Joe Hobbs, the lead prop artist at Ubisoft Annecy, denounced on his account the hatred that developers have to face on social networks.
Unfortunately, this is not the first time we find ourselves talking on our pages about the harassment and difficulties that video game developers face on their social channels. A few days ago, we talked about the harassers who had sent explicit images to a Sony Santa Monica developer in hopes of getting the God of War launch date.
Returning to how people, and unfortunately many gamers, behave online was now Joe Hobbs, Lead Prop Artist at Ubisoft Annecy, who bluntly expressed his regret that, due to the toxic part of the community, launching a game is often a horrible experience due to reactions.
As explained by Hobbs in this long thread, in fact, very often, players harass developers with hatred without even realising that they interact with other people in the flesh. Moreover, they do not know who is in charge of what; they reduce those people to the work they do and make it impossible to be more open on social networks if what derives from greater openness is having to deal with harassing, intimidating or rude behaviour.
In the words of Ubisoft Hobbs:
“As a developer, releasing a game should be the most exciting part, but social media and, in general, the way players feel legitimised it a horrendous experience for all of us who talk in public about the games we’re involved in.
I’ve received death threats for my work in Division 2. It’s unacceptable.”
Hobbs explained that players complain that developers don’t communicate with them, but do you know what happens when we do? There is Destiny 2 and those who ‘fix the game’. Then some tell an artist to fix matchmaking.
Unfortunately, with an often non-existent empathy, many people continue to hammer against developers even when they talk about their personal stories:
“A few months ago, a guy posted about his mother not feeling well, and half of the comments were ‘go back to work’, ‘fix the game’. They want us to be more communicative and open but see what happens when we are. On social networks, many developers don’t even say what they work on because they are afraid of repercussions ».
Hobbs also pointed out that “streamers and content creators who thrive on reaction content and who overreact to things to make views make things a lot worse” because the audience that follows these content creators, in some cases, goes to pour out the hatred for the disappointing reaction.
He also weighs how the defects of a game are ridiculed by those who have made even a small part of that game.
“We’re talking about real people, with jobs they do daily, like everyone else. We don’t need these bitches, ”Hobbs added in his open letter. The lThe letter ended, however, with the artist recommending developers to deactivate their social profiles for the weeks after a launch, “rest and recharge your batteries after the debut effort. People will say toxic things no matter what you do. ‘
Many pretend to forget that they interact with other people in the flesh on social networks.
Needless to say, Hobbs’ thread has sparked indignant responses from people who feel they can freely insult others, to the point that the author had to add that “the answers that are coming to me open my eyes if they don’t already you realised it.
Then think that I’m a generic white guy, imagine how things would have been if I had been a woman, a person of colour, or part of the LGBTQ + community. It would have been even worse, and it’s terrifying. ‘
Someone also proposed to Hobbs a solution to hatred on social media, … not having a presence on social media. He is somewhat reminiscent of those who recommend not having a car so as not to have it stolen without disturbing even more unpleasant analogies.
“If you make yourself identifiable on Twitter, with your personal information, you get the good and the bad that comes with it”, justifies this user, with Hobbs pointing out that developers, like anyone else, should be free to express themselves on any platform «without fear of receiving death threats, pointed “.
As we said at the beginning, it is unfortunately just the umpteenth case of toxic behaviour of some gamers (many, unfortunately) on social networks. In recent days, Ron Gilbert had announced the closure of comments on his blog following the personal insults received for Return to Monkey Island.
Before him, Naughty Dog (including actresses) had received threats and offences of all sorts for the decisions made in the narrative of his The Last of Us – Part II, while the developers of Cyberpunk 2077 had had to deactivate their accounts in some cases because stormed after the disappointing launch of the game on console, after death threats for postponement.
It is always worth remembering, in the hope that it will no longer be needed as soon as possible, that there is a real person behind every account on a social network. Developers work hard to create the games we love – and they do it both when games turn out good and when they turn out less well. No disappointment authorises a hunt for the developer, insult and harassment, ever.