ArenaNet Fires Two Employees Over Twitter Spat with Guild Wars 2 Fans

Doris Richards
July 9, 2018

"But, if instead players were given the option to meaningfully express *their* character through branching dialogue options (which also aren't just on the checklist for an achievement that forces you through all dialogue options)", Deroir responded to Price, "then perhaps players would be more invested in the roleplaying aspect of that particular MMORPG".

Things turned ugly on Wednesday, when Price quoted Deroir's reply as condescending.

The post, which can be found transcribed on the official Guild Wars 2 reddit or on twitter, had a notable reply in user Deroir.

Price's colleague Peter Fries leapt to Price's defence, with a tweet which has since been deleted, and Deroir apologised. Fries wasn't directly engaged in the conversation, but he came to Price's defense, calling her "great at her job" and stating that she "deserves to be treated with respect" even after effectively calling a Guild Wars 2 player sexist.

Deroir said was only looking for "dialogue and discussion", and "meant no disrespect".

Normally that'd be the end of it. Not ideal, but ultimately inconsequential. Fries specifically had about 13 years with the company, while Price was with ArenaNet for a little more than a year. Both writers have been relieved of their jobs.

Guild Wars 2 writers fired after a row on Twitter with community streamer. But it was too late: ArenaNet president Mike O'Brien chose to take to the Guild Wars 2 forum to say: "Recently two of our employees failed to uphold our standards of communicating with players. Their attacks on the community were unacceptable", ArenaNet Co-founder and President Mike O'Brien said. You don't have to agree with everything they say, but both the company you work for and the community expect some level of common decency out of you.

"I want to be clear that the statements they made do not reflect the views of ArenaNet at all". We value your input.

"Like, the next rando asshat who attempts to explain the concept of branching dialogue to me - as if, you know, having worked in game narrative for a f**king DECADE, I have never heard of it - is getting instablocked", she added.

As far as toxic interactions between developers and consumers go in the games space, this wasn't particularly egregious. Two members of Guild Wars 2's writing staff have learned that lesson the hard way after a Twitter exchange with one of ArenaNet's partnered YouTubers.

More unsettling is that, despite any intentions of polite debate Deroir may have held, this sets a troubling precedent.

Jessica Price, a narrative designer with ArenaNet with ten years of experience in the industry, was breaking down her thoughts on designing a playable character in an MMO when a "Gw2 tuber" called DeroirGaming made a decision to chime in and share his take on her opinion.

Other reports by Iphone Fresh

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