Well, where to start on this one. The Bob’s Game saga has been rumbling on since December of last year but has been climaxing now over the last 2 weeks or so. To be completely honest, this is going to be hard to explain but I’m going to try my best. To start with, “Bob’s Game” is a game made solely by Robert Pelloni and has been advertised on his website as the game he wanted to play when he was a kid. He’s apparently sank over 15,000 hours of time into the project over the last 5 years but is now at the stage of getting it released.
One problem however, he can’t get a publisher.
Well, more specifically, he can’t get an SDK kit from Nintendo to be able to put his game on the carts to manufacture. In protest, he started a 100 day protest of solitary confinement against Nintendo to show his willingness to try and get his game published. He had no internet connection and only had a phone for emergencies for his friends to let him know if Nintendo responded. His protest started slowly with Nintendo not responding to his various emails. His web-cam stream then had some disturbing video of a game developer slowly going mad. That is until he recieved a definite answer from Nintendo:
Thank you for your interest for Authorized Developer status for Nintendo DS.
We have completed our evaluation of your application and are unable to offer your company Authorized Developer status at the present time.
In evaluating developers, Nintendo looks for relevant game development experience.
In addition, Nintendo looks for secure business facilities, sufficient equipment and staffing, financial stability and other attributes that would distinguish the developer.
Nintendo provides Authorized Developers with highly confidential information and many of Nintendo’s Licensees rely on recommendations and referrals by Nintendo to Authorized Developers.
For these reasons, Nintendo exercises a very high level of discretion in approving only a select number of applicants.
In accordance with our policies, we are not able to re-evaluate requests for developer status for at least six months.
Again, we appreciate your interest, and welcome any questions or concerns you might have regarding this decision.
Software Development Support Group & Licensing Department Nintendo of America & Nintendo of Europe
His answer to this message? Go to the Nintendo World Store and be a nuisance. The video shows Robert Pelloni and some other misadventurers journeying to the NWS and putting up posters and dropping business cards. The video also shows him buying a DS and playing his game in the store. Eventually, police arrive and they leave the store. Since then, not a lot happened.
The story takes another turn, making most people who followed the story and felt sorry for the guy but also confused by his insanity and rambled posts on his site aimed at Nintendo, fell stupid and then have a laugh. Well, that was certainly my reaction. It turns out that the majority of the site postings were all done as part of a viral campaign. Bob’s Game is indeed a game, but he hasn’t been declined by Nintendo or other Publishers, this is the story of a character within Bob’s Game called Bob who makes Bob’s Game. Confused?
Robert Pelloni’s game is actually a game where you play a gamer who finally comes to realise that the Games Industry he loved so much, was actually a cruel business where awesome games got cut because they would stop other games from the same publisher from selling. You eventually get to find and play the Holy Grail of games that was banned by all publishers called Bob’s Game within the game. Bob’s Game is apparently an online multiplayer puzzle game which you unlock through playing Bob’s Game.
Bob’s website has changed to document all of these dramatic new events and he has changed the video of the NWS raid to include annotations of how it wasn’t an actual raid and has also added a video to document some of the falsities. Once you know that it’s all just a campaign, the video actually does look rather fake. With the help of annotating text, it’s now quite obvious of which parts weren’t actually done in the store. There are lighting issues in certain sections and the composition of the shot of him playing the DS is all wrong in comparison to where he is “meant” to be playing it. I feel kind of stupid to have believed it the first time I saw it, but the people at Joystiq were just as suggestable.
So, at Stage 92 of the protest, what’s left in store for the last 8 days? Well, I’m hoping for a release date for all the platforms it will be released on by Stage 100. I’ll try and keep an eye on this story.