Last week, a lot of toxicity towards a number of developers and studios was made public.
Ron Gilbert, best known for his work on the Monkey Island series was the first to suffer.
In case you missed it, Gilbert is making a new addition to the series; Return to Monkey Island.
And the art style, whist different from the original games, was unique and looked suited for the series.
Gilbert had used his blog to make new announcements and express his joy for returning to the series.
However, at some point last week, Gilbert had closed down comments on his blog.
Furthermore, he also announced he won’t be making any more announcements about the game
This was in direct retaliation to some “fans” making hurtful comments and personal attacks towards Gilbert;
“I’m shutting down comments. People are just being mean and I’m having to delete personal attack comments.
It’s an amazing game and everyone on the team is proud of it. Play it or don’t play it but don’t ruin it for everyone else.
I won’t be posting anymore about the game. The joy of sharing has been driven from me”.
This was then picked up by a number of different people in the industry, including Dominic Armato, the voice actor of Guybrush Threepwood.
“Bang up job, everybody.
(I’ve seen a lot of passionate but polite/polite-adjacent discussion going on, but the comments on Ron’s blog were a total shitshow)”.
This lead to a number of big names in the industry stepping up and speaking out.
Neil Druckmann, Co-President of Naughty Dog stated;
“Wow! Even wholesome adventure games aren’t safe from toxic ‘fans’ who know better than the original creators?!
Ron (and team), y’all keep making what YOU believe in! It looks gorgeous! I’m there day fucking one!”
Alex Mann, EA’s Program Manager and Development Director added;
“When folks continue to wonder or ask why some game studios don’t communicate or speak about games ahead of release anymore? Or why they don’t engage with communities?
This is 100% why; it’s not worth the personal toll & cost to mental health to continue to try”.
And Cory Barlog, director for God of War/God of War: Ragnarök said;
“What the hell people? Please don’t be a dick to my gamedev hero.
Sorry for the bullshit, Ron. Thank you for making things that inspire me to make things. Never stop that”.
Sadly, Barlog’s week didn’t end there.
After that, he had to get “fans” to be patient.
This came after some rumours had circulated that a release date reveal for Ragnarök would happen on 30th June.
When the reveal did not come, some members of the community jumped on Barlog, saying things like; “it’s delayed”, “then where the Hell is it? Why are we waiting so long?“, and “You have 1 week to show Ragnarok State of Play before I boycott and switch to Xbox“.
To which Barlog had to issue the following;
If it were up to me I would share all the information when I know about it. But it is not up to me.
So please, be patient.
I promise things will be shared at the earliest possible moment they can be.
We make games for you. We get to make games because of you”.
And if that were the worst thing that happened to Sony Santa Monica staff, that would have been enough.
However, it has since come to light that some members of the Sony Santa Monica team had been receiving unsolicited images of individuals’ genitals as…way to force them to reveal more about the game. Maybe? I genuinely don’t know why that would work.
Sony Santa Monica/God of War Cinematic Producer, Estelle Tigani posted;
“Pro tip: sending me dick pics asking for the God of War Ragnarok release date will not, in fact, get me to reveal the release date.
To the people who are doing so, when did that ever work for you?!”
Naturally, Barlog wasn’t too impressed by this revelation;
“Are you fucking kidding me with this now???
I cannot believe I even have to say this but don’t fucking send dick pics to ANYONE on this team, or anyone in this industry for that matter.
They are busting their ass to make some for you to enjoy.
Show some fucking respect”.
Clearly, enough was enough for Barlog and Sony Santa Monica.
On Saturday (2nd July), the Sony Santa Monica account tweeted out a statement;
“Every single person at Santa Monica Studio is working to create a game that we’re proud of, one that we hope you will enjoy playing once released.
Our fans inspire us, and we understand the passion and desire for more information. But that passion should not be toxic nor come at the expense of any human being’s dignity.
Let’s celebrate our community by treating each other, every gamer and developer alike, with respect”.
Most telling about this statement was the fact that commenting was closed, meaning no funny retorts, no witty memes, and no callbacks could be made in response.
I would never try and tell another human being how to live their life. But, when you consider how shit the world has been for all of us for so long now, why would you want to ruin something that is supposed to be an escape?
Yes, video game delays suck. Yes, change is different, but that doesn’t mean it’s a bad thing.
Just, be cool to one another, yeah?
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