Respawn Entertainment put out a statement supporting its developers facing harassment from Apex Legends players on Twitter.
Apex Legends players have been having a difficult time with all the bugs and unresolved issues with the game. The game is very playable and enjoyable, but there are small irritants here or there that can leave players frustrated.
But some sections of the player base have become quite entitled with their need for a resolution. As is with every live service game, there are plenty of players that complain about everything in the game. Twitter exacerbates this and the fact that it’s a platform where it is possible to engage with the developers in person is causing problems right now. Particularly with the developers at respawn facing harassment from players.
It’s a problem, for sure, especially because some entitled professional players like FURIA’s HisWattson have taken it upon themselves as a crusade to supposedly fix the game. The developers are human and nobody understands the process behind the game’s development other than the people that actually work on it.
They held a Reddit AMA recently, where some of the questions asked strayed from the topic of the AMA. There were a few users that got pretty toxic and harassed the developers answering their questions here too.
The HisWattson fiasco
Things really got out of handwhen popular pro-player, HisWattson started tweeting aggressively about the developers. His tone was nothing short of entitled and toxic, to say the least. Most of his tweets targeted Hideouts in particular. Hideouts takes complaints from the community about cheaters and hackers.
All of this was because he was facing an issue in-game where he was getting booted from matches while streaming. AG420, a known leaker and hacker tweeted a screenshot of a text exchange between him and HisWattson. In this text exchange, HisWattson is seen trying to encourage AG420 to coax him into harassing Hideouts.
After this screenshot was shared by AG420, HisWattson doubled down on his stance, defending his approach. He openly tweeted about “Hating” EA, Respawn, and Hideouts, in particular, claiming Hideouts doesn’t do his job. Many other pro players called HisWattson out on this behavior. He has since claimed he’s been getting blacklisted from tournaments as well.
Respawn developers facing rampant harassment
The issue goes beyond HisWattson, however, and there are plenty of toxic players that make it a habit to harass developers online. Hideouts, in particular, has been targeted, since the entire purpose of hisTwitter handle is to take feedback on cheater and hacker encounters in-game. HisWattson is an influential figure in the Apex Legends community, especially since he was awarded MVP at the ALGS Year 2 Championship.
His fans have exacerbated the situation by going after hideouts and other Respawn employees. Hideouts immediately shared Respawn Entertainment’s tweet on his own feed, feeling grateful that their employer is standing by him. There are many Apex Legends players even justifying the harassment in response to the tweet from Respawn Entertainment.
Support from the community and other developers
Many big names from the gaming industry as well as from within the Apex Legends community have expressed solidarity with Respawn Entertainment. These include NiceWigg, Cory Barlog, Bungie and Liana Ruppert. While toxicity is commonplace on social media, you know it’s bad when the studio has to put out a statement standing by its employees. The fact that there are so many professionals in the industry that empathize with this is quite telling.
Harassment is not “Criticism”
Apex Legends players seem to have a mistaken notion that harassing and targeting individual developers online is criticism. There’s a good section of the player base that quietly just enjoys the game because Apex Legends is without a doubt, one of the best shooters out there. Every game will have issues. Trolling and targeting individual developers on Twitter is not a solution.
The developers care more about the game they work on than players ever will and these toxic players don’t understand that. A lot of work goes into video game development that goes unnoticed by players. It’s important to deliver feedback in a more respectful way.
Many studios face harassment from players
At the end of the day, it is unfair that game developers face such toxicity and harassment online for just doing their job. It’s important to stand by developers when they’re facing such harassment. HisWattson is but, a symptom of the problem. Respawn Entertainment chose to stand by its developers in the face of targeted harassment, which is commendable.
This isn’t the first time a studio has had to put out a statement like this. In addition to Respawn, Entertainment, studios like Bungie and DICE are on the receiving end of a lot of toxicity from players on social media. This kind of harassment is commonplace on Twitter and it needs to stop, period. In essence, harassment is bad.