According to YouTube and Facebook Weedcraft Inc Ad Bans, Legally Producing and Selling Marijuana is Bad, but Murder OK.
Social Media giant megacorps Facebook and YouTube have banned advertisements for the Indie business sim game put out by Devolver because of the depiction of illegal drug use, despite the fact that the game is about the journey from illegal to legal marijuana producer. The game itself (lovingly previewed on COG here) released on April 11th only to find that all of their running ads have been demonetized by the two social media companies and pulled from platforms.
So Weedcraft, a game about building a corporate business around legal marijuana, features no illegal drug use or violence, but has just been banned from Facebook & YT vids are being demonetized.
But you can post ads for whatever shooty shooterman murder simulator w/ no problem. pic.twitter.com/3lfl9fi0Re
— Qai Qai’s J. Jenkins (@AgentTinsley) April 11, 2019
Mike Wilson, Devolver founder, gave Engadget the timeline of what happened when a prominent and anonymous gaming tycoon consulted on the Weedcraft project, which seems to be wrought with red flags:
“He let us know from the beginning that he didn’t want his name in any way associated or to be credited,” Devolver founder Mike Wilson told Engadget. We’re like, ‘Well, OK, old dude. Whatever. We figured it was one person’s issue, but then it’s just been one thing after another on down the line. All of these things one at a time have just been like, ‘Oh that sucks. That’s weird,’ but cumulatively, it’s like, how in the fuck is this the hardest game I’ve ever marketed?”
Weedcraft Inc. itself has some stoner humor and a lot of descriptions of marijuana cultivation, but overall, it is a standard business sim. It’s quiet, no explosions, no murders, no violence, yet it’s been impossible for Devolver to market through traditional means.
Mike Wilson continued, “Devolver, you know we’re mostly known for games where you kill everyone in sight. Even though we do a lot of other types of games, but it’s just, we’ve not run into any of this trouble with literally any game we’ve ever done. And I just thought it was an interesting, shocking commentary on the games industry and also the culture. Just on how backwards it is.”
Conveniently, after Engadget reached out for comment from Facebook, the ban was dropped on the ads, and they were able to run once more. The game is currently available on both the Steam store and GOG.