Zoe Quinn Accused Of Using Sexual Favours To Boost Depression Quest

Meta-bombing isn’t a new thing (the act of user reviews on Metacritic being shockingly low due to something unrelated to the game or something insignificant). Depression Quest however, is cruising on a impressive 1.1/10, mainly due to some very, very controversial allegations aimed at the developer, Zoe Quinn.

What is Depression Quest? It’s an START PERSONAL OPINION interesting END PERSONAL OPINION textbook ‘choose your own path’ game focused on how depression influences and damages lives. I actually played DQ months ago when it was a browser game, and the final Steam release seems to be the exact same thing. Zoe Quinn released it for free following the news of Robin William’s death.

Depression Quest has been controversial since it came out with people arguing over whether it was a game, or worth playing. As a female indie developer with growing success, Zoe turned into a sort of heroine of feminist gamers which come with their own controversy.

Eron Gjoni, her ex boyfriend, posted a blog in which he claims he was grievously wronged by Zoe and that she is a shitty, hypocritical person that cheated on him with her boss and journalists within the gaming community, backed up with proof you can read here. Clearly that post was then taken well by everyone online.

What followed next was a barrage of criticism, userscore bombings (looking at you, Metacritic), and some choice threats from the online base. The main accusation being that Zoe Quinn slept with these journalists (specifically one from Kotaku) in order to signal boost Depression Quest.

Now, going around threatening, prying and abusing someone online is not something that should be done, ever. No matter how drastic or controversial the issue.

However, the storm of coverup and shushing in this matter is nothing short of alarming, with many Reddit threads discussing this issue being completely deleted. It is a very sensitive issue, but it isn’t right to hush up free speech. We here at Press Start do not condone either actions, but we are forced to acknowledge both sides of the coin.

If the allegations are true, then it’s a very grave issue that professional journalists are willing to throw away their credibility and trust from readers for the sake of personal preference. However, these are allegations, with little proof with them. Just a lot of circumstantial evidence and hearsay. It is nobody’s business who sleeps with who, just to make that clear. Games journalism compromise however has relevance to gaming, which is related to an affair someone had. Zoe Quinn’s name in this should be nearly irrelevant. Included just for detail and thoroughness.

You can read YouTube personality TotalBiscuit’s piece on this issue here

Phil Fish also had something to say, but he never shuts up about anything.


Further allegations have come up in an unrelated incident yet involving Ms Quinn, about a supposed Game Jam that was run by a group called Fine Young Capitalists that was ruined because of ‘direct’ intervention from Zoe.

Again, this is just allegations being thrown around without pure facts backing it up, so anyone following the story must give Zoe a chance to answer these accusations. Anyone involved should also avoid attacking anyone in a personal manner, that much is obvious enough.

  1. Uh. The game isn’t on a 1.1/10 because of the developer’s moral bankruptcy. In fact, some people have been giving it a 10 because someone said Quinn would give extra service for high scores. Maybe you should do a little more research before spinning it as meta-bombing.

    Fact is, people just aren’t liking the game. I’ve been reading reviews on Steam, and the serious ones aren’t particularly glowing. I haven’t played it myself, but from what I’ve seen and heard, Depression Quest is little more than a “choose your own adventure” akin to a website. Many say that it displays a poor understanding of depression. I am a depressed individual myself, so I’m not particularly pleased with the idea that such a morally bankrupt person is attempting to use depression in marketing.

    Regarding the developer, I’d like to say that there’s more to this that almost everyone seems to be overlooking. It’s not just a matter of who she slept with.

    There are allegations that Quinn intentionally:
    1. Sabotaged a female game dev event.
    2. Framed and then directed internet hate towards innocent groups.
    3. Used strongarm tactics to bully Indie devs into agreeing with and supporting her.

    I feel that these allegations are far more serious than her sleeping for reviews. As a game dev myself, I am concerned that she, her politics and her blind supporters are making game dev much more difficult.

    Just because these things can’t be easily verified doesn’t mean they should be completely dismissed or ignored, like the media is trying so hard to do.

    1. I’ve been suffering from depression for a few decades now. I don’t seek therapy because I know exactly why I’m depressed, and only by solving those problems can my depression be lifted.

      However, there is a lot of beautiful art out there that has inspired and encouraged me.
      It’s okay to be disheartened by this particular instance, but there are so many better people out there creating honest, wonderful things. I can’t specifically recommend anything as I don’t know much about you, but it’s really just a matter of looking for the right place that suits your interests.

    2. I thought it was a good simulation to, but as a writer and a feminist, Zoey should know to have faith in her product and not need to sleep around, fake attacks or promote massive censorship. What happened to the suffragette era of feminism, where woman could stand on their own abilities, the same way a man could?

  2. “Zoe Quinn released it for free following Robin William’s death, as some sort of sick promotion of her game.”

    Really? Telling people of a way to, in a small way, empathise with depression sufferers in a time when a much loved actor died after battling depression is “some sort of sick promotion”?

    I feel like the PERSONAL OPINION tag should be enclosing this entire post :

    1. Good point. I had worded that without any backing evidence to support my claim that she did so to ‘promote’ her game. It has been edited.

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