Game developers say harassment from players is a major issue

Illustrated by Aida Amer/Axios

Harassment, threats, and other harmful behavior from players are taking a toll on the people who make games, according to a new poll.

News promotion: More than 75% of game creators responding to the 11th annual State of the Game Industry survey said it was a “serious” or “very serious” problem, according to data released today.

  • The poll was conducted among more than 2,300 game developers worldwide and has a margin of error of 3%, according to Game Developers Conference organizers and affiliate publication Game Developer.

detail: 40% of respondents say they have directly experienced harassment, and this is even more pronounced among non-male respondents and those who identify as LGBTQ+.

  • 68% of respondents said their company did something about it (one-fifth said their company did nothing).

State of play: Player threats to game makers have been an unwelcome burden for industry workers for more than a decade.

  • Developers have reported harassment for everything from slowing down games, to changing features, to expressing a preference for story development over combat. It’s aimed at developers who are women, transgender, or are members of underrepresented groups in gaming.
  • Toxicity is fostered by social media, developers say, as the worst people in the player community find ways to contact and reply to game creators.
  • Some companies have recently been more active in speaking out on behalf of developers. Last year, Destiny’s maker, Bungie Studios, sued gamers for allegedly blackmailing staff.

What they say: “Businesses need to take it seriously,” said one survey respondent in a comment shared by the organizers. “I received death threats and they reached out to my family on social media, but the company ignored my concerns.”

  • “Large companies seem to be afraid of being a fanbase without realizing that toxic players are influencing a much larger portion of their actual fanbase,” shared another survey respondent. Did.

  • Some have taken their hands off of it, calling those who harassers an inevitable minority of voices, or suggesting that listening to player complaints could stave off much of the abuse. I threw it.
  • However, another said: You can be part of the conversation and give your opinion, but you can’t demand that everything go your way. ”

To the point: Surveys can help quantify the amount of concern game creators have about player toxicity, but it is much more difficult to know how many game creators have been pushed off the field by surveys.

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