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A Dark Room pulled from the Switch eShop due to hidden code editor

Posted on April 29, 2019 by (@NE_Brian) in News, Switch eShop

A Dark Room

A Dark Room made it to the Switch eShop earlier this month. It didn’t stay up long, as it has since been pulled from the store.

We’ve seen some games leave the eShop only to return later, often due to ratings-related issues. In the case of A Dark Room though, it’s unclear if the game will ever become available again. That’s because its creator included an “Easter egg” that allows players to create basic apps, which publisher Circle Entertainment wasn’t happy about.

Developer Amir Rajan said the following about the situation in a statement to Eurogamer:

“I deeply regret how this has blown up. A simple toy sandboxed environment has been framed as this massive exploit. And of course it’s the community that exploits these things that pushed it up to that level. I’m partly to blame with my sensationalized media posts. I acted alone and stupidly. It was a last second ‘spark of inspiration’ and I snuck it in assuming that plugging in a USB keyboard and pressing the ‘~’ key wasn’t part of the test plan. Having Circle deal with some of this cannon fire is not something I’d ever want. These past three days have been the worst days of my life. And I don’t know what to say except I’m sorry, and all I wanted to do was allow kids (and coding adults that have forgotten the joy) to discover what I discovered 25 years ago. The narrative that has played out online is exactly what’s wrong with this trashcan fire of a world. Everyone is an armchair expert. Everyone thought the worst. You’ve seen that I’ve been called a dick, idiot, and everything in between. Because sensationalized news sells. If the narrative was ‘I added a sandbox to A Dark Room that lets you mod the game and provide a medium for kids to code (and technical parents to show their kids what they do),’ it would have gone unnoticed. Again, I’m partly to blame for sensationalizing the extent of the ‘coding’ environment.”

Circle Entertainment also said the following:

“A Dark Room was removed from the eShop on 26th April, and we learnt of the likely reason for its removal through the weekend. We’re liaising with Nintendo to clarify on the next steps and will deal with the matter accordingly; they are regretful circumstances and we apologise for the issue. We have always worked hard to carefully follow Nintendo’s processes and terms throughout our history of publishing on DSiWare, 3DS eShop, Wii U eShop and Nintendo Switch eShop, and we’re sorry that there has evidently been an issue with this title. Until we clarify the next steps with Nintendo we can’t offer any further comment.”

According to Rajan, with the Ruby interpreter and code editor included with A Dark Room, players can only draw lines, squares, labels, and play sounds from the game, in addition to detecting if a button on the Joy-Con has been pressed. That alone was enough to have it pulled from the eShop.


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