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Tuesday, December 2, 2014

An Attempted Interview With Moneyhorse and North Korea

By LUDWIG VON KOOPA - The dudes supporting Kim Jong Un.

I don't want to create an impression that KoopaTV is a site that keeps trying to have interviews and keeps being denied them. I mean, we got a reply from the President of the United States. It shouldn't be that difficult to be able to talk to folks.

Regardless, we tried to interview Moneyhorse LLC like we promised, about their Glorious Leader! project. For those who do not remember, back in May 2014 these guys from a company called Moneyhorse announced they would make a Kim Jong Un-based videogame that is sort of a rip-off of Contra. It got a ton of attention for being a wild idea from a lot of the videogame press, but they all forgot about it a week later. After that, a lot of Chinese people apparently really liked the idea and clinged to it long enough to get it greenlit on Steam.

Bringing this out of article hell for a game in development hell?

Still, with the recent news that the North Koreans have hacked Sony (who seems to be getting hacked a lot recently), this seems like a good time to see how Glorious Leader! has progressed instead of keeping the "interview" in article hell.

...It hasn't progressed.

We sent the following May 22, 2014:
Dear Moneyhorse,

I'm the main writer and owner of KoopaTV, a videogame industry commentary site. I wrote an article about your game announcement, Glorious Leader!, and I'd like to exchange some e-mails to ask you guys some questions about it.

These include:

1. Who are you guys?!
2. How are you being funded?!
3. Will it be free in true anti-capitalist fashion?
4. How self-aware will it be?!

And other things.

KoopaTV itself is experienced with politically-based videogames and controversy, so we know where you guys are coming from. (See Trayvon Tyson's Punch-Out!!.)

Thank you.

Ludwig Von Koopa
Well, we never got a reply. And their site is down. (And has been down for over six months now.) So we decided to try to figure out the answers on our own. Investigative journalism go!

So, who are they?

Well, we still have no idea. They haven't been on Valve's Steam in over 100 days now. Their site, as I just wrote, has been down for over half a year. They have not responded or posted anything new on their Facebook page. So it doesn't really matter who they are if they're dead. They haven't responded to anything on their Steam page either.

The game will not be free. Here is the Steam community thread where they ask what a good price would be. Here is a comment from the developer when $.99 was suggested:

"Whoa! I want to price it affordably, but for the amount of work that is going into making the game, $0.99 just wouldn't be fair to the developers. We would like to develop future games with the proceeds. Consider the price of other forms of entertainment, like movies, and I think you will understand why people are suggesting the price points that they are. Of course the game will eventually go on sale, allowing the people with even smaller gaming budgets the ability to play it."
If $.99 is too low, $0.00 is too low as well.

They have "upcoming announcements" in the next few weeks as of the end of May. After being greenlit on Steam, all their communications just stopped right there. And have continued to not move even now.

It's safe to say that this was either a hoax or a pathetic attempt at publicity.

Well, according to their Facebook page, it's coming out 2014. If that's really true, we should see it this month. And if it's not true... Well, then it doesn't really matter how self-aware it will be! At this point, what difference does it make?

They did make this relatively recent tweet. Looks like they didn't plan things out well:

Take that as you will.

The super-secret game project that KoopaTV mentioned in the footer of the first article about Glorious Leader! (see the link in the second paragraph of this article) has been canceled but also rolled over, by coincidence, into a new project. KoopaTV still believes it will release that project before Moneyhorse LLC ever releases theirs.

KoopaTV actually did get a successful answer in an interview... About Madden Curse!
Two weeks later, Moneyhorse revives the project with a Kickstarter.
How well planned is it when North Korea shuts down a movie based off of it? What does that say about this game?
KoopaTV has released that project (well before Moneyhorse did): It is Defend Anita Sarkeesian. Play it right here!
The project dies because the Kickstarter got canceled.

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