Jessica Price and Peter Fries, former story writers for Guild Wars 2, were recently let go from ArenaNet. The company promotes their developers and game designers to communicate with the player base. However, a recent Twitter response from Prince against a player resulted in her release.
Really interesting thread to read! 👌
However, allow me to disagree *slightly*. I dont believe the issue lies in the MMORPG genre itself (as your wording seemingly suggest). I believe the issue lies in the contraints of the Living Story's narrative design; (1 of 3)
— Deroir (@DeroirGaming) July 3, 2018
Click on the thread to see the response.
- Prince is open with her opinions on her Twitter and wasn’t forced to respond based on corporate
- Deroir is a YouTube partner with a focus on GW2 (Guild Wars 2)
- Prince had recently done an AMA on story crafting for GW2 and went to Twitter to tweet further regarding the topic
- Deroir responded and offered his own opinion on storytelling
- Princes’ responded on July 4th:
thanks for trying to tell me what we do internally, my dude 9_9
— Jessica Price (@Delafina777) July 4, 2018
Prince began to expand further on Twitter:
“Today in being a female game dev: ‘Allow me–a person who does not work with you–explain to you how you do your job.'”
Minutes later, she added: “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.”
Peter Fries also jumped into the conversation and defended Prince:
“Today is a national holiday. It is our day off, after working hard for months on our most recent content release. If I’m being embarrassing and unprofessional, it’s because I’m enjoying a beverage in the sun in my backyard and this nonsense is being directed at someone I respect. Jessica is great at her job and deserves to be treated with respect, was the gist of what I was reacting to.”
ArenaNet president Mike O’Brien released a statement that both employees were released on July 5th:
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
Prince stated that O’Brien ” caved to a handful of people and an army of bots and sock puppets….now he’s got almost every female developer I know — as well as some men — furious with him.”
However, O’Brien stated “Whatever Jessica and Peter felt internally about the situation, this was objectively a customer engaging us respectfully and professionally, presenting a suggestion for our game. Any response from our company needed to be respectful and professional. A perceived slight doesn’t give us license to attack.
Who do you side with? Do you think Prince spoke too harshly and her layoff was warranted? Or do you believe O’Brien and ArenaNet took the proper steps to lay off Prince and Fries? Both sides have huge supporters and it will be interesting to see how this will end.