Pelloni (Bob) tells Infendo about hype, SDK

We’ve written a lot about “bob’s game” in the past – covering protests, threats, forfeits, revivals, and zany antics – but never dug beneath the surface of Robert Pelloni’s masquerade of hype.  What exactly has Pelloni been up to?  Reader speculation ranges from a carefully designed marketing campaign to an insane, self-absorbed brat with an overblown sense of entitlement – but neither is exactly true.  It’s hard to pinpoint where the reality of where “bob’s game” ends and where the fantasy hype machine begins.  I contacted Pelloni privately to find out, and what I found added context and sanity to the entire ordeal.

For those of you not up to speed, Robert Pelloni is the sole developer of “bob’s game,” an independent retail-length adventure game for the Nintendo DS.  And independent is an understatement – bob’s game was introduced without a publisher, without official developer, and without Nintendo’s license – all hurdles Pelloni vowed to overcome, confident that “bob’s game” would see retail release.  According to his website, Nintendo rejected his application for developer status – but in the midst of our dialogue, Pelloni suggested otherwise.

Until recently, the “bob’s game” website featured an ongoing drama – the story of a passionate developer driven to madness, obsessed with waging war against an unfeeling corporation.  On the surface this personation showed a desperate and stubborn man, upset he didn’t get his way – but a more discerning eye uncovered a clever and somewhat immersive hype campaign.  Nearly every update to “bob’s game” drama correlated with an element of the storyline revealed in the game’s trailers.  Robert told me a little about what inspired him to take the promotion of “bob’s game” in this direction.

…there’s more going on here than what meets the eye, it’s great to hear from people that are able to read into it. I’m trying to do something the gaming world has been missing for years, the dropping of hints that make people speculate.  I think a lot of people have become accustomed to having commercials shoved in their face, and the real product is almost always a letdown compared to those exaggerations. The truth is that truly great games were always hidden until release. The Old Nintendo kept every game completely under wraps. That was half of the excitement!

And it certainly has been exciting – the entire “bob’s game” circus has been a ride of ups, downs, and surprises.  Followers have responded in curiosity and excitement, loathing and anger – Pelloni got exactly what he wanted, people were talking about “bob’s game.” The most recent events of the immersive  story saw our hero (villain?) swearing revenge on Nintendo for denying him the SDK (software development kit) he required to complete his game.  It seemed the quest for official retail release was over, but perhaps not – after all, the man himself said there was more here than meets the eye:

I’ve been leading people to believe one thing, while providing the details for the real story. The latest video explains everything that’s occurred up until this point, if you think about it.

I publicly showed a demo video, calling for publishers. I was contacted by twelve!
However- for some reason “bob’s game” can’t be published. They couldn’t clear me an SDK.
So I publicly begged for an SDK, and mentioned a meeting…
I went to the Nintendo World Store, which has quite a lot more meaning behind it than people realize!

(emphasis added)

Pelloni didn’t come out and say it, but his phrasing suggests that he has already acquired his long sought after SDK, or otherwise obtained something else of great meaning at the Nintendo World Store.  Nintendo requires that development materials be kept in a secure non residential location, and the Nintendo World Store certainly qualifies as such a location, but in the end Pelloni’s remarks are as vague as ever – and open to interpretation.

So what’s going on with Bob?  Less crazy, more clever marketing.  Whether you are sick to death of “bob’s game” or sitting on the edge of your seat, the adventure is almost over.  Day 100 is fast approaching, and I for one am looking forward to hearing the final word on the fate of “bob’s game.”