Steam, launched on 12 September 2003, is a video game digital distribution service. It was the ultimate destination for creating, playing, and discussing PC games until Epic Games launched the Epic Games Store in December 2018.
The life-simulation video game Ooblets was developed and published by Glumberland. PC gamers with Windows could play it only on Epic Games till October 2023. Ooblets was launched on Windows, Xbox One, and Nintendo Switch on 01 September 2022.
According to the update made in July 2021, Ooblets has six locations: Pantsabear Hill, Wildlands, Port Forward, Nullwhere, Badgetown, and Mamoonia. The developers have frequently fixed the bugs and introduced new updates since its launch because Rebecca, the developer, knows it takes time to build a perfect game.
Glumberland’s Explanation For Switching To Epic Games Store
Steam provides a wide range of free games, though it does not focus more on the cost-free section. On the other hand, Epic Games Store came into the market with free game offerings and exclusives, which meant it purchased the developers to create games for the platform.
Thus, Steam lost several loyal game developers, and Ooblets was one of them. Glumberland, the developer and publisher of Ooblets, gave some reasons for the switch in a hostile manner.
Glumberland developers said they would not switch to one more platform according to Epic Games Store’s rules of exclusivity. However, Ooblets will be launched on Xbox One because Epic’s law of exclusivity is limited only to PCs.
Epic provides funding, meaning the developers can include more resources and help during production with fewer compromises. Epic has not bagged a secure place in the market as its competitors. However, it ensured funding and a minimum guarantee on sales.
So, the developers have no burden of selling the game. Ooblets has only a married couple working on it. Ben Wasser designs the game, whereas Rebecca Cordingley is the artist and developer. So, Rebecca need not follow a strict deadline before launching the game on Epic.
Glumberland faced backlash from people after switching from Steam to Epic Game Store. Some people said that EGS lacks various features of Steam. So, Glumberland explained that even Steam was messy after its immediate launch fifteen years ago. The platform progressed with time, and so will EGS. Some people found the switch anti-consumer.
Meanwhile, Glumberland answered those who threatened to pirate the game and launch it on their favorite platforms, saying that only switching from one platform to another does not mean people owe someone’s hard work.
Glumberland faced massive hatred on Discord for switching from Steam to Epic Game Store. The developers were questioned for their decision and threats related to death and creating fake images and circulating over the internet. They also awarded the developers with anti-semitic, racist, and homophobic slurs.
Glumberland developers were accused of asking the gamers to go to gas chambers, and its screenshot was circulated on the internet. A fake video backing up the screenshot was also released. Meanwhile, Ben Wasser informed on Twitter that he never asked the gamers to go to gas chambers.
However, Twitter users did not believe him as they found his attitude wrong. Glumberland developers understand the frustration but never dreamt that the backlash would go to an extreme level.
Epic Games stands by Glumberland because it knows other developers on its platform might face similar backlash. Ben Wasser thought his post would calm the people. He also responded to the people showing their disappointment regarding his post on social media.
However, Wesser considers it a miscalculation because the post did not calm anyone. He discovered how toxic the gaming community is, according to his experience. Moreover, he knows the people will again get offended because he calls them ‘toxic’ irrespective of what they said and did to him.
Any gaming platform might step out of the backlash faced by its developers. However, Ben Wasser and Rebecca Cordingley are thankful to Epic Games, who stood by the couple throughout the controversy. The couple learned how right it was to choose Epic Games.
Surprisingly, Glumberland launched Ooblets on Steam on 05 October 2023, according to the announcement on 18 September 2023.