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Dr Disrespect's Studio Confirms What We Suspected About Art Theft Accusations

Dr Disrespect has formed a new studio, Midnight Society, to make the battle royale of his dreams – currently titled "Project Moon" – but fans have already voiced some criticisms of the new endeavor. The new game is already causing an uproar because it includes the option for players to purchase NFTs of their characters. While the Doc insisted that it's not necessary to purchase an NFT to enjoy the project, many fans saw the move as an unnecessary cash grab from an already super-famous streamer. Even without factoring in NFTs' potential impact on the environment, the Doc is asking players to purchase a Founders Pass in order to receive a special NFT and receive early access to the game. In other words, there's a lot of money being thrown around for a game that fans know little about.

The latest wrinkle in the Midnight Society tale involves allegedly stolen artwork, unfortunately. After fans spotted a screenshot from "Cyberpunk 2077" on the website for "Project Moon," the internet flew into a fit of speculation. Fans had questions ranging from the possibility of CD Projekt's potential involvement in "Project Moon" to the likelihood that Midnight Society had engaged in some plagiarism – intentionally or accidentally. Midnight Society delivered a statement meant to put the matter to bed, but that's not quite how things played out.

Gamers criticized the mistake

Robert Bowling, the studio head at Midnight Society, tweeted in response to a fan calling out an image from "Cyberpunk 2077" on the site for the Doc's developer. He wrote that the new game isn't related to "Cyberpunk 2077," and that the lifted image was a mistake on the part of an engineer who would be "properly shamed" for their transgression.

Fans took issue with a couple of things in Bowling's response. First, some detractors of the game noted that the mistake was a pretty big one for a professional operation. One gamer tweeted sarcastically, writing, "hate when i accidentally upload a frame from the cyberpunk trailer which i for some reason have downloaded and in the same folder as another image I was supposed to upload without checking." Many thought that it was unlikely that the image was uploaded accidentally, with one Twitter user noting that the image might have been included intentionally to fabricate discussion of "Project Moon" online and attract gamers. Still, others took more issue with how Bowling responded to the incident.

One Twitter user responded directly to Bowling's assertion that he'd "shame" the engineer responsible for the mistake, saying that if Midnight Society seeks to shame engineers who mess up, it will have a difficult time keeping good employees. Another commenter warned Bowling that he might want to be careful with his words, as the "last streamer come CEO that tried to shame someone" crashed in a fiery blaze of the internet's hatred. Of course, they were referring to Artesian Builds, the custom PC company that was forced to close after refusing to honor a giveaway because the winner didn't have many followers. While it's possible that many gamers were upset about the mistake, others seemed genuinely excited about the new game from Dr Disrespect's crew, NFTs and all.

Some gamers are genuinely excited

Many gamers chalked up much of the controversy to a public dislike of NFTs in general, or disillusionment with Dr Disrespect himself. One gamer tweeted, "If you're gonna disregard an entire studio and their game because they include OPTIONAL NFTs then I don't think your problem is with NFTs." They urged others to reconsider their hatred and wait for more information on "Project Moon" before making a decision. Another gamer commented that they were excited to see how the game develops, regardless of if they're chosen as founders or not. As Dr Disrespect and his team continue to deal out Founders level passes to certain streamers and internet celebrities, gamers will have to see if they're chosen to take part in the testing phase of "Project Moon."

For the most part, it seems like gamers are still excited for whatever Midnight Society and the Doc manage to create. Dr Disrespect tweeted that over 250,000 gamers have applied to be included in the Founders Pass tier of Day Zero membership. Interestingly, the Doc and his crew seem to be looking for specific criteria from applicants, and envision creating a team that can help provide feedback at every stage of the development process. Dr Disrespect told one fan that applicants will be judged on their experience with games, and that a wider pool of potential candidates will only make the process better.