Revealing the deal in a blog post last week, Glumberland said Epic had offered the UK indie studio “a minimum guarantee on sales that would match what we’d be wanting to earn if we were just selling Ooblets across all the stores”.
While Glumberland anticipated something of a backlash – the post addressed some of the most common complaints about the Epic Games store – its two-person team has been taken aback by the vitriol it’s subsequently received online.
“We really misjudged how angry so many people would be,” studio co-founders Rebecca Cordingley and Ben Wasser said in a message to the Ooblets Patreon community (via GamesIndustry.biz).
“This whole thing has just devastated us. We’ve been getting thousands if not tens of thousands of hateful, threatening messages across every possible platform nonstop. It’s especially hurtful since we’ve had such a positive, supportive relationship with our audience throughout development.”
The statement added: “I couldn’t have guessed the scale of what it would feel like to be the target of an internet hate mob. I already had a lot of empathy for other targets of previous hate mobs, which is why we wanted to address that sort of thinking in our announcement, but I had no idea it was this bad.”
[UPDATE 08/05/19 at 8.30pm UK – Epic Games has released a statement criticising the abuse that’s been aimed at some of its development partners, which it says is becoming “a disturbing trend”.]
Announcing the deal last week, Glumberland said the investment from Epic would allow the studio to grow its development resources, “but it might also delay our initial launch a tad because it takes some time to ramp things up and because we won’t have as much financial pressure to prematurely shove something we’re not happy with out the door”.
Ooblets is in development for Xbox One as well as PC.