(Un)Playful player responses to exclusive video game publishing

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This paper analyses playful and serious player responses to Remedy Entertainment’s announcement to publish their new game Control’s PC version exclusively in the Epic Games Store. Through discourse analysis of player tweets, it produces new understanding about player expectations and responses prior to a game’s release and how players express their criticism in (un)playful ways. The findings show that through creative use of humour and complaints players retake power from game companies and construct meanings in a way that is only understandable to fellow players. They discursively and morally take an expert stance while underlining the incompetence of the company.