Real World Racing Made Zombie DLC “To Provoke Criticism”

We told you about Real World Racing (RWR) releasing odd zombie-themed downloadable content (DLC) yesterday, despite pitching a realistic experience. In a blog post reported by Gamasutra today, motives for the move are noted to be a deliberate provocation.

Giorgio Ciapponi of developer Playstos Entertainment noted that, despite the veteran team’s efforts to produce an original game, Real World Racing was met with “cold indifference,” making few headlines. Ciapponi uses that as a catalyst, even at the risk of losing their crowd of realism racers, stating:

We had to do something, even if it meant alienating the few people that noticed and cared about our game. We released a zombie DLC, in order to provoke criticism, to be seen and tell everybody that there are tens or thousands of quality games that go unnoticed in Steam’s library.

That last part, the part talking about making a statement for quality games, seems a bit counter-intuitive when Real World Racing uses gratuitous DLC as a tactic. Still, the level of transparency of a “mock product” is certainly a rare honesty in the industry.

Going further, Ciapponi also shows frustration at the development abandonment of Towns, having sold 200,000 copies, stating:

When we read stories such as the recent Towns development uproar we can’t help to grow angry. To date we sold about 2% of their claimed copies.

Finally, the developer makes a statement about the shape of the gaming industry as a whole, with particular focus on Steam’s new business model. Early Access gets criticized with the following statement:

We feel that we have come to a point in the gaming industry, where releasing unfinished alphas or betas for an inflated price, now called Early Access, or inserting the Z word in a trite game, rewards a developer more than pushing into new areas and heightening the production value of their game. We wish we did not have to put the Z in RWR.

Seeing this effort, a deliberate move to sneer at the industry, feels strange, certainly if the goal is to let others see that your product isn’t trite. Maybe Playstos Entertainment can coin the term “hateful development” with its sarcastic Real World Racing release, but it’s a dangerous tactic.

As with every mockery, especially in the digital world, it becomes harder to judge as time passes on, until it becomes completely indistinguishable from a genuine intention. Real World Racing could end up being seen as a parody of itself and we’re not sure that’s what the developer has in mind.