It must be hard to release a game in 2020.
Unlike ever before, social media and the internet have given players increasingly more ways to send their opinions to creators.
More than most Respawn, the developers behind battle royale Apex Legends, know this truth.
Though, in an attempt to hit back at haters, Respawn have a new tactic, to talk more!
New Communication Channels
To try and counter online negativity, Director of Communications Ryan Rigney wants to try out new channels of communication.
Some ideas include regular Reddit AMAs with different team members, and others include produced video content for the studio’s channels.
In a statement, he said, “We’re hoping to help break the stalemate with things like seasonal AMAs, more regular messaging on our owned channels (like new content types on Respawn.com), and with more direct support for brave soldiers like Daniel Z. Klein who likes to wade out amongst the people. That stuff matters, and it’ll be worth doing.”
Rigney’s comments are likely in reference to the comments made by Klein a few days ago on a Reddit post.
Protect Devs From Online Hate
Responding to a Reddit question asking if a team member could respond to the Store criticism Klein said, “No offense, but many of the people who make those decisions just don't want to come to reddit for how they're treated here.”
Speaking from his own and his spouse’s experiences he added, “I've had credible enough death threats against me that a former studio cancelled all studio tours for good, my spouse has had nearly daily emails sent to their (entirely non-gaming) employer yelling that they should be fired, they're a pedophile or whatever, my spouse's parents were doxed and a swatting was attempted, I've had people send me photoshopped images of execution victims with my face swapped in... it's rough.”
“The constant barrage of negativity and people telling you you suck at your job, asking for you to be fired, calling you names, etc--it will wear you down and people sometimes have serious psychological trauma when they feel pressured to expose themselves to this negativity even when they don't feel up to it.”
Klein has been an amazing source of insight on development at Respawnfor the community.
He’s always ready each update to explain the changes he and his team have made to Legends, detailing the challenges and successes they had along the way.
It’s not fair that he should be put through the wringer for going above and beyond to service fans.
Therefore it is fantastic news that Respawn are opening up more channels through which they can assist their team.
And remember that no matter what you think of a game, even if your criticisms are valid, that there’s a person on the other end who might read your comments. Don’t send hate, don’t send threats and don’t make comments personal.
Engage in a meaningful way and then maybe we can collectively make gaming as great as it can be!