Online toxicity is why the industry is so secretive, say developers

Gaming toxicity

Players want more openness and communication from developers in order to understand the process of making games better. Many players are also willing to throw an obscene amount of abuse at developers, be it for dodgy animations, poor promises, or the mere existence of DLC.

In a Twitter thread this week, Charles Randall - a game developer with seven years at Ubisoft and several elsewhere - explains why that toxicity means developers can’t be candid with their audience.

If you’re looking for something to be angry about, here’s our list of the best PC games ever.

The full thread is worth a read, but breaks down rather nicely to this one tweet:

In essence, Randall's point is that game developers can’t be honest about the reality of game development. The decisions that lead to mistakes or the changes that happen over the course of making a game aren't made public because they've learned that doing so will lead to death threats.

Responses to the thread have been varied. There is, as you might expect, quite a lot of “nope, game developers are just lazy,” and many a deleted comment over on Reddit. However, the most upvoted responses are the more thoughtful ones, mainly from other developers expressing similar feelings. None of them are defending bad games, they just wish they could talk about things as they happen without being dogpiled by ‘consumer advocates’ and, yes, ‘journalists'.

There are also plenty of regular gamers complaining about the toxicity of gaming communities in that thread. It directly effects multiplayer games every day when that anger is directed at team-mates or systems instead of developers. It is unlikely the two phenomenon are unrelated.

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Jenks avatarXerkics avatarDuoBlaze avatar[SOUR] Johnny avatar
Xerkics Avatar
402
2 Months ago

I think people confuse things like Death Threats from people that are scum both offline and online whatever the environment and toxicity created by the developers themselves by engaging in underhanded practices like day one dlc where content is cut from the game to cash in on loyalty . Its a pretty lame excuse frankly.

Its especially bad in the the poorly regulated mobile market selling the microtransactions at absurd ripp off prices and getting minors addicted to unregulated forms of online gambling in a form of loot chests and roullete wheels with hidden and fixed drop rates that sometimes have 0.000001% drop rates where people get addicted and waste money that would buy them multiple AAA games in a pursuit of reward they cant actually get unless hidden requirements for spending are met and the like. Toxicity will go down once the industry is properly regulate and companies stop ripping people off. Just look at games like Naruto online when they got hacked they got exposed they had effective zero drop rates on rare ninja in spending wheels and fake dev accounts masquerading as players getting things for free driving up other peoples spending. I wont even talk about their absurd pricing. Shadow of Mordor micro transactionsand Dead Space and Total War Warhammer and day 1 DLC races with Chaos Warrior forces cut from full game to be sold as day 1 dlc? Shame.

TLDR : Dont blame toxicity in relation to online games on internet trolls they will just jump on any opportunity anywhere blame it on greedy publishers and game execs exploiting consumer loyalty and bad regulation. Ill repeat micro transactions are a cancer of modern gaming and companies need to take collective responsibility for its abuse admit that the business model is exploitative and that its gone completely out of control and need to take initiative to self regulate.

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Jenks Avatar
346
2 Months ago

Death threats are ridiculous and the people that make them should be sought and punished. That said they're 100% BS and no one will ever carry one out, so besides reporting it to the authorities devs should ignore them.

Why is this an issue anyway, does anyone care that devs aren't more "transparent?" Star Citizen has to be the most transparent game development I've ever seen, the amount of updates and videos detailing every step of the way is astounding, and still both commenters and news sites pretend the game is vaporware.

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DuoBlaze Avatar
94
2 Months ago

If developers would stop making changes that reduce the quality of their products to increase profits then there would be less "toxicity" as they claim. If he thinks game customers are toxic then he should spend a few years in business software development. Some of the crap Ubisoft and their developers have done would mean a rapid loss of customers in other software industries. Game devs make their money in initial sales while having no SLAs nor customer mandated requirements to adhere to. Game developers have it easy. Zero sympathy.

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[SOUR] Johnny Avatar
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[SOUR] Johnny(6 hours played)
2 Months ago

Holy hell this dude is a cringefest

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