[Updated] Bob's Protest — and Bob's Game — is Over

Bob Pelloni's 100-day protest over Nintendo's refusal to give sell him its SDK is ending short of its goal. Update: Bob's site now says: "SORRY, EVERYONE! IM ALIVE!!! ITS JUST A JOKE!!! SORRY EVERYONE!!"

While the "joke" might mean he has no intention of harming himself, Bob's still extraordinarily discouraged at how this all turned out. He had put about 15,000 hours into "Bob's Game," loosely described as an RPG for the DS. He set up a business and followed Nintendo's rules for purchasing one, even applying for a developer's license, but they wouldn't approve the application and sell the kit. Without an SDK, his project can't move forward to completion.

So he started a 100-day "tensai sit-down protest" which he would spend developing his game in a room locked and barricaded from the outside. He set up a webcam, from which that image is taken, to film it. He had hoped to gin up enough publicity portraying Nintendo as a loutish corporate heavy, badly treating an indie developer, ultimately forcing them to hand over an SDK to end the bad publicity.

As you can see from the trashed state of his development studio, it didn't work. He called things off around Day 30, with a long, defeated message (below, in its entirety). Some guy over on 4chan's /v/ board said he got a phone number off of Bob's WHOIS info and got in touch with his sister, asking her to call his friends, send someone over, check on him, as there has been no motion on the webcam for a couple hours. Seriously, I'm wondering if a deputy shouldn't be sent over to check on Bob, because the above picture doesn't look too good.

Here's the give-up post. Again, this is on his site, so unless some troll got in and hacked it, I'd say this is on the level. And it's pretty extreme.

It was foolish of me to think Nintendo would hear my pleas. They're just another heartless corporation, only interested in the biggest profits. The core gamers don't matter anymore. It's not about the games or the fans, it's about spreading out and getting casual gamers to buy Wii Fit. The golden days of video games are long gone. A game like mine has no place on the shelf along with games like "Crossword Puzzles" and "Sudoku."

Nintendo sells all these games about "doing your best" and "being the hero," telling kids "you can do it if you try," but in the end that's just a story, a marketing lie that sounds good. That's business. That's the real world. In reality, if Link approached the castle gate, a guard would just throw him out. It doesn't matter how much courage he has. It doesn't matter how talented he is with his sword, or how pure hearted he might be. He's wearing a dirty tunic and he has no credentials. "Get out of here, you stupid kid." The evil kingdom of Ganon (Or should I say "Gantendo") spreads across the land, Zelda dies, and the credits scroll. Game over. That's the real Nintendo, I guess.

It was foolish of me to think Nintendo would hear my pleas. They're just another heartless corporation, only interested in the biggest profits. The core gamers don't matter anymore. It's not about the games or the fans, it's about spreading out and getting casual gamers to buy Wii Fit. The golden days of video games are long gone. A game like mine has no place on the shelf along with games like "Crossword Puzzles" and "Sudoku."

Nintendo sells all these games about "doing your best" and "being the hero," telling kids "you can do it if you try," but in the end that's just a story, a marketing lie that sounds good. That's business. That's the real world. In reality, if Link approached the castle gate, a guard would just throw him out. It doesn't matter how much courage he has. It doesn't matter how talented he is with his sword, or how pure hearted he might be. He's wearing a dirty tunic and he has no credentials. "Get out of here, you stupid kid." The evil kingdom of Ganon (Or should I say "Gantendo") spreads across the land, Zelda dies, and the credits scroll. Game over. That's the real Nintendo, I guess.

I've had enough. I'm ending the protest. I give up on getting the SDK. I really tried my best. Show's over. It's just not going to work. Sorry, everyone. I just can't stay in here. My head won't stop pounding. I feel like I'm losing my mind. It's like I'm splitting in half. I keep seeing these posts that I apparently wrote, but I can't remember writing them. I'm afraid I'm becoming someone else entirely.

Nobody even takes me seriously anymore- how is Nintendo supposed to? Everyone thinks it's some kind of viral ad. It's obviously not. I'm one guy that can't get a break. Don't you think that maybe I might get a little angry being locked in here for a month with no response? So maybe I have to joke around a little to cheer myself up. Big deal. I'll stay locked in for the rest of today to make an even 30 days, and then the protest is over. I know I lost. I've been completely disgraced and humiliated. I've been stepped on, pushed around, and trampled from all sides. It's like trying to fight a machine with words, with an army mocking you the whole time.

It's OK, Nintendo. I'm trying not to blame you, I really am. It's just.. man, I was stupid to believe that stuff.
"Be a hero! You can do it!" Yeah, right. "Throw away five years of your life." I guess that doesn't sell as well, huh?

My head hurts, so I'm ending this post. Sorry, everybody. Whatever. Why does this HURT so much?

Without the Nintendo software development kit, Bob's Game on the DS is no more. However, elsewhere on his site he talks about working on ports for Android, iPhone, and OpenPandora, and looking into XBLA and Steam distribution.

But this is a game that was built - over the course of five years - for the DS. And realizing the end of that dream, Bob takes it a little hard. A little self-indulgently maybe (the metaphors about Nintendo being Ganon and he being Link are silly), but then again, I've never worked on anything that long, so I don't know how I'd react.

While I can sympathize to a point, I think other people might realize that sinking so much of an effort into a project with only one ideal outcome over which you have no control is an extremely high-risk investment. What's the saying? "A goal without a plan is a wish." Bob had one, and it wasn't granted.

ONE HUNDRED DAY TENSAI SIT-DOWN PROTEST FAIL :{ {Bob's Game via GoNintendo]