[Update] As of this morning, Mike O'Brien released a statement confirming two employees have been released. On that information, we can assume it's Jessica Price and Peter Fries, the latter a long-term staffer also involved in Guild Wars 2's narrative, who came to Jessica's defence.
Having thought about this earlier, I don't think I can name another MMO developer that seems to lurch from one PR crisis to another as much as ArenaNet. From the moment the game launched, they've repeatedly made epic blunders that result in the forums, and multiple sub-Reddits, erupting in anger. Today is no exception, and on the back of a predictably bland AMA, it's the turn of Jessica Price to ruffle feathers.
As part of the Guild Wars 2 narrative team, she recently made an excellent post discussing the approach ArenaNet take when it comes to narrative structure, and how the Commander (that's you) is seen, and/or interacts with others. It was a solid post that, as many expected, welcomed discussion. With Guild Wars 2 partner, Deroir, eventually replying after Inks (also part of Guild Wars 2's Partner Program), thanked her for the interesting read before adding that he disagreed with some of it (slightly). He then provided a perfectly rational, civilised response, at which point Jessica instantly went on the defensive.
Today in being a female game dev:— Jessica Price (@Delafina777) July 4, 2018
"Allow me--a person who does not work with you--explain to you how you do your job." https://t.co/lmK0yJWqGB
Deroir once again replied in a civilised manner, only for Jessica to take to a seperate Tweet to target him, before delivering a wonderful dose of misandry.
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 fucking DECADE, I have never heard of it--is getting instablocked. PSA.— Jessica Price (@Delafina777) July 4, 2018
In an earlier incident with Inks, a long-term YouTuber who's incredibly level-headed, he attempted a civilised conversation. Hers was less than professional, where she signed off with the F-bomb.
Sure, dude. Now get out of my fucking feed with your assumptions and your entitlement to my time.— Jessica Price (@Delafina777) July 4, 2018
While I don't know Jessica, and have never had the pleasure of speaking to her (perhaps one of the few ArenaNet staff), there's a few things I do know about Guild Wars 2. The first is that its storytelling isn't great, dialogue often cringe-worthy, and RPG-lite. It's no Planescape Torment (obviously), and it certainly doesn't offer a narrative that comes close to most of its peers. The second thing is that in this instance, despite Jessica stating this is her personal Twitter, to make a post as she did - in a public forum - and not expect a conversation in return, is bizzare.
Both Deroir and Inks said nothing wrong, acted in a kind manner, and the best she could do was - for some unknown reason - call sexism and verbally bash both. It's disgraceful behaviour, but based on her past Tweets, not entirely unexpected (she really must be fun at the staff party). No word from ArenaNet yet as to whether they'll take any action. We'll keep you posted.
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