Perhaps we should have predicted last night’s PS Showcase would disappoint when Sony opted to open with the irritatingly named Fairgame$, a multiplayer competitive heist game from the recently acquired Haven. This title has been criticised for looking like generic Ubisoft fodder, but when you consider the team is made up of ex-Ubisoft Montreal employees, including founder Jade Raymond, perhaps that shouldn’t come as a surprise.

While it’s obviously far too early to draw any conclusions from a CGI teaser trailer, we’ve been struck by how uncharacteristically tone deaf this title appears to be. On the PS Blog, creative director Mathieu Leduc describes the PS5 and PC release as a “modern-day Robin Hood” style affair, where you “trespass inside forbidden locations around the world, fill your pockets like a kid in a candy store, and unravel the nefarious plans of untouchable billionaires”.

The kicker appears to be that while robbing the rich, you’ll have to put down fellow peasants, as this is a PvP game where you’ll presumably be facing off against rival pickpockets to secure the spoils. This all strikes us as incredibly tone deaf in 2023, especially during a cost of living crisis. We appreciate the game’s probably not trying to make any kind of political commentary, but the premise rubs us the wrong way.

Fairgame$ PS5 PlayStation 5 PC Sony 2
Image: Push Square

And the vibe on the title’s secret website is no better. Visit the URL and you’ll be asked to enter a secret code, which is hidden in the game’s trailer. You can then effectively sign up for a mailing list, but not before telling the developer which billionaire needs a “spanking”. It’s all needlessly edgy, garish, and frankly makes us want to gag.

Of course, in addition to all of this is the fact that, conceptually, the game looks just about as dime a dozen as you can get – hilarious considering it’s all about stealing from the super-rich. In terms of art style it’s almost identical to the upcoming Hyenas, another game which has been staunchly criticised for its forgettable direction – and it’s not a million miles away from the dozens of other impending shooter copycats, like XDefiant et al.

There’s also a hint of irony to the fact this is a live service game, and something cringe-inducing about the very real reality it’ll likely lean heavily into microtransactions – a great way of sticking it to the billionaires, eh? Look, we hope the game ends up great, and obviously we’re not going to draw any firm conclusions from a teaser trailer. But as far as first impressions go, this game couldn’t have got it more wrong.