Another day, another indie developer accused of engaging in some shady practices. Today the topic is Karabas Studio, developer of the upcoming The Sorceress on Steam, or currently existing Fabulous Journey on Itch.io.
Looking at the game’s screenshots, it seems to be a pretty run of the mill Unity engine RPG, nothing spectacular or particularly special about it. You may notice, hovering over the game’s store page, that this title is the recipient of several awards. A lot of awards, like a whole show of awards. Best atmosphere, best graphics, best action, and the Indie World Award, all from one year. Last year, even, plus a Dev Gamm award with ‘Moscow 2017’ written on it. Pretty impressive considering The Sorceress wouldn’t have been groundbreaking or noteworthy on any of those fronts even ten years ago, but maybe the competition at the Indie World Awards was just really that poor last year?
As it turns out, no, but that’s not the point. A skeptical mind might head on over to Indie World 2016 website to check the awards and find that The Sorceress didn’t win. Anything. At all. Possibly because Karabas wasn’t even in the list of participants. The whole list of awards is fake. Just to make sure there wasn’t some crazy mixup with the translation, I tracked down each game via the website’s list of participants. You can even head on over to Russian Facebook, also known as VK, to see the awards being handed out in action.
But don’t take my word for it, check out the real winners of the awards:
- 2D Day:
- Best Atmosphere: Heat Guardian
- Best Graphics: Heat Guardian and World of One
- Best Action: Heat Guardian
- Indie World Award: World of One
- 3D Day:
- Best Atmosphere: Creach: The Depleted World
- Best Graphics: Orange Cast
- Best Action: JohnCube
As for Dev Gamm 2017, I’ll assume that the logo is just noting that the game will have some kind of presence, as Dev Gamm 2017 in Moscow hasn’t happened yet and thus no awards have been handed out. Certainly we haven’t hit a point where a developer would stoop so low as to claim awards from shows that haven’t happened yet. The next step may come as a surprise to those of you who have seen how shady indie developers operate, but upon questioning the award listing I was promptly banned by the game’s developer.
Incredibly, the award listing has seemingly been pulled down since my ban. Through the power of internet archiving, however, you can see the page here with its awards on full display. The Sorceress releases February 1st.