Biomutant reviews expose the worst thing about brand Twitter
THQ Nordic had a particularly aggressive response to early Biomutant reviews.
The reviews are in, and Biomutant is getting some mixed opinions. While Inverse hailed it as a weird, charming open-world game, others have been a bit more critical of its bugs and undercooked mechanics.
There’s a general consensus that the game isn’t stellar, but reviews have differing opinions about its strengths and weaknesses. Some critics love the game’s combo-based combat, while others found it lacking. Similarly, critics were split on whether or not the open-world design is gorgeous or dull.
A difference of opinions shouldn’t come as a surprise to anyone considering the subjectivity of the gaming experience. It’s all a matter of individual taste. That didn’t stop Biomutant publisher THQ Nordic from making a stink about it on Twitter, though.
Shortly after reviews dropped, the publisher took to Twitter with a cheeky post contrasting two reviews. One review praised the game’s open world but panned its combat, while the other critic’s opinion said the total opposite. THQ punctuated the tweet with a popular gif meme of a confused man staring into the camera.
Twitter users were quick to dunk on the seemingly petty take.
“Do you guys not have a PR team? What exactly is confusing here? It's two separate people with two separate opinions,” tweeted one user in response.
THQ quickly tried to soften its tweet, saying that it only intended to point out how different opinions can be on the same game.
“This post was only meant to highlight the different opinions people can have about pretty much anything,” THQ tweeted. “Things that one person might like could be off-putting for others. Which is why we recommend watching gameplay or trying it yourself!”
It’s another example in a long line of social media misfires from brand Twitter accounts. While THQ may have meant well, the original tweet’s cheeky framing doesn’t do it any favors. THQ ends up looking like it can’t take fairly mild criticism while building a needlessly adversarial relationship with the press that covered it. It’s especially odd considering that reviews for Biomutant have largely been above average, despite fair critiques.
It’s not the first time something like this has happened. Last month, Respawn Entertainment took to Twitter to fire a shot at gaming website Polygon in response to an article about Apex Legends. Respawn fact-checked a minute detail in the piece, tweeting, “Hmmm, we suggest you check your sources. Here’s a great place to start,” with a link to Titanfall 2’s Steam page.
In a post GamerGate world, that brand of passive-aggressive social media use is dangerous. Whether it’s intentional or not, this style of attitude ends up being a dog whistle for people who are looking to justify toxicity. THQ Nordic in particular is already on thin ice when it comes to that. The publisher famously planned to do an AMA on 8chan, a site that was tied to GamerGate harassments campaigns at the time.
Brand Twitter is a weird culture in general. Companies often try to cut through the mold and have more personality on social media. Sometimes it works. Look at Twitter accounts like Fall Guys and Xbox Game Pass, which have cultivated a fun voice. Sometimes it’s a little embarrassing, like watching your mom try to floss. THQ Nordic’s tweet falls into the latter category.