The Witchfinder identifies another developer thoughtlessly willing to alienate his customers with ignorant and bigoted opinions about #GamerGate and its supporters.
Today I learnt about some games I had never heard of before. Impromptu Games developer Joe Wintergreen is the proud author of Half Life 2 mod – ‘Shotgun Sunrise’ and its derivative, ‘Vroom!’ a racing game. I am not sure if modifying a first person shooter into a slightly different first person shooter is that great an accomplishment, but Shotgun Sunrise gets a just-above-mediocre 7.3 from the ModDB Community.
Most of Impromptu’s other products seem similarly uninspiring. Joe has a Patreon, where he asks support for development of his forthcoming game ‘SpaceThing’ – “a first-person game where you explore space, renovate your spaceship and chat with a sassy shipboard computer”.
Another project is ‘InFlux’, in which the player takes the part of a “metal sphere”, traversing an island full of greenhouses. Each one is apparently, “a puzzle to be solved”. The PC version is out on Steam, retailing at a triple-AAA prices of £6.99. To be fair the game reviews are mostly positive, although some users complained of difficult controls and excessive loading issues.
There are also a number of Unreal Projects for making exciting things like stairs and handrails. It is certainly not appalling, but nothing here is setting the world on fire – not even the Unreal fire system they have written.
It is clear that this is a small company and it is equally clear that the owner Joe Wintergreen is ambitious. The question for me is, why would this company alienate a large section of consumers with lazy criticism of a group known for its ability to influence opinion of games and review scores.
For example, the total sample size for Impromptu’s flagship game InFlux’s Steam rank is 179. Even 10 adverse reviews could adversely influence that rating. A hundred could devastate it. InFlux’s Steam page is here. Similar reasoning applies to the ModDB rating for Shotgun Sunrise. Of course GamerGate supporters are far less likely to discriminate politically, but they find legitimate issues with the games now their attention has been drawn to them.
It is clear that Joe Wintergreen has a very negative view of GamerGate supporters and worse is willing to discriminate against them when hiring. I would hate for anyone to do anything that would reinforce his wrong and stereotyped view of GamerGate supporters but I imagine people will continue to remonstrate with him on Twitter at his account @JoeWintergreen.