Game Industry Rebel Devolver Launches Money-Grubbing Mobile Game Without A Hint Of Irony
If the game industry was a high school, Devolver Digital would be the motorcycle guy who smokes cigarettes during P.E. and calls the principal by his first name. The indie publisher has spent years cultivating the image of a rebellious disruptor that isn’t afraid to criticize and undermine the rest of the industry. This is best exemplified by the publisher’s annual E3 showcase, which presents Devolver as a comically evil parody of triple-A companies, but it also satirizes the industry with other viral marketing campaigns such as the Devolverland Expo – a ‘marketing simulator’ set in an abandoned convention center – and Devolver Bootleg – a collection of rip-offs of Devolver’s most popular games.
Devolver gets away with criticizing the game industry because it has the games to back it up. It’s in a position to mock the greedy, anti-consumer antics of other publishers because it stays out of the muck. There’s an implicit statement Devolver makes every time it lampoons the industry in one of its showcases: other publishers are driving the industry towards total ruin with microtransaction-filled games and soulless cash-grabs, but we still make good ol’ fashioned video games. It’s true. From Hotline Miami to Cult of the Lamb, Devolver has an impeccable track record for making hit indie games and avoiding the temptation to bilk its fans – until now.
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