Xbro Interview—#GamerGate Numero Dos

xbro 11-16-14-1

It’s been almost three months since #GamerGate has caused a firestorm in the gaming industry and community. The sides are drawn, the neutrals are being silenced or attacked, and the majority of the parties that pro-#GamerGate are opposed towards still haven’t changed their tune.

I had another opportunity to speak with Xbro, the wonderful rogue that has taken it upon himself to speak out on #GamerGate on numerous occasions. Despite the danger of his very career being jeopardized, he gave me some of his valuable time to answer some burning questions I had regarding the movement.

Niche Gamer: It’s wonderful to speak with you again Xbro. With the massive amount of things happening currently in #GamerGate and since we last spoke – how do you feel about the movement now?

It certainly has gotten bigger and more aggressive, from the perspective of both sides. Even so, I continue to strongly believe in #gamergate, alongside my colleagues and many other professionals in the industry.

NG: Do you feel like both “sides” have been deeply entrenched? I’m talking about pro and anti GamerGate folks.

#Gamergate has more or less maintained its stance and goals, and that is a pretty impressive thing for a leaderless, de-centralized movement. Anti-gamergate people have come up in arms against us and there’s a clear schism in the community right now. The odd fact, however, is that the anti-gamergate side mostly features bloggers, writers, feminists and general anti-gamers, so their relevance to our industry is thankfully insignificant.

NG: How is everyone you work alongside at Xbox reacting to the recent developments, like the push to suspend pro-GamerGate folk on twitter (for no reason), the refusal of certain websites to address ethical concerns, etc?

Regarding the recent twitter drama, I’ll have to be honest and say that we don’t particularly care for such developments. At the end of the day, it’s only an abuse of the report system and 99% of those suspensions are automatic as well. It’s a cheap tactic to silence GamerGate, simple as that.

However, the constant refusal to admit that there are ethical concerns regarding certain websites (I’m talking about Kotaku here mostly), would be quite worrying if it wasn’t for that fact that most of us here think of Kotaku as a joke publication (and have done so for quite a few years).

It’s unfortunate that they don’t want to follow in the path of The Escapist, IGN or other websites and admit that there are ethical concerns that need to be addressed, but we really don’t care if they do so, since no one I know of goes to Kotaku anymore (with the rare exceptions where we get click-baited).

NG: Has the overall feeling surrounding GamerGate changed at Xbox? Has it widened exposure at the company? What’s the highest known level of pro-GamerGate folk, if you can say?

There are certainly more people aware of this movement. I can’t talk exactly about other studios in MS, but I’ve seen a couple of other anonymous MS devs popping up online (like the senior dev with his 6-projects plaque from 8chan).

As far as the highest level of pro-GG in the company, I would dare to say that there is a certain individual at the top of the top that is aware of GG and quite supportive of it. Other than that, our studio lead is supporting this movement as well and has done so since the beginning.

NG: Have you spoken with individuals from other developers/publishers about the entire movement? If so, could you divulge what they’ve said?

Yes, I actually have! A couple of colleagues and I have started a ‘mailing list’, so to say, between several developers across the AAA scene. We’ve so far discussed the gamergate issue and released a joint-statement a few weeks ago from our behalf; a screencap can be found here.

Everything said there still stands, and since then other devs from prominent companies such as EA, S2 Games and Blizzard have joined us. Most have remained anonymous on the public side, but some of them have released their statements in support of #gamergate on public platforms (I would like to keep their specific identities undisclosed for the time being as to not encourage targeted harassment against them).

NG: We’ve spoken to other developers about this kind of thing, many of them are afraid of coming out publicly. Both new and old. To recap, do you feel there’s a bias where anti-GamerGate can say whatever they want (and get away with it), while pro-GamerGate are condemned at every turn?

There is certainly a bias, and the witch-hunt for pro-gg devs is quite aggressive. This is the main reason why I’ve remained anonymous, as well as many other devs out there. In time, we hope, it will be possible for us to come out publicly with our opinions on GamerGate.

NG: Do you feel like the mainstream gaming press will only report on certain kinds of inclusive games? Do you feel like there’s a push to only focus on inclusion in games in reviews and coverage?

I don’t feel that only a certain kind of inclusive games are reported on, but I definitely recognize when some games out there get lower scores because of their lack of ‘inclusivity’. However, going by the statements made by certain publications and game media personalities, we will not have to be too bothered about that in the future.

There is a growing need to remove scores from game reviews, and more and more gamers are starting to embrace that idea. I strongly believe that soon enough, game scores will not be a standard in the gaming media (sucks for the marketing teams that plaster scores on trailers, but it does wonders for gamers looking to actually find out relevant info on titles).

NG: In your eyes, are the mainstream gaming media trying to be “gatekeepers” to the gaming culture, i.e. only approving what they deem appropriate?

They have been doing that for quite a while, but enjoyed success only on the indie-level. When top publications release something, you’ll be damn sure there is nothing stopping them from getting that marketing across to their audience (budgets with 9 figures are allocated for that, and no ‘gatekeeper’ can lift a finger about it).

If they mess up with the game, everyone will find out, not because of publications such as Kotaku and Polygon, but because of social platforms, prominent youtubers and/or friends.

NG: Has there been any risk with your identity since you’ve been supporting GamerGate?

There has been some. Only a couple of colleagues of mine know that I am ‘Xbro’, and everyone else in our studios is pretty much guessing. There have been people contacting various HR/PR outlets belonging to MS/Xbox in order to ‘man-hunt’ me, but their e-mails eventually end up with copy-pasted responses. No one will allocate resources or time to find a person that just expresses his/her honest opinions about something without breaking any NDAs or contractual agreements.

NG: Is GamerGate affecting Xbox internally – causing changing of ethics policies or something similar?

Absolutely not. Games and products are still made for our audience, and there is nothing that is going to change that. Money and gamers talk the loudest, so when I said that certain people on the anti-gg side have absolutely no influence on the actual game dev industry, I meant it.

Are people complaining en-masse about a product we released, causing low sales and billions lost in potential revenue? No problem, people are held to account for it, fresh ideas are brought in, and we start working on re-aligning ourselves with our main audience.

Does certain kind of games bring increased revenue to a publisher? Then they will certainly release more games like those in the future. This, like every other industry out there (especially an entertainment one), is driven by sales and profit. And you only get profit if your target audience is gamers, not a group of easily offendable people that don’t even play said games.

NG: So let’s get into the real meat of the discussion. How do you feel about IGDA founder Earnest W. Adams essentially threatening pro-GamerGate supports? Do you think his tweets are valid? Coming from this – how easy or difficult is it to get into the AAA game development scene?

Yes, I believe that the stance devs have on GamerGate threaten their careers. And here I will make a very bold statement: people like RogueStar, Phil Fish, Brianna Wu, Zoe Quinn and other will most certainly never going to find work in the AAA game industry.

Why? Because they are too toxic, and a hot potato that no hiring department will want to bring into their respective companies. When it comes to hiring in the AAA industry, most companies require you to go through a number of steps.

I’m talking about this from my experience in 3 different companies that developed games or software for game platforms. Initially, applicants are sieved by recruitment companies or by the hiring departments/HR people of the company they want to be a part of. Usually that means a telephone interview with a non-tech HR rep, online tests, assessment centers etc. After that, you have the actual interview that usually takes places with people you are going to work with (project leads, senior devs, studio leads (last one happens quite rarely, and is more common in smaller companies/studios)).

Before those two stages, all companies have what is called a HR screening or assessment. This might not be the case for all IT companies out there, but it certainly is for the AAA games industry. It sometimes is as simple as a standard background check to find out if a person has had previous convictions, if they are legally allowed to work in that country (for immigrants), or have the minimum qualifications listed for the opening (university, experience, diplomas etc). Most publishers however do more in-depth research for all their potential employees.

What they look for (and this I know from a HR rep at a previous employer) are things like public statements, social media accounts, new coverage, online presence etc. If you are a person that has displayed professional misconduct on a public platform that could bring harm to a company’s image (like Fish’s twitter meltdowns just to name an example), you will not make it past the HR screening. Your CV goes into the bin and you never get called back. Simple as that.

I want people to understand that this is not blacklisting. When AAA companies hire, they are interested in acquiring new assets that increases their productivity (usually for a project that went into full development), or fill in for loss of productivity due to someone leaving/getting fired. What they don’t want is employees that have a bad image in the general public or have a history of toxic behavior.

When HR sees people involved in major scandals (no matter what side they are on), and see that they’ve made offensive or otherwise extremely negative statements to certain groups, genders or ethnicities, they will consider them as a potential liability. Hiring them would be an unnecessary risk, considering there is always someone better out there anyway. They’d rather wait for more CVs than let in a potential time-bomb. Same goes for people that don’t seem to be doing much of what they are supposed to be doing (ie: have twitter accounts with 40 thousand tweets, almost none of which are game-dev related), or people that lead campaigns against what is to be the target audience of that particular company.

These are all examples of actions that will never get you hired in an AAA studio. In conclusion, W. Adams was right when he made that tweet. Speaking about #GamerGate will threaten your career. It has certainly made quite a few people un-hireable in the industry, both on the GG side, but mostly on the anti-GG side.

Remember however, that this applies to people that ‘lead’ such campaigns and make toxic statements and remarks about others, or use their ‘megaphone’ to spread lies, slander and vileness. Simply supporting or standing against #gamergate will not affect your chances of getting hired, as long as you behave like a decent human being and have civil conversations (something parts of Gamergate and the majority of anti-gg are not too good at). Do keep in mind that despite those facts, if you publicly display messages and statements such as: “I am anti-gamers”, “Kill all gamers” etc. you will NOT be hired in ANY games company. Anywhere. Ever. Mostly because, you know, we make games here; for gamers.

And, to finish this lengthy answer, I present you with my favorite quote by our studio lead in regards to my concerns that somehow, these kind of people might make it in the industry.

“Why are you so upset? You know we don’t hire professional victims, only professional developers.”

NG: How do you feel about games like Hatred? Should they have the right to exist? What about games with questionable content, or potentially offensive material? Does censoring/banning them go against the argument of games being considered art?

Games should never be censored. Ever. We have a content rating system in place the same as movies do and we can make great use of that. Just because certain people are offended by a certain game, that doesn’t mean it shouldn’t exist. It’s a stupid and absurd concept that would render the entire notion of content rating useless.

NG: Finally, what advice do you have for GamerGate supporters?

Basically keep doing what you are doing. Remember to send those e-mails and support the wonderful people that are trying to make a change for the better. Stop fighting on twitter with toxic opponents that compare us with Hitler and our action with the Holocaust. Let them get bored, and eventually they will leave. You are here to stay, because you are our audience and that will never, ever change.

The ‘battle’ is won regardless. Publications like Kotaku are losing relevance with each day, while websites with reviewed policies and independent curators/reviewers are more popular than ever (tipping the proverbial top hat to a certain brit out there). The entire games media industry is slowly but steadily changing, and there is nothing they can do about it.

Rest assured, the AAA industry will continue to have gamers as their main audience, and as long as you bitch and moan about a game or vote with your wallets on another, there will always be changes for the good as we move forward.

On a somewhat related note, please stop being harsh with our dev colleagues over at Ubisoft. They’ve worked their asses off to release the game with inhumane numbers of hours and overtime. It’s not their fault it turned up like this; no respectable dev and gamer would release a product in that state, but deadlines have always been a pain for this industry. That is a bigger issue that has to be addressed separately, because people that are not responsible for a product’s failure are being held accountable, and that is not fair at all. Remember, vote with your wallets and continue to complain, the guys in the suits will eventually hear you; they always do. Major improvements have happened from the simple fact that gamers complained by the hundreds of thousands (see the XOne and EA for example).


I’d like to thank Xbro again for speaking to me despite the potential backlash for what we discussed today.

I hope this encourages other developers to reach out to myself, as I will give you a platform to speak, alongside protecting your identity – should you choose to remain anonymous. Gamers need more encouragement from developers big and small, so anything you can say will help tremendously.

Brandon Orselli

About

Big Papa Overlord at Niche Gamer. Italian. Dad. Outlaw fighting for a better game industry. I also write about music, food, & beer. Also an IT guy.


  • Zzzz

    That link not working in the article?

  • BigDrulez95

    Damn. This is one of your best interviews, if not one of the best #GamerGate interviews PERIOD. It gives me a bit more hope for the future of the gaming industry, press, and community. Well done!

  • Pepipopa

    Aye the link to “our group statement can be viewed here” is not working

  • Cy

    Great interview. Whoever Xbro is I want to buy him a drink; and then buy every game he’s ever worked on. Sometimes it gets disheartening to see all the crap that people say about us, even for someone like me who isn’t even that involved with GG on a daily basis. It’s a great feeling to know that a lot of the people who actually matter, the game devs themselves, are on our side and share our frustrations and thoughts.

    And he has a good point about Ubisoft devs, too. The guys who make the game, especially in a giant company like that, shouldn’t get so much shit for decisions that are made over their head. The real problem is executives and marketing people who push a game out to meet a release date that they announced before they could guarantee the game would be able to meet it and still be what it was supposed to be. As much as I don’t like Ubisoft right now, and as much as I’m sick of Assassin’s Creed as a series, I still do have respect for all the games I’ve enjoyed from them over the years, and I’m still eagerly looking forward to Far Cry 4.

  • bell02

    Thank you Xbro, thank you niche! Let’s spread the article like fire ^^

    https://twitter.com/mahlehbah/status/534172961977409536

  • Desmond72

    Awesome

  • Guest

    Eh About FC4,

  • BigDrulez95
  • Nin

    This was a good interview.

    Their apathy towards Kotaku me an idea. Would it be possible to somehow make sure that Metacritic avoids including Kotaku, Polygon, and Gamasutra scores into the aggregated score?

  • Updated and fixed, I put the wrong url there

  • The Papist

    Thank you xbro.

    Also about ubisoft we know it’s a shill tactic, tell them not to worry.

  • Cy

    Oh Jesus, lol. I’ll have to return it when it gets here, then.

  • Topgeartony

    Such common sense. I’m happy someone’s finally saying this shit.

  • guest

    People calling in and trying to initiate manhunts for Xbro? People afraid of voicing their opinions. This is a climate of fear that we MUST stop.

  • vivianjames

    Thanks XBro! With all that has been happening your encouragement is much appreciated. Also thanks to Brandon and NG staff for providing quality reads.

  • Topgeartony

    That was one big redpill. Like, suppository size.

  • The Papist

    Although if there’s a witchunt going on someone should have a word with this guy at ubisoft about how to talk to “gamers”.

    https://twitter.com/cjkershner

  • SpaceRunaway

    I don’t think Kotaku gives # scores. That might be their sole redeeming value.

  • Punished Nick #4831

    I really like hearing this. Knowing we’re supported in AAA makes me feel validated right now. ONWARDS AND FORWARDS!

  • Jay Embee

    “Why are you so upset? You know we don’t hire professional victims, only professional developers.”

    BOOM! That’s exactly the way to say it!
    Great interview overall, and definitely a much-needed morale boost at this point in the fight!

  • Wonderkarp

    I think the best thing the Pro GG Devs can do is just keep doing their jobs and do them well. Dont give 2 shits what anybody says about their artistic direction and keep releasing games.
    The recent tweets regarding Farcry 4 with the word “Terrorist” Thrown at Gamergate yet again has just made me appreciate the Devs who actually care about their consumers.
    XBro and all : Keep up the good work!

  • Wonderkarp

    thankfully I never cared about Farcry to begin with. I bought Farcry 3 from a second hand shop and barely played it.

  • Pepipopa

    Great! Thanks. Great read.

  • Ritchet

    At this rate we’ll have a Neptunia game that covers Gamergate and it turns out Vert secretly supports the residents who fight against corruption dressed up as a magical girl known as Graceful Green!

  • dsadsada

    I’ve worked enough in software development and testing to know that Ubisoft devs shouldn’t be the ones to be blamed and that the suits are responsible. If it was actually an obscure bug that you need very specific circumstances to get, I can easily see a developer saying “ehh, it’s fine. Nobody will see it anyway” but from what I’ve been hearing about AC Unity, there’s no way any self respecting developer would have defended that.

    That being said, I’m glad to hear these things from Xbro. I mean sure, many of us have probably figured that this is how the industry on the developer’s side sees things but it’s always great to hear it from the people themselves. Wishing you and everyone else on your end of the code the best Xbro.

  • DoombotBL

    I hope people reporting this guy to his superiors for such a stupid remark at the bottom there. I don’t care that they are including SJW turds in their game, I won’t buy the game.
    Then he goes to compare a lot of good people to terrorists, THAT we don’t and should not stand for. Report him.

  • Won’tSomeoneThinkOfTheChildren

    Good one, Brandon “Duck Lips” Orselli

  • Terry Ferguson

    Excellent interview again, Brandon! This has renewed my hope in what we’re doing here. Gaming is changing, and there is little Polygon, Kotaku, and the like can do to stop it. And even after #GamerGate is over, its echos will be heard for years afterward.

  • DoombotBL

    Thanks for the morale boost Nichegamer and Xbro, we should definitely follow the advice of Xbro and always make our concerns heard at Xbox. In addition we should cut the devs from Ubisoft some slack and make sure the Ubisoft suits know how unhappy we are that the devs didn’t get a chance to properly finish and debug the game.
    We should be grownup enough to deal with delays as long as they’re to avoid situations like this.
    These aren’t the 16-bit games we grew up with. Video games are more complex and sophisticated than ever and with complexity come bugs.

  • realgamer07

    this article almost made me cry, we really are making a diference

  • hefestos002 .

    I think he’s right about Ubisoft. I’m not going to crucify them, i’ll just vote with my wallet so that they’ll stop dropping their spaguetti fucking everywhere.

    Keep fighting the good right xbro. It’s cool to know there’s some hope left on microsoft.

  • DarkAngelRafael

    Xbox. PlayStation. UbiSoft. EA. And more are on our side. This makes me happy! ^,..,^

  • KR_Badonkadonk

    A developer should not have to worry about losing their job just for standing up for their customers. It’s a climate of fear and it’s insane.

  • Gyr0Man

    Really good interview. I think we need to show the devs over at Ubi some compassion, I may hate AC with a passion and this recent flop makes it all the more sweeter, but the dev’s need a break. Corporate is the one screwing things up.

  • Jake Martinez

    Metacritic is actually a bigger problem than people realize, they will go and read a review that doesn’t have a score and make one up for it.

  • Jake Martinez

    The amusing thing is that his concept of “Social Justice” is offensive pandering. Let’s replace “Generic White Guy” with “Generic Non-White Guy”. JUSTICE ACHIEVED.

    If these people were more self aware they might be ashamed of the stuff they are saying.

  • Kain Yusanagi

    And her sister Vivian Purple? ;P

  • DynastyStar

    Is RogueStar really that toxic? I never really saw his tweets before he got banned, and I imagine looking up for screenshots of his tweets would be the worst possible examples, possibly taken out of context. Can somebody tell me an example of some of his toxicity?

  • Zurrix

    Can you give an example? I’ve never seen that, except when they turn a #/5 rating into a percentage.

  • Max

    I appreciate hearing from someone in the industry, but one thing seems a bit strange. If sites like Kotaku etc have no influence and nobody in the industry cares about them, why is it supporters of GamerGate have to remain anonymous, while anti GamerGate developers can publicly spew hatred. we even have people working for major companies like Blizzard endorsing a post calling for gas chambers. Something is not right here.

  • Mr.TopKek

    Man, I really want to buy an Xbox One because of this guy.

  • kasey307

    Great interview!!!

  • VoluntaryGramerNazi

    He’s like Phil Fish, except on our side. I’m sad to say I’m consistently embarassed by his twitter behaviour since I hoped we could be the rational side in all of this.

  • www

    That stuff about Ubi makes me sad, for them to put all that effort in and have it turn out awful must feel terrible. On the other hand make something new already. Xbro has also made me look on MS in a much better light after the Xbone’s launch, now if only it had some games.

  • Nin

    He’s somewhat unhinged, perhaps due to his military background (though in the end, that’s still not a very good excuse). Not quite as crazy as Phil Fish or the prominent SJW’s involved, but I still can’t blame the AAA industry for not wanting to hire the guy.

    There’s just something about Filipinos and the internet. Maybe my part whiteness helps me avoid the worst of it, but my relatives start acting sort of insane and narcissistic on the internet. Well, more than usual, anyways.

  • BottledWater

    Great article NG. Added to my feed to replace all the SJW BS the regular guys have been dishing out.

  • Sarron

    We really should give less crap to ubisoft devs and focus on the publisher’s deadlines. We should encourage expanding the development time of games so they get released polished like they should,

  • Blarty

    Fantastic article – As Bob Dylan sang “The times they are a-changin'”

    It’s time to show a lot of these self-important, imperious, pretentious twitter ‘celebs’ and games journalists and their ‘open-season on gamers’ blogging sites how utterly irrelevant they are to gamers.

    It’s time to reboot – go to podcasts/YTers you enjoy, Cheshire Cat Studios is my newest sub of choice, I’ve started to frequent here and other sites that I didn’t know exist 6 months ago and I couldn’t be more settled now.

    Conversely, when I go to some of my older gaming sites, I feel nothing but ambivalence to their writing and their blatant near gerrymandering of their readership.

  • Tyrannikos

    Metacritic is one of the worst things to happen to this industry. It directly harms developers in a severe way (Look up Obsidian getting shafted if you didn’t already know about it – that’s just one example).

    Metacritic has zero redeeming value.

  • Erodred

    I love you nichgamer

  • JC Ashcott

    He explained it, you might have missed it.

    Has to do with the hiring process and harassment by anti-ggers.

  • 2501

    “Why are you so upset? You know we don’t hire professional victims, only professional developers.”

    That is such a great quote.

    I really liked the discussion about the HR and recruitment process in AAA, social media can bring out the worst of people.

  • Softclocks

    This was an incredible interview.

    Xbro and NicheGamer continue hitting it out of the park.

  • Cole Pram

    I do feel bad for RogueStar. It’s an unfortunate truth, he will always be under a microscope and anyone that does hire him for AAA will be hounded by antis like what happened with the Escapist interview they had to take down.

    I will personally be supporting him as an indi dev. He’s done a lot to help bring us together and should be reward for standing with the consumers while many devs remain silent or speak out against us like Wolfire Games did.

    I’ll never personally buy from Wolfire Games after the comments they made to, and about, me on twitter.

  • Akumanoid

    It kind of sucks. Roguestar has the kind of outspoken personality I’ve come to expect from a Marine. To think some HR person wouldn’t hire him for being honest, well…

    Oh who am I kidding? The glorious bastard is running his own company for a reason, and I expect his games to be awesome. Someday, he may be the fucking AAA developer that people want to apply to.

  • chromecommando

    Man do I ever more feel so grateful of hearing that most our industry got our back and we theirs. Thank you Xbro and all the developers, outspoken or not who realize that we are not here to destroy your future. We are also alongside you here to improve it. Because like you, we customers too care about this.

    It is a passion we all share and a passion that is not easily burnt out. Thank you NicheGamer and all of my fellow GamerGate supporters. You guys are awesome as always. Keep on rockin’ as you have done so far. =)

  • SeedzChick69

    Actually, They did. But instead of 0-10, They give 0 or 1.

  • Cole Pram

    He’s no where near as bad as Phil Fish. He is a bit … over dramatic though, language is very militaristic.

    When I read his tweets it always came off as him yelling like a drill Sargent.

  • Thomas Fährmann

    I can understand that a company would think twice going into a relationship with him. He is a good guy, honest to the bone and a real man. He must be as a dedicated soldier for your country. for any country!
    No one can deny that he is one of the guys actualy doing the work that could gets you killed, BAM and you are fucking dead. Thats his background and so i completely understand his attitude. But that doesnt mean a gaming company likes very outspoken persons of topics or issues that are so “controversial”. I wish him all the best… not gaming related only but in his life as a whole! He deserves it as a vet! And i´m not even an US citizen ;)

  • DynastyStar

    btw, a quick statement on the closing statement about giving Ubisoft less shit. I do not give the developers of said games shit. I give the publisher, Ubisoft shit. I don’t buy Ubisoft because they’re a bad publisher. Okay, the game’s unplayable at launch, IF I were to buy the game and have to put up with the DRM Ubisoft made them put on the game. I’d wait until after launch when the game has some reviews up and I can get the general consumer consensus of the idiots that preordered the game or bought it day 1. Since it was released so buggy, one of two outcomes would occur if I were to buy said game: 1) They patch it after a few days or a week or something or 2) they don’t patch it at all or they finally patch it after a couple months(and by then I probably won’t hear that they patched it or forgot about the game) which results me not buying their game at all. I don’t feel it is right to excuse the publishers at Ubisoft because of the developers. The developers are free to leave and join up with a studio that’ll be more fair with them or start up their own studio. Perhaps that would make Ubisoft reconsider how they treat their developers. I feel that good developers deserve better than Ubisoft.

  • Fenrir007

    The context is that Microsoft is doing it. The reason is simple – Microsoft wants no part whatsoever in this debacle on any side, and by outing himself as a developer on Microsoft as well as mentioning several of his colleagues are highly supportive of GG, MS must be afraid people may interpret this as Microsoft taking a stand.

    I know this is shitty, of course. But this is pretty much what any big game company would do. Employees are barred from making this kind of statement on social plataforms. It’s basically self preservation, corporate style.

  • Fenrir007

    At least on the PC side, Ubisoft has been consistent on their behavior oif releasing broken messes of games and either failling to patch it or patching it after long months of waiting. My latest Ubi game was Watch_Dogs, which I only got because it came for free with my 780ti. Upon installing it, I was completely suprised by how awfully it ran on high tier hardware that came BUNDLED WITH IT! If you bundle a game with a GPU, it is safe to assume the game was tested on that hardware. Yet it ran like garbage. I was even more surprised when I saw people with 2x 6gb Titans having the exact same problems. Apparently it had something to do with the unified memory architecture that is great for consoles, but awful for PCs (fuck optimization, right?).

    They only fixed it very recently, and even then I hear people with SLI’s are still borked. Seriously, fuck Ubisoft!

  • Fenrir007

    Thanks for the interview, Brandon! And thanks for daring to speak out, Xbro! You both keep up the good work!

  • Nonscpo

    The big guy over at Playstation NA was interviewed about a ton of stuff including #Gamergate. Needless to say they kept it about harrasing women and did not bring up corruption in the industry or journalism. Enjoy:

    http://venturebeat.com/2014/11/17/sonys-north-american-playstation-chief-on-ps4s-dominance-1-year-anniversary-and-gamergate-interview/view-all/

  • Kris Godwin

    Wow. This was a fantastic read. It’s often easy to assume that Microsoft are the big bad evil corporation that represents everything wrong with gaming – but really, they’re the same as any other company; full of hard working developers that really deserve a bigger voice in the community, and who are dedicated to creating great products (despite its rough start, the Xbox One has come in leaps and bounds).

    Are there ignorant suits and shareholders? Sure, but every firm has them. The key is to focus your dissatisfaction of the industry’s woes with THEM, and not the ‘ideas’ guys and girls who craft the products we enjoy.

    I don’t particularly follow the whole GamerGate drama, but I definitely am aware that there has been some serious misrepresentation going on; and that people like Anita Sarkeesian are blatantly false liars who care nothing about gender equality – it’s as obvious as the morning sunrise!

  • Jess

    Some much needed motivation!
    I’m sad Roguestar popped up in the list of unemployables but I understand why it’s come to that. :c

  • Topgeartony

    Somebody get Idea Factory on the phone ASAP.

  • Brit Bong

    Very good interview. Thanks to you bro and nichegamer for hosting it.

    I do feel sympathy regarding the dev team at ubisoft.
    Not enough to rush out and buy the broken game, but I get that they’re under the gun and had to get the product out at agreed release date.

    Perhaps in time publishers will be a little more understanding on that factor as the sales figures don’t support the early releases whereas the fixed product sells well.

  • ZURATAMA1324

    It is nice to know that the actual developers of games don’t give a damn about what toxic journalists say.
    I was worried that they were relevant.

  • Perplexico

    Metacritic is useful in the same way that RottenTomatoes is–it gives consumers a quick glance at the state of critical reviews for a piece of art or pop culture.

    The fact that certain publishers or developers obsess over it, or make stupid decisions based on it, isn’t the fault of Metacritic or the critics.

    Why is it that the movie industry can come out with movies that are critically PANNED, but still end up as blockbuster hits of the summer that make money hand over fist? (See any of Michael Bay’s movies, especially the Transformers sequels). But somehow, it’s only problematic in the gaming industry?

    Scores are arbitrary, and thus fallible, but if they had “zero redeeming value,” people wouldn’t be interested in them and the site would get no traffic.

  • RandomDev

    No, it’s just some uptight feminists mad that someone isn’t doing what they want!

  • Cenobite

    “Games and products are still made for our audience, and there is nothing that is going to change that. Money and gamers talk the loudest, so when I said that certain people on the anti-gg side have absolutely no influence on the actual game dev industry, I meant it.”

    Spot On! This is why our opponents resort to Doxing, Swatting, Employer Harassing, Censorship, and Lies. It is why they hate us so much. Because somewhere in the backs of their minds they know that they are impotent here.

    They try to say it’s about misogyny, bigotry, sexism, racism, and any other ism you can think of. Well I got a few isms that it is about.

    Journalism, and how these sites, and those who write for them have turned it into a mockery of what it should be.

    Professionalism, and how the meaning of that word is completely lost on our opponents. It’s as alien a concept to them as algebra is to a chimpanzee.

    Elitism, and how they think they are better than everyone, above it all, that laws, and common decency do not apply to them.

    And last but not least. Authoritarianism. They want to tell you what is acceptable, what is not, what you can say, think, and do. Not to any agreed upon legal standards, but to their arbitrary, and incessant whining.

  • Crazy_O

    Great interview! I’m not much of a console gamer (except handhelds) but this at least makes me happy owning a windows pc.

  • Roxie

    A secret email list for “certain” chosen developers? Sounds like collusion to me. Definitely should be reported.

  • FuryOfFirestorm

    They don’t actually want to be hired by AAA developers. Those companies only want people with the skill and drive to spend several months working to make quality games, not some SJW that fucks around with TWINE for 30 minutes, shits out a non-game, then goes out for PBRs and whines about how no one takes them seriously because they’re a woman.

  • Thanatos2k

    How can a site that merely presents available reviews and averages their scores have no redeeming value? It has enormous value merely by the centralized nature of curation.

    What has no redeeming value are PUBLISHERS that make contracts that are based in any way on metacritic.

    THEY deserve your scorn, not metacritic.

  • Ryan Juel

    I don’t regret buying mine. It’s got enough good titles to warrant picking up by now.

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  • Matty

    Except for when they lobby and bully/shame developers into hiring them as consultants in games, end up putting themselves into video games, and then start lobbying for online harassment laws that invade privacy and stifle free speech online…

  • Tyrannikos

    The publishers have my scorn too, as do players who buy into review scores too much. Anyone who upholds the harmful outlook of review scores being the key to success, I think, is harming the industry.

    Until Metacritic opens up about how exactly it creates its scores for games, I see it as inherently harmful to the industry. If it dropped scores and just collected reviews for viewing, I wouldn’t be so hostile towards it.

    I understand this view on review scores is somewhat extreme.

  • Thanatos2k

    It creates the scores by averaging them. I know it has a small bullshit factor based on “credibiliy of publications” but that doesn’t effect things much. A straight average is almost always within a point or two, so that doesn’t matter.

  • Tyrannikos

    What about letter grades? 5-scale review scores? 10-scale? How does it accurately and efficiently translate those into a 100-scale score? What is the difference between an 84 and an 85? Does that one point difference really translate into such a negative difference a studio doesn’t deserve a bonus? I just don’t buy into it. I think Metacritic is too iffy to be trusted.

  • Thanatos2k

    Why do people get so uppity about the difference between a 84 and an 85? It’s just a small difference. So what.

    It’s pretty easy to convert 5 point and 10 point scale scores to a 100 point scale…simple math.

    Letter grades are one of metacritic’s flaws though, because it uses a flawed conversion for those. It uses the conversion used in the movie section of metacritic that uses the entire number scale unlike video games which use the 4 point scale:
    http://tvtropes.org/pmwiki/pmwiki.php/Main/FourPointScale

    Fortunately, only 1up used letter grades, and they no longer do so, so this isn’t really a problem anymore.

  • thatnorwegianguy

    I am gonna go buy an xbox one now I feels like the right thing to do after reading this.

  • Jay Stew

    EBOLA

  • Max Headroom

    Entirely correct.

  • Fantastic interview. I love what he said about the gamers wallets speaking the loudest and why people like Quinn will never be in the big leagues. I think people overestimate the SJW’s power sometimes.

  • John

    Xbro is full of crap. I’ve worked in the game industry for years and his views are absolutely fringe and in the minority. Don’t believe a word of this…most of the game industry is very much in opposition to GamerGate, despite what you fools are led to believe. The game industry will continue to evolve for the better; GG is going to simply become extinct eventually.