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Spider-Man: Edge of Time Developers Hate OnLive Gamers? WTF?!

Okay, this one is totally blowing my mind right now. Apparently sometime early this morning, the official Facebook page for Activision’s upcoming super hero title, Spider-man: Edge of Time, posted a pretty disparaging comment (see photo after the break) on their wall, apparently in response to one fan’s (now, no doubt a lost customer who probably would have happily purchased the game on a different format were it not for the slight) query of the possibility of the game ever coming to OnLive.

Click to EMBIGGEN

The comment itself, makes absolutely zero sense considering that games are games, money is money, OnLive games are not special versions of the games, just the PC .exe running with optimizations for the cloud, and people who play games, no matter where they buy the games, are gamers. It’s like saying just because someone purchased their game at Walmart, they are not real gamers.

Anyway, the backlash began to grow immediately. And needless to say, the entire OnLive gaming community on both sides of the Atlantic, are up in arms over the complete dismissal of the game service by developer Beenox, and vicariously by publisher, Activision. Considering that Activision’s annual Spider-Man games have so far been lackluster at best, especially in comparison to Rocksteady’s Batman: Arkham series games, it would seem to me that Activision and Beenox would be happy to get as many people as possible to purchase their upcoming game.

Apparently, someone higher up within either organization feels the same, as currently, the entire offending thread has been completely deleted from the Spider-Man: Edge of Time‘s Facebook wall . . . along with reports coming in from all over the OnLive communty, that any and all posts made to the Edge of Time wall mentioning this mornings PR fiasco, are being deleted as they are made, and the users who posted them, having permissions to post to the Edge of Time wall, revoked. Matter of fact, the only evidence that the incident even occurred is the photo (above), currently doing the rounds on blogs and gaming forums across the internet.

And considering how fast OnLive is growing (at a faster pace than extremely popular and equally revolutionary in it’s time, digital game service Steam did following it’s launch), it does not matter that Activision is currently not an OnLive partner (at least not officially anyway). I am more than sure Activision does not want to get on the bad side of any retailer they are going to have to do business with in their future. Hence the quick removal of the offending comment, and the entire thread from their Facebook wall. But what I do not understand, is why the comment was made in the first place? I mean, you don’t tell a person that because they like to purchase their games at a mom & pop retailer (as opposed to Gamestop), that they are not ‘legitimate’ gamers for doing so. So why would anyone make the same comment about people who shop via OnLive in the first place? Looking at the wording of the statement, not only does the statement make a point of slagging off the OnLive service itself, but goes out of it’s way to insult the gamers who purchase their games through OnLive. It’s one thing to hurl invectives at a retailer or a business, but to do so at your own fans . . . that’s just the definition of stupid.

UPDATE – It now would appear that the entire Spider-man: Edge of Time Facebook page has now itself been taken down, or deleted from Facebook. Looks like Activision’s spin doctors are trying to get ahead of this thing, before it turns into another Gamestop-gate level PR win for OnLive, and disaster for pretty much anyone else on the offending end of the controversy.

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2 responses

  1. Phil

    I’m inclined to belive that that facebook page was fake. I can’t ee any company worth their salt talking like that about another company who could be a potential business partner at some point. This would also explain why the page was yanked down.

    October 3, 2011 at 9:19 pm

    • In hindsight, I feel that you are probably correct, in that this may have been a fan-based page. Yet at the same time, I personally know the people who run OnLiveFans.com, currently the world’s largest unofficial OnLive community, and they have reached out several times to Activision for an official response, only to get nothing. These guys have no problem getting response from pretty much any game publisher; from Ubisoft, to Warner Bros, to Square Enix, and all points in between. So to reach out to Activision for an official response concerning the row, and not given an official PR response back, just makes you wonder a bit. I mean, how hard would it have been for Activision to issue a statement officially claiming the page and the opinions on it, as not officially sanctioned by Activision or developer Beenox?

      Anyway, the controversy over the situation seems to have died down (for now). So Activision’s decision to simply remain silent on the situation appears to be working (again, for now). But I still think in not clearing up this mess once and for all, this is potentially something that could blow up in their face down the road a bit as OnLive’s influence continues to grow in gaming circles. The OnLive community tends to be pretty hardcore, which means they are likely to have pretty long memories about a slight against them. Which is something I imagine is not going to go over well when and if, Activition finally decides to start hawking their wares over the OnLive network.

      A simple press statement clearing up the matter, is simply smart business – even if you are in the wrong (or “guilty”), it is simply much better to clear the air up front, state your position and stand by it, or apologize and make amends for it, if it turns out that it was a “rogue” employee who made the statement, than to wait for the situation to take on a life of it’s own and risk it blowing back in your face down the road. Just saying, is all.

      BTW, thanks for the comment. It really is appreciated.

      October 14, 2011 at 8:36 am

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