Hellion dev rejects YouTuber’s ‘dirty dev’ characterization despite selling abandoned game

    
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Nobody wants to have their creative endeavors trashed and game developers certainly shouldn’t be outright abused in a physical or mental sense. That said, some criticism for kicking out and selling an incomplete game on Steam should be expected. And while Hellion developer Zero Gravity has certainly taken its lumps, it also is directly responding to a YouTube video that categorized the studio as a “dirty dev.”

As MMO Fallout noticed, the video in question is from YouTuber SidAlpha and recounts the events of Hellion’s life from its early access inception to its decision in October to end development, release from early access, and still charge for the game. That’s reason enough to consider a dev “dirty,” but another reason explained in the video points to a quote from lead production artist Nemanja Lekic, which accused Zero Gravity of using funding from Hellion to fuel other games:

“Guys what can I say…Some of the people who wore the whole organization on their shoulders have come to various disagreements…some of us wanted to continue the development striving to rebuild and improve the gameplay but others decided to abandon the project itself and use the funding from it to fuel their new projects…It is a shame really but hey, that’s what happens when the whole love and gaming fervor gets replaced with pure business models… I apologize on my behalf and on behalf of those who wanted to continue this project.”

A day after the video went live, Zero Gravity posted a response on Steam, and while they applauded SidAlpha for his research and well-written account of the game’s development, they took exception to being deemed one of the YouTuber’s so-called “Dirty Devs.”

“What we find illegitimate with this video is that the author labeled us as DirtyDevs just because he found the Hellion review by the ex-member of Zero Gravity. While we fully support journalistic enthusiasm, we must remind the author of the importance of hearing both sides before making any harsh labeling. SidAlpha could have contacted us, but he didn’t. He just wanted to make a ‘sensational’ video.

As a reply to the statement that ‘we take the money and run’ and to the comment of the aforementioned ex-member of the team that ‘we are fueling other projects from Hellion sales revenue’ – Hellion is the opposite of a profitable game. The investor lost a lot of money, the team kept shrinking in phases since the Early Access release. There are only two programmers on the team now and their contracts will end in 5 days. This really sucks.”

sources: YouTube via MMO Fallout, Steam (1, 2)
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Frank White

@Chris Neal I believe the expression you were looking for was “took exception to.” ;)

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wieland

This business model of using the development money for other shit isnt new.
Anyone still remember the original H1Z1?
Lets use the money on a BR instead of the Zombie Survival game.

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Rodrigo Dias Costa

Or, you know, Fortnite.

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Robert Mann

The modern developer non-AAA cycle:

“We have a product that we can finish about 30%. We hope it sells at 10% done, so that we can fund it.”

*Generate lots of hype through buzzwords and pushing out that first 10% with a few interesting ideas that would be fun, perhaps, if they were ever finished.*

“It isn’t selling well enough as a buggy mess, quick you all, let’s move on to other projects to isolate ourselves from this!”

*Go back to part one.*

The AAA developer cycle:

-Make hype.
-Make game worthy of 10% of the hype, with bugs out the wazoo, but “complete”.
-Put in more monetization schemes.
-Call players who dislike it “rabid”.
-Start drawing up next project to hype.

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Utakata

So Hellion was full of hot helium? o.O

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rafael12104

And so the trend continuous. Selling new unfinished and bug ridden games is apparently acceptable. Well, I’m sorry, but that does make you a dirty dev.

How aren’t you dirty? Because you lost money? Hey, it was a business venture and it went belly up. But you did take money that was essentially ear marked for the game and put it in your pocket to spend on something else. That’s full of dirt.

If this were an actual investment agreement, devs would be liable for fraud. It is as dirty as that.

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Khalith .

SidAlpha is a solid youtuber that always does his research and maintains his integrity. So I’m going to side with him on this one and say these devs are spouting a bunch of nonsense. I’m also surprised they didn’t threaten defamation like all the other dirty devs he features usually do.

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Zero_1_Zerum

“We walk like a duck, talk like a duck, look like a duck…but we’re totes not a duck, guys!”

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silverlock

Well isn’t that just ducky.

Alyn
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Alyn

comment image

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Kickstarter Donor
NecroFox4

Revenues and profits are different things. They don’t technically refute the claims that led to the Dirty Dev label, but still complain about said label.

Take the hit, Zero Gravity, and move the hell on. You will NOT win any fans by pissing and moaning about being called out for your own BS decisions.

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Bruno Brito

He just wanted to make a ‘sensational’ video.

Sooo…decide. Either he researched and made a good video, or he made a “sensational” video.

Anyway…Thank you so much, 2020.

Mordyjuice
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Mordyjuice

This is just the beginning, I wonder which company will have their major blunder first ANet, Blizz, or EA?

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Bruno Brito

I’ll bet on all 3.

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Jeremy Barnes

Well, Blizz screwed up Arena Season 3 for BFA so I guess they get the prize

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cykelbud

Bethesda with Fallout 76 will be the clear winner.

Yangers
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Kickstarter Donor
Yangers

Probably both I suppose. I mean, a bit of drama never hurt ones YouTube video views, and if the topic is well researched and backed up with facts that’s even better.