Two Guild Wars 2 writers were fired after tweets they made earlier this week were deemed inappropriate. ArenaNet fired the writers after deciding that the tweets were unacceptable in the way they communicated with the players of Guild Wars 2.
Guild Wars 2 is a MMORPG originally developed by ArenaNet in 2012. The game still has an avid following with players who take on roles in a fantasy world called Tyria that lets them go on adventures and missions within that vast setting. Players choose specific races and professions for their characters, with that choice affecting what kind of skills they can use within the game. They, in turn, use those skills in gameplay and combat. The game continues to garner critical praise in spite of its age in competition with MMO titles that are much newer.
RockPaperShotgun.com reported that on July 3, Guild Wars 2 writer Jessica Price started a thread on Twitter to explain her process for developing characters within an MMO setting. What was supposed to serve as an interesting explanation, though, downgraded into an outright argument after ArenaNet content partner Deroir responded in disagreement. The situation escalated as Price took that response as a form of mansplaining, which, in her defense, does happen all too often to women in game development:
Price continued to tweet, stating that she would not tolerate anyone else questioning how she did her job:
She continued to tweet, while some Guild Wars 2 players verbally attacked Price during the conversation. Fellow Guild Wars 2 writer Peter Fries attempted to come to Price's defense in tweets that have since been deleted. ArenaNet's response, though, was not favorable to either writer. ArenaNet announced that it had fired both Price and Fries.
"Recently two of our employees failed to uphold our standards of communicating with players. Their attacks on the community were unacceptable. As a result, they’re no longer with the company.
I want to be clear that the statements they made do not reflect the views of ArenaNet at all. As a company we always strive to have a collaborative relationship with the Guild Wars community. We value your input. We make this game for you."
Considering just how much toxic fandom currently exists in the entertainment industry, it's surprising that ArenaNet chose to side with the fans who were indulging in that kind of behavior. In not supporting its own writers, the company showed that it would allow toxic fans to continue to create the narrative of their company, further empowering such behavior.
Not only that, but it also allowed fans to indulge in sexist behavior towards one of its female writers and then punished her for it. In this day and age, that should not happen, but two video game writers are now out of jobs because of it.