Ori Director Thomas Mahler Calls Out Cyberpunk, No Man’s Sky Devs
In a post on ResetEra, Mahler decried the lies developers tell to sell games
While we talk about how games do, what promises they keep, and how companies can lose face, it’s rare to hear that kind of language from other developers. Mostly, and likely for the sake of professionalism, they keep those opinions close to the chest, not wanting to sour relations with others in the industry. However, Ori And The Blind Forest director Thomas Mahler decided to speak his mind yesterday. In a long, strongly worded post on ResetEra, Mahler decried the developers behind both Cyberpunk 2077 and No Man’s Sky as “snake oil salesmen.”
Thomas Mahler’s post centers around developers over-promising on their games. According to him, the trend started with Lionhead studios founder Peter Molenyux. Lionhead was the Microsoft-owned developer behind the Fable franchise, which Molenyux played a large part in developing. According to Mahler, Molenyux 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!'”
Mahler then focused in on Sean Murray of Hello Games, the studio behind No Man’s Sky. For those that remember, No Man’s Sky was hyped up endlessly leading to its release, with Murray lying about what content would be in the game in many cases. According to Mahler, Murray “learned straight from the Peter Molyneux handbook.” He then pointed out that Murray was hyping up the non-existent multiplayer in No Man’s Sky days before it launched.
On the topic of Cyberpunk 2077, Mahler said that “The product was a fraction of what the developer hyped it up to be and on top of that it barely even ran on consoles that it was supposed to ‘run surprisingly well on!'” Cyberpunk 2077 had a massive marketing campaign leading up to its release that undoubtedly planted a vision in consumers’ heads. Upon release, it was clear that many of the promises made and the overall vision that had been curated during that campaign were not going to be present in the final product.
The post continues with strong language as Thomas Mahler explains that he feels there’s too much lying in the industry. However, that’s not the most astounding part to him. Instead, it’s that both journalists and gamers seem to take the lies and not mind at all. “Yeah, the backlash is coming, but usually you see a ton of people then arguing that they like the game that came out of it anyway… It doesn’t matter if the snake oil actually tastes fine. Don’t sell me on features that don’t exist.”