Adding in Easter eggs into AAA production-sized games is dangerous. If it's a famous Easter egg based on some longstanding pop-cultural reference then it's likely a safe bet to include it. If it's a reference to another comic book, another video game, or even a popular movie, then it's also likely a safe bet to include it. Where Easter eggs get dangerous is when they reference some event that has an expiration date on it, such as a birthday gift, a a current event, or maybe even a marriage proposal. For Insomniac Games' newest PS4 release, Marvel's Spider-Man, the developers included a very personalized Easter egg for one gamer, but it turned out to be one of the most depressing Easter eggs ever.
A Twitter user quickly covered how the whole thing started, posting up a tweet on Twitter where it verifies that Insomniac Games added in an Easter egg for gamer Tyler Schultz, who had wanted to propose to his girlfriend and asked Insomniac to include a proposal to his then-girlfriend Madison within Marvel's Spider-Man. The developers actually took time out to create a marquee within the game that reads "Maddie, will you marry me?"
The sign was supposed to be used as an opportunity for Tyler to propose to his girlfriend, preferably using the in-game photo-mode and selfie feature as it's depicted in the tweet up above. While the tweet seems endearing to recount the tale, things actually take a much darker turn.
According to the Twitter thread, Madison left Tyler about a month before Marvel's Spider-Man released, but shortly after the game went gold. So there was this unfortunate situation where it was too late for Insomniac to remove or change the proposal on the movie theater sign, thus leaving the hurtful reminder in the game for all to see, and as a sign that things didn't turn out too well for Tyler. To make matters worse is that Madison actually broke up with Tyler to date his brother!
Originally Tyler made a video recounting the tale and suggested that if some other couple out there wanted to use it to propose to their fiance, they can go ahead and do so, but the video was later taken down by YouTube for violating the terms of service.
For now, the sign is still available in the game, featuring the proposal as clear as day on the movie theater board, but will anyone make use of it?
Insomniac Games are probably really bummed for having taken the time to implement the proposal for Tyler into the game, even though technically it was likely just a texture put onto the marquee. Still, it's work and time that they don't get back.
On the flip-side, the story likely generated a lot of continued buzz around Marvel's Spider-Man, and there's nothing wrong with that.
The game is currently available right now as a PlayStation 4 exclusive.