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Ori Director Apologizes For Calling No Man’s Sky And Cyberpunk Developers ‘Snake Oil Salesmen’

Moon Studios CEO Thomas Mahler has posted an apology on Twitter for “overly aggressive” criticism directed at a number game developers, saying he “screwed up” and promising to “learn from this mistake.”

On Wednesday, Mahler took aim at Populous and Fable creator Peter Molyneux, Hello Games founder and No Man’s Sky creator Sean Murray, and Cyberpunk 2077 studio CD Projekt Red in a harshly worded statement on Resetera that received countless comments from gamers, both supporting Mahler as well as viewing his criticism as misguided.

The co-founder of the indie studio behind Ori and the Blind Forest and Ori and the Will of the Wisps, called these developers “snake oil salesmen,” adding that they had engaged in false advertising in marketing their games, which were launched with bugs and gameplay issues.

On Thursday, Mahler backpedaled claiming he had “a bit of a chip on my shoulder” and was frustrated with the “current hype culture” plaguing the gaming industry. “Now, a day later, I’ve read the responses and I realize I wasn’t thoughtful in the way I presented my thoughts, nor did I choose the right tone or platform for it,” Mahler tweeted.

“After I made this thread, we had a pretty long conversation internally about all of this and I definitely didn’t represent Moon Studios the way I should have. Yesterday I used an overly aggressive tone that wasn’t really suited for someone in my position. My intention was not to hurt anybody, but to offer up a discussion starter on current issues the industry is facing,” he added.

The director, who promised to learn from his mistake, may have been motivated to retract his statement after commenters on Resetera accused him of inciting “gamer rage.” No Man’s Sky’s and Cyberpunk 2077’s developers reported received death threats when their games were delayed. Hello Games was also the target of death and bomb threats following the disappointing release of No Man’s Sky.

“The internet is really good at knowing when somebody has made a mistake,” Hello Games’ Sean Murray said in a 2018 interview with The Guardian. “It’s not necessarily the best at determining the most appropriate response, but it’s really good at knowing when somebody has messed something up.”

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