Developer Apologizes for Accidentally Threatening Kittens

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Developer Apologizes for Accidentally Threatening Kittens

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A marketing stunt for a game on Greenlight has backfired terribly.

Edge of Space is a 2D, open-world sandbox game with a focus on resource collection, building and survival. It's been described as "Terraria with mechs." That sounds like a dead cert for Greenlight success to me. Unfortunately, the game's publisher, Reverb, may have shot itself in the foot with a stunt designed to net the title more votes.

The publisher offered to donate $5000 to the Humane Society to rescue homeless kittens if the game got approved on Greenlight by the 15th of October. While that may or may not be against Valve's terms of service, banking on the internet's love for all things feline is rarely a bad idea. What didn't sit well with gamers, however, was the way Reverb phrased the promotion.

"If the game doesn't get approval, that money will disappear, like a puff of smoke in the uncaring wind, leaving poor kitties to survive in the harsh elements, be placed in harm's way and possibly scheduled for euthanasia," read a message from the publisher. "The challenge is out there, and for a simple 'yes' vote on Steam's Greenlight consumers can actively take a role in saving the lives of kitties."

Despite the internet's fondness for dark humor, it was judged that Reverb had apparently crossed a line. Edge of Space's Greenlight page was flooded with negative comments, some expressing outrage that a company would "blackmail" users, others condemning the publisher for making jokes about animal cruelty. Some threatened to change their votes. The sad thing is, Reverb is only acting as the game's publisher. It's developer, Handyman, has nothing to do with the promotion.

Reverb has since apologized for the joke.

"This was meant in fun, if anything, Reverb's intent was to add a bonus; if we can make it to the top 10 by the 15th, we will help out a worthy cause," it told Eurogamer. "Understand that there is some dark humor in the game and they wanted to play off of that. We love cats! That's why we have them in our game to begin with!"

"Even before the promotion was approved Reverb had decided to make a donation of $5,000 to the Humane Society today, this was just a fun way of drumming up some attention for the game. The release was meant to grab attention and call readers to action, but we regret if we made anyone uncomfortable or angry with its content. Millions of stray cats enter shelters each year, with the yearly cost of humane shelters resting in the billions. Our wording may have been muddled, but our intentions are good."

Source: Eurogamer

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Why is everyone such an easily defended puss these days?

bah, all this political correctness lately is eating away at my stomach..

please people, when did we stop having any sort of backbone or sense of humor? in the slightest? i mean it's clear as day that it is some light humor and for a good cause.

If it was legitimately about the abuse of kittens or such, then yes, point taken clearly, but it is not at all.

plus, blackmail? Really? Was someone forcing you to do something against your will?

Hell no. cut that shit out.

While I get that they didn't really mean any kind of harm in what they said and that they were playing off the dark humor in the game,...yeah...that kind of guilting always pisses me off in advertising.

Not surprised they pissed other people off too.

Mygaffer:
Why is everyone such an easily defended puss these days?

That's what I was thinking, it's not like he was treating kittens anyway just the threat of taking something away that they never had to begin with and it was a joke and he donated it anyway.

People need to stop getting offended by every little thing, seriously how do these people manage to even walk outside.

Forehead. Table. "Why hello dear friend, yes it has been nary 6 hours since we were last united." "That's right my dear, someone on the internet tried to mount the zeitgeist and the zeitgeist spun around and ripped them a new one."

disgruntledgamer:

Mygaffer:
Why is everyone such an easily defended puss these days?

That's what I was thinking, it's not like he was treating kittens anyway just the threat of taking something away that they never had to begin with and it was a joke and he donated it anyway.

People need to stop getting offended by every little thing, seriously how do these people manage to even walk outside.

This. People honestly just need to get a slap in the face and shut the fuck up. So tired of people going crazy over what is a joke. I don't care what the joke is, just shut up.

Weird but I guess the steam community has different joke standards than the rest of the internet.

Side note: If this game has a publisher, why the hell is it on Green Light? That kind of undermines the point, doesn't it?

Stupid cats always getting what they want....

Yeah because they CLEARLY said Reverb was going to be killing those cats if people didn't support the Game.
I don't really see why this became such a catastrophe.

Soviet Heavy:
Stupid cats always getting what they want....

Yes we do.

What is with the lack of good PR departments in this industry? For real.

Another successful example of Troll Marketing. Threaten to kill kittens, word it so that it'll piss people off, then say "Oh, we didn't mean that" and pretend you're sorry. Perfect way to generate hype.

Downvoted for egregious and vile marketing ploys.

uncanny474:
Another successful example of Troll Marketing. Threaten to kill kittens, word it so that it'll piss people off, then say "Oh, we didn't mean that" and pretend you're sorry. Perfect way to generate hype.

Downvoted for egregious and vile marketing ploys.

I'm sorry but did you actually read what they said?
Saying you won't donate cash to a cause if your goal isn't met isn't threatening to kill kittens. Not helping someone doesn't make you responsible for their misfortune. It's a poor expression/dark humor, but in no way is it a threat that they are going to go out and kill kittens.

Rednog:
I'm sorry but did you actually read what they said?
Saying you won't donate cash to a cause if your goal isn't met isn't threatening to kill kittens. Not helping someone doesn't make you responsible for their misfortune. It's a poor expression/dark humor, but in no way is it a threat that they are going to go out and kill kittens.

My point is not what they said. My point is that they said it to be deliberately inflammatory with the intention of feigning ignorance later, in order to get news stories like this one written, which in turn generates (free) publicity for the game.

This just in, people still can't take jokes in 2012. More at 11

Grey Carter:
"If the game doesn't get approval, that money will disappear, like a puff of smoke in the uncaring wind, leaving poor kitties to survive in the harsh elements, be placed in harm's way and possibly scheduled for euthanasia,"

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...

Okay seriously though, this is tame compared to some marketing stunts.

Mygaffer:
Why is everyone such an easily defended puss these days?

offended, but I agree.

I miss the good ol days when people weren't nearly as whiny

"Jeez, people shouldn't be offended by stuff on the internet, and post negative comments to websites about it. I'm going to go post a negative comment on some website about how I think people are whiny."

I think that that joke did cross the line, but it wasn't intended to. No harm no foul. And didn't they donate the money anyway? In a way, these complaints helped kitties.

Mcoffey:
Weird but I guess the steam community has different joke standards than the rest of the internet.

Side note: If this game has a publisher, why the hell is it on Green Light? That kind of undermines the point, doesn't it?

Being Greenlight is diferent then being Kickstarted, there is no money involved, its just a way to make your game available on Steam.

OT: I guess I now must be offended by that guy from the Serious Sam developers

uncanny474:

Rednog:
I'm sorry but did you actually read what they said?
Saying you won't donate cash to a cause if your goal isn't met isn't threatening to kill kittens. Not helping someone doesn't make you responsible for their misfortune. It's a poor expression/dark humor, but in no way is it a threat that they are going to go out and kill kittens.

My point is not what they said. My point is that they said it to be deliberately inflammatory with the intention of feigning ignorance later, in order to get news stories like this one written, which in turn generates (free) publicity for the game.

Its a fucking joke about going over the top with dark humor, there is nothing wrong with that and it has nothing to do with being "deliberately inflammatory with the intention of feigning ignorance later, in order to get news stories like this one written, which in turn generates (free) publicity for the game".

Go watch some Ricky Gervais stand up or something and see why dark humor is funny

Sadly, I bet this rage would not have been encountered if it was to, say, a soup kitchen or Red Cross the money was going to. Kittens dying = horrible, people dying = whatever. The internet is full of great people.

Everyone in marketing should have access to a 5 year old child. Anytime you have an idea for an advertisement, pitch it to that child. If, by the end of the pitch, the child is staring at you in abject horror, you probably should come with something else.

Urgh, the guy doesnt really have anything to apologise for. Shouldn't have to apologise just because someone else got offended when it wasn't directly aimed at that person, he'd be there all day otherwise!

Nothing like a bit of controversy to get your name in all the news, and no he said nothing controversial you just made it that way.

But about the game, everything I've seen sofar I could only call it about a year before it's time, yes some things are functional but this is 1/10 of what Terraria does.
I'll happily play it once it's done but we are still a long way from that.

The truly sad thing is the fact that the easily offended whiners constantly are getting their way. Every time there's an outcry, a hat-in-hand apology is won almost instantly.

So its not surprising it happens so often. People have learned that if something offends them they can have a whinge about it and the villain responsible will be forced to bow down and beg forgiveness.

and shadowrun returns kickstarter had referencesto feeding kittens to dragons. although knowing shadowrun the kitten would turn out to be an awakened critter and then preceeds to eat the dragon

oh wow people actually got mad? >:/ eh it figures

No line was crossed you sensitive internet folk, save your anger for something worthwhile.

Greatest idea ever! It's like the uncanny valley of charity:

"The closer we get to our goal, the more money is involved. No matter what, we'll use that money to buy the kittens, but if we don't quite make it then we take those kittens and feed them to rottweilers."

I don't see the problem, here...

WHY WOULD YOU DOOO THAAAAAAAT? 90% of people online are too stupid to understand that it's a joke.

Wait, they crossed a line? That was hilarious! People can't take a joke.

The thing is though, even though it is a joke gone awry it seems to have gotten a lot of people to withdraw their support. Because apparently what producers do is now the fault of the dev team. [/sarcasm] Even the escapist seems to think so with their inaccurate title. ('Developer Apologises For Publisher Accidentally Threatening Kittens' would be a lot better)

As for the game itself, Mr. K, they turned off most of the features for the beta so they could enable them each week and make it easier to find bugs and check compatibilities. Unfortunately people tend to judge on first impressions.

Jesus Christ the internet has become an uptight place. That was a genuinely funny little joke. A funny little joke that could be told on a TV-show. As a fellow lover of cats, these kinds of people give the kittie-loving side of the internet a bad name. Fucking duuuuuuumb.

A line was crossed?

More like people with no sense of humour got offended over nothing.

Jeez...

Why is there such a furvour over this? You gonna be kitten me. It was just simple humour! People need to start thinking with their brains instead of reacting on gut felines.

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