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Owlboy’s very ugly Switch icon leads to backlash — and a quick fix

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Thank goodness the owlful icon’s been updated

owlboy artwork D-Pad Studio

Owlboy is a very pretty platformer that’s coming to Nintendo Switch on Feb. 13, more than a year after its original release. But you’d never guess that it’s a beautiful, multi-year labor of love based on its original Switch home menu icon — which, as Twitter and forum users discovered, was one of the least aesthetically appealing icons to date.

A pre-release look at the Owlboy icon, which is now available for pre-load on Switch, began to make the rounds yesterday. A Reddit thread called “Can we start complaining about the Owlboy icon now?” summarizes the issue.

“I am really looking forward to this game, but this is just too bad,” wrote original poster tbritoamorim alongside a screenshot of the icon. “It’s not even centered.”

They’re right: It’s not. It’s a pixelated, oddly slapdash icon that belies the actual look of Owlboy, which has a unique, almost hand-drawn artistic style.

the original owlboy switch icon Imgur via Reddit

Nintendo Switch owners are known to be sticklers about home menu art, so other people began to pile on the Owlboy icon once they saw it, too. Redditors shared their disgust over the noticeably odd-looking icon in tbritoamorim’s thread, and some users even tweeted their concerns at developer D-Pad Studio.

From the sounds of the studio’s responses, it may be that the Owlboy icon was just a placeholder until the Switch version actually arrives in two weeks. The studio asked one user what region they were from, implying that it was not aware of whether this was a worldwide issue or a local one; D-Pad later told another Switch owner that it definitely planned to update the icon.

Last night, D-Pad Studio gave all concerned fans a preview of the new home menu image for Owlboy, courtesy of a tweet directly referring to the backlash. An attached .gif shows the maligned Owlboy icon transforming into a much prettier one that includes the game’s actual artwork.

“We will have the intended icon up and running soon,” wrote D-Pad. “Thank you for your patience!”

This is the latest, and perhaps quickest, example of Switch lovers coming together over mutual disdain for a piece of art that, admittedly, they won’t look at too often. But with the Switch’s home menu as basic as it is, icons are the one real piece of decoration to look at when loading up the console. And a truly bad icon definitely sticks out — so it’s nice when developers are onboard with making the home menu that much prettier in the biggest way they can.