(2/2) I think he must have been upset he got put in the ‘ignore’ basket, here’s the original message: pic.twitter.com/cPVJSIfsOR— Hugh Jeremy (@hugh_jeremy) June 2, 2015
Like so many other game developers, I receive a torrent of emails requesting Steam keys. Most of them appear legitimate, and can be quickly and readily verified as such. They are 'legitimate' insofar as they appear to be a request for a key for the purposes of informing an audience about the product.
In some cases, the audience is too small to justify a response. For example, a YouTuber with less than 1,000 subscribers is unfortunately unlikely to receive a reply. This is not because I think small YouTubers are not legitimate, but because if I reply to every small YouTuber I will spend all my time in my email inbox.
A further proportion of messages are ignored because I cannot quickly parse them. Every individual message gets a little bit of brain-time, perhaps a few seconds. Sometimes there is a language barrier between the sender and myself, sometimes there are spelling, grammar, or length (people writing essays to request keys) issues preventing me from understanding the request quickly.
Then there is a special subset of emails. These set off a little alarm in the back of my head. Sometimes words like 'deal,' 'giveaway,' 'partnership,' or 'in return for' pop up. Sometimes I can't quite put my finger on it. Whatever 'it' is, the objective of the sender appears to be something other than to inform their audience about the product. Like messages from small YouTubers and messages I can't parse, these get ignored.
Many of the emails that are ignored might well be legitimate. I imagine a significant proportion are. The volume of them means I can't devote more time to verifying my two-second determination. The email that sparked this particular episode appears to be an example of a time when the determination was correct.
It upsets me to know that I must surely get that determination wrong many times. If you ever email me asking for a key for a game and I don’t reply, please don’t lose heart or think I have decided you are a scammer. Instead, perhaps consider re-wording the message: Making it shorter, having an English speaker help you out (I wish I could speak more languages!), including a clear link to your outlet, and avoiding any suggestion of a pre-determined review outcome.
This post was adapted from a reply originally made on Reddit.