Game developer ArenaNet fires two employees following Twitter exchange, spurring controversy

Game developer ArenaNet fires two employees following Twitter exchange, spurring controversy

11:57pm, 6th July, 2018
Official press asset for ArenaNet’s Guild Wars 2. Two narrative designers for Guild Wars 2, developed and published by the Bellevue, Wash.-based studio ArenaNet, were fired on July 5, following an argument on Twitter that went viral. The move has been widely condemned in the games industry even as many fans of the game are vocally celebrating it, which has spurred a larger conversation about the frequently-acrimonious relationship between video games, those who make them, and those who play them. On July 3, Arena.Net narrative designer Jessica Price on her personal Twitter regarding the challenges of writing and characterizing a player character in an MMO, who is by necessity a blank slate. came from a Denmark-based YouTuber, Deroir, which drew a sharp response from Price. Today in being a female game dev: "Allow me–a person who does not work with you–explain to you how you do your job." — Jessica Price (@Delafina777) According to Price, asked to comment on the firing , Deroir’s tweet was a typically frustrating exchange for her on social media. “By the time that guy came along, I was so tired of having random people explain my job to me in company spaces where I had to just smile and nod that it was like, ‘No. Not here. Not in my space.'” Price’s tweets began on the Guild Wars 2 subreddit. Via Reddit, Twitter, and the official Guild Wars 2 forums, players issued a series of ultimatums and attempts at boycotts over Price’s conduct. When Price’s fellow narrative designer spoke up in her defense (with several tweets that have since been deleted), he got . The situation was abruptly resolved by on July 5, where he announced that due to failing to uphold standards of communication with players, two employees —presumably Price and Fries — had been dismissed. This was met with applause from the GW2 community, but condemnation from developers and journalists. As Arkane Studios’s Hazel Monforton wrote on Twitter: Gamers treat developers’ personal twitter accounts like customer service hotlines. We’re expected to have no boundaries and to take in good faith and humor everything from ignorant complaints to accusations of incompetence. As soon as we say “no”, we‘re harassed out of a job. — Dr. Witch Hazel, PhD