Guild Wars 2 Devs Fired By ArenaNet For Antagonizing Gamers
Guild Wars 2 Jessica Price Fired

ArenaNet, the makers of the MMORPG Guild Wars 2, recently had to let go of two members of its development team for antagonizing gamers and members of the Guild Wars 2 community.

The drama originally started on July 4th, 2018 with tweets from Guild Wars 2 narrative producer, Jessica Price, who began taking feedback from fans and Twitch streamers, and misconstruing it as sexist intimidation.

She was later joined by Peter Fries, a writer at ArenaNet for Guild Wars 2, who also began antagonizing fans and the community for daring to have an exchange with Price in the first place.

Price’s comments were later deleted, but archives still exist of the exchange.

As reported by TenTonHammer, the original Twitch streamers who engaged in conversation with Price were cordial and polite, but for reasons unknown they were met with hostility from the ArenaNet developers.

Anyone even attempting to engage with Price was publicly shouted down. This incident managed to spread to the Guild Wars 2 Reddit community, where multiple threads were made highlighting the bad behavior of the developer.


The hostilities exhibited by Price did not attemper after others tried to calm her down or discuss the issue within reason. Instead, Price became incensed and continued to belittle and antagonize the gaming community.

But this wasn’t the first time that Price had made acerbic comments in public. Previous to this, Price had also badgered TotalBiscuit following his death in May, claiming that she was “glad” he was “no longer around”.

All of the Twitter drama was also covered by Ian Miles Cheong, who recapped the event from start to finish.

The feedback on the Reddit forums, from the MMO community, and social media were a little too much, and on July 5th, 2018 ArenaNet president Mike O’Brien decided to address the thread on the official Guild Wars 2 forums, where the community were explicitly discussing Price and Fries’ social media behavior.

O’Brien made a post on the forums stating…

“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.”

As pointed out by most of the community, O’Brien does not disclose who the two employees were that were fired, but most assume it was Peter Fries and Jessica Price. Neither of the two have made any comments about it on their Twitter feeds as of the writing of this article.

Again, there has been no confirmation directly from ArenaNet that Jessica Price and Peter Fries were indeed fired.

However, according to a thread on Kotaku In Action, they note that while O’Brien did not name the employees who were fired, Peter Fries did update his Twitter profile on July 5th, 2018 and removed any mention about being a writer for ArenaNet, so some assume that he was one of the employees that happened to be fired.

On July 4th, 2018, this is what Peter Fries Twitter profile used to look like.

Many commenters were shocked at the news because it’s rare that companies fire employees for speaking ill of their fans.

We’ve seen multiple Marvel and comic book employees engage in heated exchanges with fans, as well as LucasFilm and Disney employees attacking fans for not liking the new movies, or castigating the audience for not accepting the company’s agenda-driven approach for Star Wars content, but they haven’t been fired. DC Comics has a media etiquette rule that actually prohibits employees and contractors from engaging negatively online to avoid this kind of drama.

Outlets like PC Gamer downplayed Price’s belligerence, attempting to redirect the argument back toward the topic of sexism in gaming, writing…

“It’s no grand secret that game developers, especially women, are regularly targeted by fans who want to lash out, condescend or place blame, to say nothing of the insults, threats and other toxicity routinely hurled their way. That being said, this incident was not on the level of the harassment maelstroms we’ve seen in the past. A developer explained their writing philosophy, a partnered content creator offered feedback, and that developer responded somewhat rudely. Ordinarily that would be the end of it, perhaps followed by a round of apologies or someone stepping away from their role temporarily, but in this case ArenaNet felt the need to immediately fire the employees involved.”

Unlike PC Gamer, many actual gamers are applauding ArenaNet for taking action against those within the staff who were perceived to be hostile toward the Guild Wars 2 fanbase.

I attempted to reach out to Peter Fries and Jessica Price for comment, but they have me blocked on Twitter.


(Thanks for the news tip ParasiteX and Blaughast)


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Billy has been rustling Jimmies for years covering video games, technology and digital trends within the electronics entertainment space. The GJP cried and their tears became his milkshake. Need to get in touch? Try the Contact Page.

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