hello Games, whose Cyberpunk 2077 and No Man’s Sky titles have been criticized for lacking marketed features and/or playing shoddily upon release. Malher also blasted Lionhead Studios founder Peter Molyneux, claiming that the Fable creator was the one who started it all.

“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 wrote. “He pulled this sh*t for a good decade or more with journalists and gamers loving listening to Uncle Peter and the amazing things he’s doing for the industry. It took him to release some pretty damn shoddy games for press and gamers to finally not listen to the lies anymore.”

Mahler goes on to bash Hello Games’ Sean Murray, who struck a poor chord with gamers in 2016 when he shipped the heavily hyped open-world exploration survival game No Man’s Sky without promised features such as multiplayer. The title has improved over time thanks to various content updates, but that didn’t stop Mahler from questioning why the developer was forgiven for its “lies and deception” so easily.

“Obviously there was massive backlash when No Man’s Sky finally released and the product being nothing like what Murray hyped it up to be,” Mahler noted. “But what happened then? They 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.”

As for CD PROJEKT RED, Mahler accused the Polish developer of blowing Cyberpunk 2077 completely out of proportion with its marketing and alluding to an experience that the final product wasn’t able to match. The Ori director echoed some of the controversy that the sci-fi RPG has prompted since its December release, such as poor console performance.

“Here the entire CDPR PR department took all the cues from what worked for Molyneux and Murray and just went completely apesh*t with it,” Mahler argued. “Gamers were to believe that this is ‘Sci-Fi GTA in First Person.’ What’s not to love? Every video released by CDPR was carefully crafted to create a picture in players minds that was just insanely compelling. They stopped just short of outright saying that this thing would cure cancer.”

Ending his rant, Mahler clarified that his intention wasn’t to put down other developers but to draw attention to the alleged swindlers in the industry. “I know this whole thread might come off as me sounding bitter and I’m sure there’ll be some people that see this as me sh*tting on other devs,” he wrote. “No, I’m not. I’m sh*tting on liars and people that are okay with openly deceiving others. I’d argue that we should all agree that this sh*t is not okay.”

Tsing Mui
News poster at The FPS Review.

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