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Tesla wants to include Her Story in its vehicles, but it would only do it in exchange for “exposure”

The creators of Untitled Goose Game reportedly received the same no-payment offer from Elon Musk’s auto startup.

Her Tale Sam Barlow, the game’s designer, recently disclosed on Twitter that Tesla once contacted him about including the game in their collection of in-car games. Tesla, however, refused to pay for the contract with anything other than “exposure,” and therefore the deal never happened.

In addition to catching fire, causing collisions, and serving as a functional gaming platform, Tesla vehicles are noteworthy for a number of other qualities. And one that is enough powerful to play relatively recent, challenging games like Cyberpunk 2077. But like other platforms, it needs a license from the developer to allow games to be played, which is where Barlow’s tale comes into play.

Tesla once requested to include Her Story in a vehicle, Barlow tweeted. I questioned how much they would spend on the licensing and engineering work, and they said nothing, saying I should think about the exposure I would receive instead.

The concept of exposure in this context refers to creators forgoing compensation in favor of reaching a wider audience and, thus, a larger pool of prospective paying customers than they would otherwise. The Oatmeal created a well-known comic about the obvious drawbacks of exposure, and there is a Twitter account dedicated to mocking its silliness as well. It’s essentially a technique for someone to acquire free employment, and it’s generally not a smart idea.

Naturally, many of the replies to Barlow’s tweet are spot-on:

And it turns out that Barlow wasn’t the only person to have this Tesla experience. Tesla had approached them with the same offer, a developer who worked on Untitled Goose Game said in a one-word response.

Exposure is generally very useless—you can’t use it to pay your rent or buy food—but it’s much less useful to Barlow than it is to most people because Her Story is an actual indie smash. (He has subsequently performed admirably without Tesla’s attention, with the Her Story sequels Telling Lies and Immortality both receiving favorable reviews.) In addition, the notion of get Her Story in Teslas is incredibly stupid from the start. I’m sure it’s fantastic to have a quick diversion you can bounce in and out of while you’re waiting for someone in the parking lot, but does anyone really want to play a challenging interactive piece of investigative fiction that way? I don’t think so.

Barlow also had some opinions on that.

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