Update: Since consulting with his storefronts, Gallant has no way in which to implement this scheme and so everyone will be receiving their Steam Keys; GamerGate or not.
Indie Developer David S. Gallant, despite stating on his Facebook page that he will give all previous buyers of his game, I Get This Call Every Day, a free Steam key, has now decided that this offer will not apply to those who support the GamerGate consumer revolt.
The game, which Gallant made part-time while working at a call centre using a purposefully ugly art style drawn on a tablet using GIMP, reflects the ugliness he felt while working for a job which he hated and is a point-and -click adventure simulation of a typically annoying phone call he would receive. Gallant has had many struggles during the history of his game, and the gaming community reached out and helped.
According to his website, I Get This Call Every Day, which has been purchased almost 7000 times, is the seventh and most successful of Gallant’s creations. However, when the Toronto Star found the game and wrote a front page article stating Gallant’s job and that he created the game in reaction to his hatred of customers, he was promptly fired.
Luckily, the gaming press and gamers came to Gallant’s aid. After Gallant instigated an emailing campaign, Kotaku’s Patricia Hernandez, picked up the game and admired its strong message. After being fired from his job, new media gaming site, Polygon wrote a piece on how unjustly the Toronto Star had handled his interview in which he had never mentioned the company he worked for. In order to raise money to attend Indiecade, Gallant set up an IndieGoGo page asking for just $650. After gaming website, Rock, Paper, Shotgun, found the campaign they pleaded readers to help out. The campaign ended up raising over $2000 from over 160 individuals.
However, Gallant’s struggles did not end there. He attempted twice to get his game Greenlit through popular PC gaming distribution platform, Steam, but it wasn’t until a popular YouTuber promoted his game that it eventually took hold. After almost a year of being on Greenlight in total, he finally could sell his game to a wider audience. Gallant has clarified that the game’s facebook page is outdated and the game will be coming to Steam.
While gifting his previous customers a Steam Key is a privilege and not a right, several consumers took to Twitter to complain about this exclusionary tactic. Some incorrectly complained that this could break discrimination laws or is committing fraud, however gifted Steam keys are at his discretion. His statement is still of concern to those who purchased his game after April 5th believing they would receive a Steam Key, who now will not. Due to this Facebook post that may be construed as a promise for a Steam Key, he will be issuing refunds of his purchased game on a case-by-case basis.
Others have commented on the current price of his game as of December 1st being set at $200, however, Gallant claims this is an anti-consumerist message against Cyber Monday.
While it is up to Gallant to decide what to do, TechRaptor would like to urge him to remember all the gamers who helped him discover his dream of developing a successful game, of going to IndieCade and who helped him bring his game to Steam. Echoing the words of several articles, Gallant claims that the people of GamerGate are not his audience.
I reached out to Mr Gallant for comment:
“I am familiar with TechRaptor, including it’s (sic) current stance on the hate movement that has harmed both my friends and my family. The information you are looking for is here https://storify.com/davidsgallant/i-get-this-call-every-day-is-coming-to-steam“
Update: The IndieGogo funded Gallant’s attendance to IndieCade but his game was not entered.