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.”