An Ubisoft artist has explained why devs avoid communicating with fans, especially after shipping the game. In his words, entitled gamers make the most exciting part of development a "horrid experience."
Joe Hobbs, lead prop artist at Ubisoft Annecy, shared his thoughts on Twitter. He wrote that the devs who are public about the titles they're involved in often receive verbal abuse from "fans," which has led to employees who won't even say what they do because of being scared of the immediate backlash. On top of that, streamers and content creators that thrive on overreacting to things for views make things worse.
“I've received death threats in the past over Division 2. It's unacceptable," Hobbs wrote. "The harassment that game developers receive is utterly disgusting and I see it in the comments of most devs who say pretty much anything."
Hobbs went on to say players want the devs to be more open and communicative, only to throw demands and threats at them when they do. Additionally, such "fans" are always completely ignorant of how games are made and aim their anger at the wrong people.
"The sad fact is, most game devs go on complete social media blackout for weeks following the launch of whatever they've worked on, and I'd heavily advise it. Get some rest, recharge after the push to shipping the game. People will say toxic stuff no matter what you do."
Other devs appeared in the thread to confirm that's a harsh reality for many of them. "It has pushed me off social media to the point I avoid saying anything about what I work on," said Ubisoft artist Chris Goodswen; "I get death threats too," Dead by Daylight designer Ethan Larson chimed in; "I once had someone show up to my house, that really got to me," a Fortnite senior programmer shared; "really takes the glamour out of a rare and exciting line of work," Rogue Company artist Ben Leary said; "it's okay to be a critic but they should vent their other frustrations on a punching bag," said Unity developer Thomas Dik.
While social media has been a great tool for developers to communicate updates, it shouldn't be a channel for abuse. Just take a second to think about what effect your words will have on other individuals.
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