Indie dev tells Epic to “F**k off”, Epic apologises

It’s beginning to look like a current trend for developers to insult others in the industry.

On Thursday, during a panel at the Develop Conference in Brighton, Cliff Harris – the owner of indie developer Positech Games – was discussing how personally replying to potential customers could lead to more sales.

“At this point, there was this derisive snort from this guy in the front row, who said something to the effect of ‘one guy? who cares, that’s a waste of time,” reads Harris’ blog post.

“He then started to lecture us on how that’s a silly way to do it. I’m 95% sure that all four of us on the panel [which also included Robin Lacey(Beatnik), Sean Murray(Hello Games) and Mark Morris(Introversion)] thought ‘what the fuck?’ as well as ‘who is this guy’? compounded by Robin asking him if he worked in marketing.”

It turned out to be none other than Epic Games VP Mark Rein. Harris then continued to criticize Epic, Gears of War and Mark Rein personally, calling the VP “a jerk”.

He concluded in his blog post: “The only reason I’m moved to give a damn enough to state my opinion, is that I resent having some triple-a studio jerk come and tell someone whose run a microstudio for thirteen years that he is doing it all wrong. If Mark from introversion suggests I’m doing it wrong, that’s cool, he does what I do, and has some serious experience, ditto anyone on that panel, or anyone with long indie experience. And I listen carefully, often over lunch.

But Triple-A studio bosses trying to lecture me on how to communicate better with gamers? Fuck off.”

Among the comments on Harris’ furious blog post was a post from Epic founder Tim Sweeney: “Yeah, Mark Rein can jump in with guns blazing sometimes, invited or not. It’s all intended to be in good fun, but I guess it didn’t work out that way this time. Sorry!”

“When you have millions of customers, you can’t talk to them all. Many of the Epic folks are in frequent contact with enough gamers that we have a pretty clear idea of what the community is thinking, but with this scope of product you can’t respond as quickly or as pervasively. It’s a nice but real problem, and one smaller teams like y’all will share when faced with a runaway success.”

See – Epic do have time to respond after all.