Thomas Mahler, creative director at Moon Studios and designer of Microsoft’s Ori series, has apologized for publishing a lengthy essay on ResetEra, in which he named fellow developers and studios, and accused them of purposely misleading fans.
Mahler started by calling out Peter Molyneux (Fable series, Godus) and called him “the master of ‘Instead of telling you what my product is, let me just go wild with what I think it could be and get you all excited!’” He claimed that Molyneux is the pioneer of misleading marketing in the games industry, and then specifically named No Man’s Sky‘s Sean Murray, and accused him of learning “straight from the Peter Molyneux handbook.”
“This guy apparently just loooooved the spotlight,” wrote Mahler. “Even days before No Man’s Sky released, he hyped up the multiplayer that didn’t even exist and was all too happy to let people think that No Man’s Sky was ‘Minecraft in Space’, where you could literally do everything (you being able to do everything is generally a common theme behind the gaming snake oil salesmen, cause hey, that sorta attracts everybody!).” Mahler then called out Geoff Keighley for “rewarding” such behavior.
Continuing his rant, Mahler accused CD Projekt RED of using its position as The Witcher studio to deliberately mislead fans eagerly awaiting Cyberpunk 2077.
Mahler’s point got lost somewhere in the tone of his essay and his unprofessionalism. After receiving backlash, he took to Twitter to publish an equally lengthy apology and acknowledged that he “screwed up.” “I wasn’t thoughtful in the way I presented my thoughts, nor did I choose the right tone or platform for it,” reads his mea culpa.