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People Are Uninstalling This Game After It Fired A Woman Developer

Guild Wars 2 has become the center of controversy for its decision to fire Jessica Price and Peter Fries.

Posted on July 7, 2018, at 9:52 a.m. ET

On Thursday, the video game developer ArenaNet's cofounder Mike O'Brien formally announced that two employees who worked on the Guild Wars games had been fired due to their behaviour on Twitter.

The Guild Wars series is an online mass multiplayer role-playing game set in a fictional world.

The decision came after one of the developers, Jessica Price, implied that a man named Deroir – a YouTuber partnered with ArenaNet – had mansplained to her.

@Delafina777 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)

@DeroirGaming thanks for trying to tell me what we do internally, my dude 9_9

The other developer fired, Peter Fries, in a deleted tweet, defended Price on Twitter. He'd been at the company for 12 years.

The interaction was heavily discussed on Guild Wars official forums and Reddit pages.

After the firings were announced, the news was met with mixed reaction from the games' players. Many people defended the writers and their tweets.

Dear @GuildWars2 and ArenaNet I don't think Jessica Price and Peter Fries deserve to be fired in light of everything they've done for the studio, the games, and past interactions with fans. I don't think they have done anything unseemly or illegal or offensive. Take them back.

Jessica Price is one of the best RPG writers. you've thrown away gold. very sad, misguided, misogynistic

My thought process regarding GW2 recently: • Jessica Price is a cool person on the team, maybe I should return to the game • oh she’s been fired for... pointing out an example of condescension she gets as a female game dev

Others believed that the writers, especially Price, deserved to lose their jobs.

Day one without an apology from Jessica Price or Arenanet to the two partners she accused of sexism.

Jessica Price is the most toxic person and shouldn't be working on Living World AND on Arenanet content Fuck you Jessica

Much of the criticism of Price has been compared to that received by women involved in Gamergate.

It just happened but people are already trying to blame #GamerGate for Jessica Price being fired from ArenaNet. Not her own shitty tweets and attitude, #GamerGate. Strap in bois, gonna be one hell of a ride.

Many of those who sided with Price called for a boycott of the game series.

Time to uninstall Guild Wars 2, I can't play it after what they've done. I know the money is spent but I can't in good conscience play this after their Pres conceded to a hate mob.

Tanya DePass, the 45-year-old director of the nonprofit I Need Diverse Games, told BuzzFeed News she felt she had to stop playing the game to be in good conscience.

"Jessica Price is a friend of mine," she said. "But to fire two devs based on a Twitter interaction is a terrible precedent and gives these 'fans' power to feel like they can get rid of anyone they decide they don't like."

in this house we uninstall guild wars 2

Like many supporters of Price and Fries, DePass said she felt the behaviour of ArenaNet was symptomatic of some bigger issues in the gaming industry.

"The games industry has learned nothing from letting the 'fans' drive interactions and letting them do and say as they want because they paid $60 and up for a game. This "consumer is always right" mentality isn't OK, and it will hurt the industry."

Guess who is gonna uninstall Guild Wars 2?

Twitter user @Osephala, who asked to use this as her name due to fear of gaming trolls, said she also uninstalled the game, but realizes this approach is not for everyone.

Uninstalled Guild Wars and Guild Wars 2. I feel so disenchanted with the company and the community. Makes me sad, it was one of my favourite games, but I can't play it and feel okay about it.

"It doesn't sit right with me that ArenaNet basically threw their two employees under the bus to appease a rabid group of misogynistic gamers from the subreddit," she said. "If people want to continue playing, that's absolutely their choice, and I respect that. I personally chose not to."

Both women agreed that, for them, no matter what ArenaNet did now, their trust in the company had been broken.

Following the huge reaction online, Price told the Verge, “Game companies are generally unwilling to be honest with themselves about how they’re complicit in creating and sustaining that environment."

Deroir has not commented on the matter since his tweets on Wednesday.

BuzzFeed News has reached out to ArenaNet for further comment.

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