Are you a big name game company executive who occasionally acts like a massive cheese head on the internet? If so, Minecraft creator Markus “Notch” Persson may very well call you out on it as he did with OMGPOP CEO Dan Porter.
Last week, somewhat disgruntled ex-OMGPOP employee Shay Pierce made some comments about the nature of Zynga, the social game company that has become somewhat of a heel in the games industry. Pierce spoke about his decision to walk away from OMGPOP following Zynga’s acquisition of the company in order to maintain rights to a game he’d developed in his own time titled Connectrode. He also pegged Zynga as an “evil” company, and made it clear that he wasn’t a fan of their business strategies or attitudes toward game development.
OMGPOP had just released the smash hit Draw Something, the success of which resulted in Zynga’s decision to purchase the smaller developer. Pierce found himself at odds with the new parent company and valued the ownership of his own game over the potential salary and job security he could have had if he chose to remain with OMGPOP, and so he outlined his criticisms in an interview with Gamasutra. And boy, some people did not take well to it.
By some people, of course, I specifically mean Dan Porter, the current head of OMGPOP who certainly doesn’t see eye to eye with Pierce on this issue. Porter made a series of Twitter updates targeting Pierce, including such not-so-flattering comments as “Selfish people make bad games. Good riddance! What’s so interesting about success is the number of failures who try to ride on your back. Shay Pierce is just one of many…” This remark as well as the others have now been deleted from Porter’s Twitter, but it was clear that he was very irritated. Irritated, and a bit of an ass about it.
In response to Porter’s comments, Minecraft creator and indy game scene celebrity Markus “Notch” Persson addressed Porter in his own Twitter update, stating simply “You are an insane idiot”. Whether in connection to Notch’s statement, guilt, or simply of his own realization that this was not a good escapade in public relations, Porter soon withdrew his Twitter posts and issued an apology.
Whatever you want to think about Zynga, it’s clear that there have been numerous points of contention between the company and those who’ve chosen to walk out the door, and the internet has served as a battleground for involved parties more than once.