Developer "Deeply Regret" Easter Egg That Resulted in Their Switch Game Getting Pulled

Developer "Deeply Regret" Easter Egg That Resulted in Their Switch Game Getting Pulled

An easter egg meant to encourage creativity has backfired.

A Nintendo Switch game has been pulled from the eShop after it was revealed the developer slipped an "easter egg" that allowed players to code basic programs. The developer has now gone on record saying they regret the hidden coding editor following the backlash.

A Dark Room is a recently released Nintendo Switch title from developer Amir Rajan. A Dark Room was pulled from the eShop over the weekend following a social media post from Rajan revealing that players can access a coding editor from their game by connecting a USB keyboard to the Switch and pressing the "~" key.

"Last week I released A Dark Room to the Nintendo Switch. Within the game, I also shipped a Ruby interpreter and a code editor as an Easter Egg. This Easter egg effectively turns every consumer spec-ed Nintendo Switch in [sic] a Ruby Machine."

Following the announcement, Nintendo pulled A Dark Room from the Nintendo eShop and Rajan is apologizing for the easter egg. "I deeply regret how this has blown up," Rajan told Eurogamer. "A simple toy sandboxed environment has been framed as this massive exploit. And of course, it's the community that exploits these things that pushed it up to that level. I'm partly to blame with my sensationalized media posts."

"I acted alone and stupidly. It was a last second 'spark of inspiration' and I snuck it in assuming that plugging in a USB keyboard and pressing the "~" key wasn't part of the test plan."

A Dark Room's publisher Circle Entertainment was not aware of the easter egg it seems and is attempting to remedy the situation. "We're liaising with Nintendo to clarify on the next steps and will deal with the matter accordingly; they are regretful circumstances and we apologize for the issue. We have always worked hard to carefully follow Nintendo's processes and terms throughout our history of publishing on DSiWare, 3DS eSho, Wii U eShop and Nintendo Switch eShop, and we're sorry that there has evidently been an issue with this title."

The ultimate fear was that the code editor could lead to exploits within the Switch hardware. But Rajan says news of the code editor's capabilities have been overblown. "You can't even render an image with the damn thing," Rajan said. "Having Circle deal with some of this cannon fire is not something I'd ever want. These past three days have been the worst days of my life."

Sadly, because the situation is ongoing, there isn't much official word from Nintendo or Circle. Rajan is laying low following the controversy, but it sounds like an attempt at a clever easter egg gone awry.

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Matt Kim

News Editor

Matt Kim is a former freelance writer who's covered video games and digital media. He likes video games as spectacle and is easily distracted by bright lights or clever bits of dialogue. He also once wrote about personal finance, but that's neither here nor there.

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