A trio of individual Western video game developers have been met with widespread accusations of jealousy over their recent criticisms of Elden Ring’s success.
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The matter started harmlessly enough, with Ubisoft Stockholm UX [User Experience] Designer Ahmed Salama taking to his personal Twitter on March 3rd to discuss both the praise that had been given to Elden Ring and his belief the game had failed to provide a good user experience.
“The fact that #ELDENRING scored a 97 metacritic is proof that reviewers don’t give a flaming poop about Game UX,” he tweeted. “My life is a lie.”
Salama, whose claims to UX authority include stints designing said experience for Battlefield 2042, Battlefield V, and Star Wars Battlefront II, elaborated on his thoughts in reply to another Twitter user, stating, “The user experience is generally awful…nothing about the thing feels intentional or playtested…”
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Salama’s tweet was soon met with agreement from PlayStation subsidiary Nixxes Software graphics programmer Rebecca Fernandez O’Shea, who in a now-deleted Tweet replied, “Nor PC graphics, stability & performance, apparently.”
“Nor quest design, really,” added Guerrilla Games’ Horizon Forbidden West senior quest designer Blake Rebouche, whose tweets have since gone protected.
This interaction was soon screencapped by Twitter user @LavenderGhast, who shared the resulting image and alongside the caption, “Developers from Ubisoft and Guerrilla as well as others upset over Elden Rings success.”
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The fact that these developers agreed with Salama seemed to kick the hornet’s nest, as it gave many players the impression that they were simply jealous of the praise heaped upon Elden Ring by critics and fans alike.
As such, the aforementioned devs were soon met with vocal pushback from Elden Ring players, many of whom laughed at the idea that any of the critics’ employers could provider a better experience.
“Yeah sorry I need a huge f—–g arrow on my screen to let me know where to go next,” SandCastleSam replied to Salama, Rebouche, and O’Shea.
He later shared his own interpretation, humorously featuring an excessive amount of on-screen assistance of what Elden Ring would look like under the direction of these Western developers.
“Elden Ring is so good that it’s making the Horizon forbidden West developers cry on Twitter,” mocked Gandalf Gaming. “@Bigrebo don’t be upset by Elden Ring stole your thunder, instead take notes on how to make a real open world game…”
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“Hey @Guerrilla [Guerrilla Games],” tweeted @itheconflict, “I was really excited to play HFW, but after seeing @Bigrebo’s tweet disparaging @ELDENRING and @fromsoftware_pr I will never buy or play a game made by this bitter person.”
“It’s not From’s fault that people stopped talking about HFW,” he added. “This is classless behavior.”
@IronPineapple_ recalled, “Someone called me an ‘Xbot’ for liking Elden Ring. It took me a while to figure out why, but my guess is they’re upset about Horizon Forbidden West getting overshadowed.”
“And to be fair,” they admitted, “I do feel bad for the Horizon devs, they did this twice in a row with Breath of the Wild lmao.”
Others Twitter users, including Kotaku-writer-turned-Bloomberg-journalist Jason Schreier, reinforced this pushback by sharing an edited Elden Ring screenshot from Reddit user /u/gamboozino, filled with an abundance of guides and waymarkers, which humorously claimed to depict what the game may look like if developed by Ubisoft.
However, some called for peace amid the drama.
“STFU With the comparisons between Horizon Forbidden West and Elden Ring please,” begged @Captainhorizon7.
“Both are doing well, but apparently there has to be constant wars about it online. They’re awesome and doing well that’s all there is to it lmfao.”
As noted above by @IronPineapple_, the first game in the series, Horizon Zero Dawn did release mere days before The Legend of Zelda: Breath of the Wild in North America – February 28th and March 3r,d 2017, respectively – and while it does have lower scores than its Nintendo contemporary, both were very well received.
Horizon Zero Dawn currently holds a Metacritic score of 89 from critics and 8.4 out of 10 from users, while The Legend of Zelda: Breath of the Wild has a score of 97 and 8.7, respectively.
A similar story unfolded with Horizon Forbidden West and Elden Ring, as due to their close release dates of February 18th and 25th respectively, the release of FromSoftware’s long-awaited George R.R. Martin collaboration has slightly overshadowed the release of Guerilla Games’ similarly anticipated sequel.
As of writing, Horizon Forbidden West holds a critical Metacritic score of 88, while Elden Ring sits at 97.
However, Elden Ring actually has the lower user review score, no doubt caused by the game’s performance issues on launch.
Horizon Forbidden West has a user score of 8.2 from 7324 reviews, while Elden Ring averages a 6.88 across the almost 8,300 reviews left across its PC, PlayStation, and Xbox releases.
What do you think? Let us know on social media and in the comments below.
NEXT: The Verge’s Ash Parrish Claims Elden Ring’s Lack Of Black Hair Options “Fails Its Black Players” And “Reinforces A Culture of Exclusion”