Romero's board game Train is the inspiration behind an in-book game
Last month, veteran game developer Brenda Romero called out Tomorrow, And Tomorrow, And Tomorrow - a bestselling novel about three aspiring game devs - for leaving her out of the acknowledgements page. Romero’s acclaimed board game Train inspired the in-book video game Solution, by the author Gabrielle Zevin's own admission, which resulted in Romero speaking out. The book’s publisher Knobf Doubleday have now issued a statement refusing to credit Romero since “the only games listed in the author’s acknowledgements are video games.”
Speaking to The Washington Post, Knopf’s senior vice president for publicity Todd Doughty said: “Tomorrow, and Tomorrow, and Tomorrow is a work of fiction and when crafting a novel, every author draws from the world around them.” Doughty continues to say that Zevin never played Romero’s “undistributed board game,” but it did serve as one of many inspirations for the novel.
Doughty also pointed out that the novel is “not an academic or nonfiction text” where exhaustive citations and bibliographies are an expectation. The publisher “stands behind Gabrielle Zevin and her work.”
Romero called the statement “very disappointing” on Twitter, “particularly from a novelist who writes about women not receiving credit. Watch this space.” Romero took issue with the mention that Train was “undistributed,” noting that “How does that apply to other singular works of art like paintings, for instance?”
“It may seem like a small thing to be bothered about, but to me, it’s not,” Romero says. “Train is likely the best game I’ll ever make.” She continues to say “Nothing was taken for granted. To have a game lifted without attribution - a game about the Holocaust, for goodness sake - is just unacceptable.”