So, you might be wondering why not all game developers go ahead and communicate with fans. Maybe, there’s a difference in the game developer and gamer mentality. Perhaps, the company is regulated by multiple departments that make such forms of communications impossible but that doesn’t seem to be the case.
One Ubisoft artist came forward to explain why game developers avoid communicating with fans. In his own words, entitled gamers make the most exciting parts of development a “horrid experience.”
The lead prop artist over at Ubisoft Annecy, Joe Hobbs, went over to Twitter to share some of his thoughts. He typed out that game developer who go public and communicate with the userbase often receive tons of verbal abuse from their “fans”. Because of this, some individuals don’t even mention what they do for a living in the videogame industry out of the fear of facing immediate backlash on the Internet.
To make matters worse, streamers and content creators take things up a notch by overreacting to the smallest details for views. The viewers pick up their ideas and notions and harass and verbally abuse video game developers, which makes existing on the internet a truly “horrid” experience, to say the least.
Game Developers Come Forward
Joe Hobbs wrote down some extreme stuff. He was working on Division 2, and when everything was all said and done and the game went out the door, he started receiving death threats from anonymous users.
He stated that the harassment video game developers have to receive and go through is pretty disgusting, and he’s seen this harassment on unrelated notes in the comments of most game developers that say pretty much anything
Hobbs stated that players want the game developers to be open and communicative, only to sling death threats, insults and demands at them when they get the chance. Such so-called fans are completely oblivious of how games are made most of the time, and they direct their anger at the wrong people.
Hobbs stated that it’d become quite the norm that most video game developers go on full social media blackouts for weeks following the launch of whatever title they’ve been working on, and it’s something that Hobbs advises to video game devs. Get your well-earned rest and recharge after you ship the game out. People will say the meanest stuff no matter what good you achieve.
You might be wondering if what Hobb is facing is an isolated incident? Well, you’d be wrong on that, as many other game developers hopped on the thread to confirm the harsh reality that is abuse and death threats.
Ubisoft Artist, Chris Goodwen, came forward and stated that It has pretty much pushed me off of social media to the point that I avoid saying even a word on the titles I’ve worked on. Dead by Daylight designer, Ethan Larson affirmed Hobb’s allegations of receiving death threats. Ethan even once had an individual come over to his doorsteps and that got to him.
A senior programmer at Fortnite shared that it really takes out the glamour of what is deemed to be a rare and exciting line of work. Ben Leary, an artist at Rogue Company, stated that it’s fine and dandy to be a critic, but people need to vent their frustrations out on actual punching bags.
Although social media is a powerful resource for game developers to communicate patches and updates, people shouldn’t use it as a channel for abuse. People need to seriously step back and think about what effect their words might have on others.
So what are your thoughts on the matter? Are these game developers overreacting, or is this a serious issue? To be honest, being bombarded with insults and death threats on your feed can eventually get to you, us, or anyone, so be wary with your words on the Internet!