Why I love Pixelberry’s employees and customer service. @playchoices
I think I’ve been far too negative recently? And I have been reminded that oh, yes, there are so many reasons why I’ve played these games for years and have been happy to spend my money to support them.
-The fandom, back when the games were High School Story and Hollywood U, had some drama with cyberbullies and the like. (ironic, given that high school story was all about how awful cyberbullying is?) Pixelberry wrote a response that said we don’t approve of this behavior, please be kind to each other, if you need help you can reach out to these resources.
-They’re a small company but they handle bug crashes and the like quickly. And they usually offer apologies with it. High School Story wasn’t porting well for android? Android players got some rings and a bonus outfit. Weekly goals were down in High School Story and Hollywood U? Free tickets. The very bad glitch for Choices? Fans were told “sorry, we figured out the problem, but it’ll take awhile for us to fix it. We’ll let you know.” And the affected players were compensated.
-A fan once wrote to them talking about how much High School Story meant to him, because they’d play it while they were in the hospital. The fan then asked if it would be possible to put in a quest about the disease he had so people could be educated on it. The developers published the letter (with permission), and talked about how heartwarming it was to receive that letter. And then, a bit later, we got that special quest, and that fan was given a cameo in the game to talk about it.
(I am completely blanking on the name of the fan and the other details about this quest, I am so sorry!!)
-The collaborations they’ve done with organizations in general to talk about issues, and even the issues that they talk about on their own. The company’s goal is to educate us as well as entertain us, and it shows. We’ve had quests dealing with grief, sexism, politics, harassment. All are researched and presented with love and care.
-Personal story time, but awhile ago (a few years now, probably?) I sent them an email saying hey, I really love Hollywood U. But I feel as though it’s so heteronormative that I just can’t exist in it and I feel a bit bad playing it as a result. You have non straight characters in High School Story, would it be possible to add someone like Mia to Hollywood U? And the response I got back was great. It said hey, don’t worry about sending us a text wall, we know it’s because you care. Sorry if this quest made you feel bad. We’ll forward it to our writers for consideration.
-And holy moly. How much better have the games gotten about diverse sexualities!! And now we have a canonically trans character? Past me would’ve been psyched if they’d known this was coming!
-And I think the best one was when Hollywood U introduced their in game chat option. I made a post saying hey I want to make a profile, but I have to pick my gender to do so, and there’s only male and female.
A game developer responded and showed us how to make a profile without having to select a gender for it. And it felt great because it was acknowledging me and that I existed, and acknowledging that other nonbinary and trans players like myself existed.
Pixelberry is full of wonderful people and while I may not personally like everything that happens with them, I know they care and that they try their hardest to show that.