The developer of Bear Simulator, a Kickstarter-project-turned-Steam-release in which players take on the role of a bear, says he will no longer work on the game, thanks to "drama" following its launch.
In a campaign update on Kickstarter over the weekend, developer John Farjay of Farjay Studios wrote that "making any updates or going further is basically a lost cause now," due to the game's reception. While backers and the majority of players on Steam, on which Bear Simulator launched Feb. 26, have spoken positively of the humorous game, Farjay referred to its most vocal, negative reviewers as the cause of his frustration.
Most notably, that includes PewDiePie, the popular YouTube streamer whose videos attract millions of views. After Farjay made Bear Simulator widely available, PewDiePie tried out the game — and was not a fan of the first-person animal adventure.
"This video is more of a PSA of 'don't buy this game,'" he says during the six-minute takedown, which you can watch above. The viral video star, who mentions the game's positive reception at that time, later made his Bear Simulator video private on YouTube, but it remains watchable on his website.
Farjay doesn't call out PewDiePie in his Kickstarter post, and neither do many of the negative Steam reviews. Those instead claim the game emphasizes jokes over actual gameplay, with many citing the lack of gameplay or poor controls. The "most helpful" comment on the Steam marketplace stated that the developer flagged the review for "abuse," and that the developer deleted the reviewer's forum post citing the game as "a mess."
In his Kickstarter update, Farjay did mention he'll continue to offer updates as promised to campaign backers, including an exclusive environment and "other fixes." These will cease to be added once backers are "happy and content," he wrote.
Whether this represents the end of the road for the indie developer, who launched the Kickstarter campaign in March 2014 and raised over $100,000, remains uncertain.
"Must be doing this PC game dev thing wrong because it is way too hard to stay happy and productive," Farjay concluded his post.
We've reached out to Farjay for comment and will update accordingly.
Update: PewDiePie has made the Bear Simulator video public on his YouTube channel again, appending an explanation to its description.
The YouTuber confirmed that he took the video down because of Farjay's post on Kickstarter. Upon further reflection, however, PewDiePie changed his mind.
"After hearing he stopped developing games in total and gave up on this project, it kind of made me think I should keep the video back up," he wrote. "Obviously you don't stop making games because of one person's video, and me taking it down made it seem like that was the case to some people."
He also spoke out to the developer directly in the video's updated description. "I've been faced with very harsh criticism in my days online and I know it can be rough as hell," PewDiePie added. "But you can also learn from it, and grow from it.
"By abandoning this game you're letting the people who supported and who is supporting you down. Which isn't really fair to them."
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