Poppy Playtime Developers Issued Statements on Recent Controversies

Poppy playtime has undergone scrutiny over the months. However, the developers remained silent until earlier this month, May 2022. The developers specifically Zach and Seth Belanger responded to the issues along with the release of Poppy Playtime: Chapter 2.

This article contains sensitive topics. If you are a minor, please proceed carefully and ask for guidance from an adult. You probably won’t and will just call me a p*s*y. HAHA. But seriously. Geez.

Poppy Playtime: Controversy

MOB Games, an indie game developer, released Poppy Playtime last October 2021 and has been popular since then. The game is a hit since its release and has been a hot topic on social media platforms and among content creators. The likes of Markiplier and Jackscepticeye are raking hundreds of thousands if not millions of views with their content every day.

However, there are serious allegations, issues, and controversies that arose which are plagiarism, bullying, sexualizing Five Night at Freddy’s (FNAF) character Circus Baby, and Non-Fungible Token (NFT) locked content.

Poppy Playtime: Plagiarism Allegations

A Twitter account with the handle @theEkrCoaster also known as Ethan accused MOB Games of plagiarism and later on bullying on a private conversation with another content creator. In the Twitter post, Ethan claimed that Poppy Playtime stole his game “Venge”. While these are 2 separate games, Ethan implies that Poppy Playtime was copied directly from his game.

Image Courtesy via theft king Youtube Channel

Venge and Poppy Playtime indeed have similar plots and somehow have similarities in their animation. However, the theme of Venge and Poppy Playtime is common in the sense that it is popular in indie game titles. For example, many compare Poppy Playtime to FNAF. Others compare both games to Bendy and the Ink Machine.

Image Courtesy via Steam Platform

Poppy Playtime: Plagiarism Allegations Response

MOB Games CEO Zach Belanger responded to this allegation by saying that majority of the Poppy Playtime Team is not involved in any drama with Ethan. And, the Poppy Playtime team, worked out of passion, not spite (in reference to the drama which will be explained in the bullying section). From this, it can be implied that the majority of the team who worked on the concept do not know about the drama with Ethan and that the game was their idea. Although, it would be good to know how the storyboard works for MOB Games, and who steers the wheel.

Despite all this, plagiarized or not, it seems like both parties are not going to take any legal action. However, there is more to this story.

Poppy Playtime: Bullying Allegations

The bullying allegations also involve Ethan. In fact, CEO Zach Belanger pointed out that this is the reason for the plagiarism allegations. For clarity in this section, Enchanted MOB, ZAMination, and MOB Games are related channels/entities. Moving on.

Ethan is a young talented animator who posts his content on Youtube. His animation style is similar to Enchanted MOB and ZAMination. The pixelated-ish or Minecraft-ish style that Ethan uses is popularized by those 2 big channels.

When Ethan’s Youtube Channel started picking up some traction, Enchanted MOB reached out to the animator. However, they did not agree with the offered contract. Specifically, the clause that says Ethan will only post under the Youtube Channel branch of Enchanted MOB.

While this is a corporate-type of a move, Enchanted MOB did not stop there according to the content creator. The MOB started a Youtube channel called Animation Sins, which constantly pointed out mistakes in Ethan’s content. Although not solely made for Ethan, he is in their usual content. It went so bad that his own Youtube Channel got flooded with hate comments.

Aside from this, there are also alleged messages and clips(memes) from the supposed Animation Sins Team harassing Ethan. Now, mind you, this was when Ethan and the Animation Sins are all minors. Moreover, all of these resulted in Ethan visiting a psychiatric facility for evaluation (He’s okay, btw).

Image Courtesy via theft king Youtube Channel

Poppy Playtime: Bullying Allegations Response

The MOB Game CEO Zach Belanger provided a watered-down response indicating that the Animation Sins Channel was created to pick apart and poke fun at various animation slip-ups in animated media. While this might be true, Ethan reached out to the team to stop making content out of his videos.

They stopped… for a while… then continued a  video posting about what went right on Ethan’s animation. The Animation Sins Team admittedly said that this was a wrong decision and asked for an apology from Ethan. However, it is a little too late for them as the content creator cut off communications and does not want to respond.

At the end of Zach Belangers’ response, he again apologized to Ethan on behalf of the animations team. However, he did not address the messages and clips(memes) sent to the creator. This is where the response from Seth Belanger came in. In his response, the CCO pointed few points.

  • Zach Belanger is not involved.
  • They are all minors including Ethan.
  • No one remembers sending the clips/memes.
  • They are just trying to have fun.
  • None was made with malicious intent.
  • They want to move on and behave like adults.

Whether this is true or not, Ethan still felt that he was bullied and pushed away from the animation scene. From MOB Games CCO’s perspective, they are not a big company that tried to bully a child but a bunch of friends who are just having fun.

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Enchanted MOB: Five Nights at Freddy’s Circus Baby

Circus Baby is an FNAF character who according to the community was canonically possessed by a minor. Thus, Enchanted Mob using Circus Baby in a provocative sense is sexualizing the character. In response, CCO Seth Belanger mentioned that the team would never do such a thing. He added that both Enchanted Mob and FNAF do not portray Circus Baby as a minor and told viewers to just watch the content as proof.

Screen Grab via MOB Games Youtube Channel Thumbnails

Poppy Playtime: NFT Locked Content

Aside from the allegations, there is also an issue with Non-Fungible Tokens (NFT) Locked Contents. NFTs are a form of digital data stored in a blockchain that can be used can be transferred by the owner, allowing NFTs to be sold and traded. To make it simple, it is used as a digital currency.

NFTs required so many energy resources that it poses a high risk to the environment. Despite knowing this, MOB Games still pursued the use of NFT-related content acting as a paywall. The community did not take this lightly and spoke up to the point that they encourage everyone to get a refund and uninstall the game.

Image Courtesy via @skies_watch Twitter Account

CEO Zach Belanger deeply regretted the decision and apologized to the community. He explained that the intent for the NFT-related lore was just a bonus for those who are willing to buy. He added that the team would never want to do anything that would hurt the relationship with the community.

However, due to a binding contract, MOB Games cannot remove the existing NFT collection although does not plan to incorporate any NFT-related content in the game due to this experience. The CEO followed that they will use the experience to improve.

Here is the full and exact response of CEO Zach Belanger and CCO Seth Belanger on all the controversies.

  • CEO Zach Belanger Response 1 of 3
Image Courtesy via @mobgamesstudios Twitter Account
  • CEO Zach Belanger Response 2 of 3
Image Courtesy via @mobgamesstudios Twitter Account
  • CEO Zach Belanger Response 3 of 3
Image Courtesy via @mobgamesstudios Twitter Account
  • CCO Seth Belanger Response 1 of 2
Image Courtesy via @mobgamesstudios Twitter Account
  • CCO Seth Belanger Response 2 of 2
Image Courtesy via @mobgamesstudios Twitter Account
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To end this article, we would like to highlight some sentences on the response of CEO Zach Belanger.
“We have learned from our mistakes, and we are better for it. Ultimately, no one else who worked on Poppy Playtime was involved with any of these controversies, and it is not fair to group the incredibly talented team of passionate artists who pour their heart out into making this game possible with these controversies.”

The mistakes at the top would ultimately lead to the suffering of those on the lower levels. Hopefully, the MOB Games team could iron all these things out by making concrete moves so we can continue enjoying this awesome game without any controversies. If you have any questions or you feel that we missed something, please feel free to let us know in the comments below. 

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