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Ooblets dev received thousands of "hateful, threatening messages" over Epic exclusivity

Glumberland on being the target of online hate: "I had no idea it was this bad"

Glumberland has received "thousands if not tens of thousands" of threats as a result of signing an exclusivity deal with the Epic Games Store.

The indie studio -- which is just two people, Rebecca Cordingley and Ben Wasser -- announced that it had signed a temporary PC exclusivity deal for Ooblets last week.

The terms of the deal effectively covered Glumberland's sales forecast across all storefronts, allowing the small studio to raise its ambitions and bring in help without worrying about commercial failure.

The UK developer anticipated some backlash, publishing a blog post that explained its reasoning and addressed the most common complaints with the Epic Games Store's divisive exclusivity strategy. It also tweeted: "Okay, so we did the thing! The thing people get angry about. But maybe don't get angry about it?"

"I couldn't have guessed the scale of what it would feel like to be the target of an internet hate mob"

People did get angry about it, and to a degree that shocked Glumberland's co-founders.

"We really misjudged how angry so many people would be," Cordingley and Wasser said in a message to the Ooblets Patreon community.

"This whole thing has just devastated us. We've been getting thousands if not tens of thousands of hateful, threatening messages across every possible platform nonstop. It's especially hurtful since we've had such a positive, supportive relationship with our audience throughout development."

The Patreon community has also been the source of messages of support, Glumberland said, but the intensity of the response was such that "I have been crying nonstop for the last two days and feeling like the world has collapsed around me."

"I couldn't have guessed the scale of what it would feel like to be the target of an internet hate mob," the statement said. "I already had a lot of empathy for other targets of previous hate mobs, which is why we wanted to address that sort of thinking in our announcement, but I had no idea it was this bad."

One of the key issues within the Ooblets Patreon community appears to be the studio's need for financial support from the public given the terms of the deal with Epic. Glumberland acknowledged this in its initial blog post, and said again in the statement that it "wanted to get your take on that."

However, the volume of messages Glumberland claims to have received would suggest that the backlash has extended beyond Ooblets' Pareon community -- which only has 1,101 members.

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Matthew Handrahan avatar
Matthew Handrahan: Matthew Handrahan joined GamesIndustry in 2011, bringing long-form feature-writing experience to the team as well as a deep understanding of the video game development business. He previously spent more than five years at award-winning magazine gamesTM.
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