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#GamerGate Interview – Anonymous Xbox Edition

xbox one dev controller gamergate 09-17-14-1

With the battle for gaming’s soul still raging on in the trenches of the #GamerGate, I got a mysterious tip off from some fans that a developer from Microsoft was looking for a trustworthy outlet to give him the soapbox to voice his concerns over the fiasco.

The above image of his developer controller was also shown to me alongside his developer unit, which also had some other things shown to confirm his authenticity at the company. I wish I could say more, but I can’t in order to protect his identity.

We promptly exchanged emails and finally came to an interview of sorts, the results of which you can find below.

Niche Gamer: So I’d like to start off with you explaining just how concerning the implications of #GamerGate are within your company. Do you as a company fear censorship, fear mongering, and so on?

Xbox Developer: First of all, I can only speak from a personal perspective, as well as the ones of my colleagues in my studio. Microsoft is a huge company with numerous studios and tens of thousands of employees, so I can’t claim to know what everyone is thinking.

However, in our studio, there are no massive repercussions affecting our usual work following the reveals in #GamerGate. Also, because of how big Microsoft is as an entity, we, as individuals are somewhat protected from censorship and harassment. I mean, let’s be logical here, you can’t censor or harass Microsoft as a whole, that would be an absurd thing.

That being said, my colleagues and I are quite revolted at what some game ‘journalists’ have stated about gamers. Many of us here come from game dev backgrounds (myself included), and as such, are passionate gamers to begin with.

Do you think a serious lack of ethics is rampant in the gaming media? Have you experienced any of it firsthand, i.e. sleazy interactions with journalists, blackmailing, etc?

Yes, the gaming media is plagued by corruption, colluding, and blatant lack of ethics. That is becoming increasingly obvious as the people behind #GamerGate uncover more and more dirt on publications, journalists and even some devs.

Again, due to the fact that I am a small part of a tremendous entity, I have not been subjected to such interactions with journalists, but have seen such cases over the medias.

How do you feel about the calling for Game X to not exist because it doesn’t coincide with what Journalist X or Youtube Critic X doesn’t like, personally or professionally? It seems like a blatant “all or nothing” mentality is rampant in their calling for more inclusion in games. Coming from this, has your company taken any steps to have more inclusion within games?

I believe that inclusion within games (and, in my case, game consoles) is a normal step in the evolution of gaming. They are becoming more open, complex and customizable products with each passing year. For example, our company has tailored the Xbox One for a broader audience, and despite lower sale numbers than the competition, we have successfully brought our device into the homes of people that normally wouldn’t have bought a game console.

However, that is not an excuse to completely ignore, censor or otherwise blacklist a particular game or product simply because it doesn’t go well with your beliefs. A good journalist or reviewer needs to be objective. He needs to have the correct mindset of a person that can embrace true lack of bias and he has to know how to properly separate facts from personal opinion when writing about a game. If he simply dismisses it because he thinks it doesn’t meet a certain inclusive standard, then he can’t even call himself a reviewer, let alone a journalist.

Do you think gamers by nature, with their actions in fighting for #GamerGate, are misogynists? How do you personally feel about the movement in general?

I don’t believe that #GamerGate stands for misogyny, nor is it tainted by people that support such a concept (or racism for that matter). #GamerGate was never about excluding women from the industry, and proof of that is the sub-movement #NotYourShield, which shows thousands upon thousands of minorities standing up against being used as cheap ammo in the hand of the anti-#GamerGate SJWs and corrupt journalists.

Because of #GamerGate, a feminist group’s video game project was funded, awareness of women in this industry has spiked, and people banded together in the most unusual of alliances, and has even caused some journalist publications to review their ethics and internal rules.

I personally believe that #GamerGate has been an issue brewing for some years now. Gamers have finally had enough of the shadiness in the industry and decided to stand up against it. I applaud them for that, and feel honored to be part of it alongside friends and colleagues.

As for the attacks happening over Twitter and other medias, you have to consider the fact that there are people out there that identify themselves as gamers, and at the same time like to violently spread hatred and threats. These are just a vocal minority, and statistically speaking, a very common thing amongst large groups of people.

Has there been talk within your company regarding GamerGate? Just how widely is it spoken about?

It started off as e-mails being sent out in several mailing lists, then we began talking about it at lunch or at the bar after work. Now it has reached a point where we even had informal gatherings at the office to discuss it.

Some of my colleagues however are not as involved as others, and that is perfectly understandable. They have busier lives, families to take care of and other things on their mind. Don’t imagine the employers at Xbox department X as a bunch of people getting their pitchforks and torches out every morning as one guy (or girl) sitting at the center of the room reads the latest news about #GamerGate out loud. We still have a job, and lives outside that job that doesn’t revolve all the time around the internet or the industry we are part of.

We are all affected and involved in different levels, but we are aware of the issue, and almost all of us are supporting it.

If enough corroborating evidence is brought forward, do you think it would be appropriate to ask for the resignation of major players involved in this scandal?

I think enough evidence has already been brought forward, although I seriously doubt the people involved will have the honor or decency to resign. For some, I would say that legal actions should be taken, or at least official investigations should be opened.

It’s still early into the conflict to know for sure how it will even end (although I am pretty sure that #GamerGate will prevail in the end). After all the dust has settled, we’ll be able to tell for sure who did what, and make sure the gaming public is well aware of their names.

With your experience in the industry, have you ever experienced an outlet demanding some sort of compensation for proper coverage, if not coverage at all?

This is a little bit more complicated. I am relatively young in the industry (4-5 years of experience), so I can’t say that I’ve experienced that personally. However, we are all aware of scandals regarding big companies/publishers and game press. The DoritosGate, the Xbox One Youtube vids ‘incentive’, etc. Some sites have shown such blatant discrepancy between their reviewing guidelines that they’ve become common jokes (i.e. “10/10 IGN” slapped on franchises that offer no new experiences for gamers).

Do you think GamerGate can have real implications on the gaming industry? Do you feel that game developers and publishers will ever take a stance against the gamers, in favor of the gaming press?

Yes, I am sure #GamerGate will have implications on the industry as a whole. We have reached a tipping point where things need to be brought to light, re-evaluated, and ultimately changed. Ethics and standards need to be revised and imposed, big companies themselves need to be told that it’s not okay to have fat ad contracts and huge banners of their future games/products on a publication website that will inevitably have to review said game. They need to stop using the corruption in the game ‘journalism’ industry to sell a few more copies.

That, however, is at the top level. For the rest of us grunts, as well as the indie devs, we are already supporting #GamerGate (with a few exceptions I won’t even mention; people that use non-issues in the industry such as misogyny and racism to push their own unscrupulous agendas). We want equality amongst ourselves, we want the little guys to be noticed when they come up with great games; we want the big AAA publishers to acknowledge that some of their products might not be up to standard. We want all of that to happen in a nice, uncensored environment, where accredited journalists present their articles and separate facts from personal opinion, without being involved directly with the dev or have any conflict of interest.

That might sound like a naïve dream, but I am willing to continue fighting for it.

Lastly, what do you think the Gamer Gate movement should do, to keep momentum and reach new milestones in the pursuit of truth, ethics, and justice.

Keep going. That’s all I can tell the people behind #GamerGate. In the past week I’ve done as much as I could to try and raise awareness without endangering my career. I really hope that knowing the devs are behind them will motivate them enough to keep on fighting for the truth.

That being said, I re-iterate the fact that we are against harassment, hate speech and violence. These SJWs and the puppet masters behind them need to be fought with facts, proof, and professionalism, despite the fact that they are doing the exact opposite.

Also, despite the major censorship currently affecting several websites, we have to keep in mind that such things are to be expected from the corrupt few that we are trying to expose. They cannot silence us forever, and eventually they will have to answer for their wrongdoings.


I wanted to thank our Xbox dev for speaking to me, and everyone for being so patient and so amazingly supportive of our website in the past few weeks. I seriously cannot thank you guys enough for making all the hard work on this site finally be worth it.

We have a home, now, here for these kinds of games and we’re fighting for the right to enjoy them – free of their ridiculous mantra and censorship. If you hang on for the ride, I promise things will only get better, and we’ll keep fighting for you guys – because we’re gamers too!

, ,
Brandon Orselli

About

Owner and Publisher at Niche Gamer and Nicchiban. Outlaw fighting for a better game industry. Pronouns: Patriarch, Guido, Olive.



52 comments
  1. Ben (Broken)
    Ben (Broken)
    September 18, 2014 at 12:06 am

    This was informative and uplifting. I’m glad at least some people at microsoft looked into this,gave Gamer-gate a chance,and found themselves on the side of the consumers as opposed to being on the side the sensationalist obsessed faux sjw journalists!

  2. SailHatan
    SailHatan
    September 18, 2014 at 12:08 am

    This needs more coverage. I’ll help.

    Also, adblock -> disable -> reload -> spam click ads <3

  3. dodoking
    dodoking
    September 18, 2014 at 12:10 am

    woo hoo

  4. Wisdomcube2000
    Wisdomcube2000
    September 18, 2014 at 12:10 am

    Well I’m glad I already own an xbox one or I would have had to go out and buy one after reading this.

    Fantastic work NicheGamer, and thank you to this X1 Dev for having the courage to speak out on this. I only hope this inspires more to do the same :)

  5. SailHatan
    SailHatan
    September 18, 2014 at 12:11 am

    Also, great job, this actually improves my view of microsoft. It’s really great to hear that everyone there generally agrees on the matter, and that even big developers hear the plight of the little guy & the industry in general.

  6. Edward
    Edward
    September 18, 2014 at 12:12 am

    Props for standing up.

  7. DarkAngelRafael
    DarkAngelRafael
    September 18, 2014 at 12:13 am

    Power to the people! ✊

  8. MisterIncredible
    MisterIncredible
    September 18, 2014 at 12:14 am

    Could you make the questions and answers a bit more distinct from eachother? Make the answers in italic or something.

  9. Morso Denutink
    Morso Denutink
    September 18, 2014 at 12:18 am

    DISABLE AD-BLOCK.

    These site deserves our support.

  10. foo
    foo
    September 18, 2014 at 12:19 am

    “That being said, I re-iterate the fact that we are against harassment, hate speech and violence. These SJWs and the puppet masters behind them need to be fought with facts, proof, and professionalism, despite the fact that they are doing the exact opposite.”

    Keep in mind SJW’s aren’t left or feminist, they’re just opportunists in it for $$, backrubs.

    http://j-k-degoya.tumblr.com/

    Please don’t damn the left for their behavior read the blog above for an idea of how politically broad this all is

    Read more at http://nichegamer.net/2014/09/gamergate-interview-anonymous-xbox-edition/#pt7XbIE1gzSx8meX.99

  11. Dissentient
    Dissentient
    September 18, 2014 at 12:20 am

    Of course people at Microsoft are not evil, they studied and worked hard to get into the company and be assigned to large projects, such as Xbox development.
    Same can be said about engineers at Apple or game developers at studios owned by EA.
    It just doesn’t matter. Large corporations are not defined by their ordinary employees but by people who make decisions. And those people at microsoft clearly don’t value consumers, not to mention that they don’t have any idea what they want.

  12. brizk
    brizk
    September 18, 2014 at 12:21 am

    Thank you very much NicheGamer and Anon Xbox Dev for the interview. It’s nice to know that even the devs are tired of these corrupt SJW game journalists.

    NG added to my whitelist!

  13. Eliah Ryan
    Eliah Ryan
    September 18, 2014 at 12:24 am

    Great interview, thank you for adding your voice to #GamerGate it is good to occasionally get reassurance from developers that we are doing the right thing even if it is from anon.

  14. Fenrir7
    Fenrir7
    September 18, 2014 at 12:33 am

    Great article!! Thanks guys!

  15. Keinart
    Keinart
    September 18, 2014 at 12:36 am

    Wake up, get the information I was looking for from the TGS in a second and then find this nice interview. You guys are rocking it hard and I’ve put you the first in my favorite websites list for gaming. Of course adblock disabled.

    Keep up the good work!

  16. Brandon Orselli
    Brandon Orselli
    September 18, 2014 at 12:38 am

    Done. Now I’m really going to bed xD

  17. Billy
    Billy
    September 18, 2014 at 12:40 am

    I’ll definitely do an article about this at OAG. Thank you for the interview. This will give hope to a lot of people who have been feeling pretty down about all the censorship happening across the web.

    We definitely shouldn’t give up an inch after they deliberately tried taking down the 4chan base and attempting to cause dissension on the Escapist forums. More positive articles that bring awareness to the issue like this one here are very important.

    Thank you once again, and keep fighting the good fight.

    http://imgur.com/03DyeQW.gif

  18. Dan Schmidt
    Dan Schmidt
    September 18, 2014 at 12:40 am

    adblock off for @thenichegamer and look forward to enjoying more of your content in the future. #GamerGate

  19. AnarKreig
    AnarKreig
    September 18, 2014 at 12:42 am

    It’s great to hear that not all developers are willing to sit idly by, figuratively. Even anonymous voices as in the article are great for reinvigorating the #GamerGate movement.

  20. SailHatan
    SailHatan
    September 18, 2014 at 12:43 am

    I’m with you 100%

    Except Apple who inherently are indeed evil

  21. Carl B.
    Carl B.
    September 18, 2014 at 12:50 am

    Really great to hear a dev come out and say what we’ve been wanting to hear: That they follow GG, they support GG, and they are well aware of the collusion and cronyism going on in the ranks of journalists.

    Stephen Totilo can’t refute this.

  22. Sirius B.0+S.0
    Sirius B.0+S.0
    September 18, 2014 at 12:50 am

    Based.

  23. Grizzly Bear
    Grizzly Bear
    September 18, 2014 at 12:56 am

    I totally agree with you. Unfortunately, there will always be a way to refute this for people who have dug in their heals on the issue. Financial gain is very powerful motivation.

  24. Penguin
    Penguin
    September 18, 2014 at 1:04 am

    Aaaand AdBlock disabled.

  25. TheLastSandwichOnEarth
    TheLastSandwichOnEarth
    September 18, 2014 at 1:24 am

    disabling ad block and adding this site to my white list

  26. Vinzenz Stemberg
    Vinzenz Stemberg
    September 18, 2014 at 1:25 am

    I never really minded big ads so long as it wasn’t a freakin’ huge swf or had sound. It’s the reviews that are a major problem. Also if a game is negatively reviewed, but they still want to advertise it, I think they should put the review below the video/image.
    My cousin has lots of gun and tool magazines lying around, and when you read those, you will actually SEE BAD REVIEWS about companies/products being advertised. The reviews and the ads need a larger window of separation.

  27. Arty McBert
    Arty McBert
    September 18, 2014 at 1:42 am

    I’d buy you a Mountain Dew for your amazing work, Niche Gamer, although I’m more of a Coke guy myself. Please keep up the good work!

  28. Siku
    Siku
    September 18, 2014 at 1:45 am

    I would suggest to click them once at best. Spam clicking may cause AdSense (or other advertisers) to count them as potential paid clicks or other underhanded means of getting clicks and discredit them.

  29. BeholdMyPower
    BeholdMyPower
    September 18, 2014 at 2:09 am

    It’s really motivating to see a dev speak up, particuarly as they are saying that there are many more of them on board with GG. I hope this is the turning point where other devs will come aout to add their voices to the discussion.

  30. Jut
    Jut
    September 18, 2014 at 2:14 am

    Oh that was brilliant! A top notch article. Places like Kotaku could learn from writing like this.

  31. Chaz Davis
    Chaz Davis
    September 18, 2014 at 3:31 am

    There’s hope for the future of gaming, as long as we win.

  32. Crazy_O
    Crazy_O
    September 18, 2014 at 4:14 am

    This is why I started to visit this website 3-5 times a day. I didn’t doubt that you were sincere with your offer to speak to gamedevs but I had my doubts that you’ll get someone who is willing to. But you delivered.

    I followed a certain other website over 9 years. They told my I’m dead. My undead clicks belong to you now.

  33. Wolfe
    Wolfe
    September 18, 2014 at 4:31 am

    Thank you very much for this interview, and thank you Mr Anon for coming out (even anonymously) to speak on behalf of those of you on the other side of the fence. We at GamerGate stand by you and hope to see a future with a balanced, fair coverage of the industry just as much as you do.
    I’ll spread this around my social network contacts in hopes it gets more coverage.

  34. Wolfe
    Wolfe
    September 18, 2014 at 4:31 am

    Good advice. I clicked both.

  35. Dickbutt
    Dickbutt
    September 18, 2014 at 5:12 am

    Great interview and and great read although I would have waited a few days to release it since it kinda goes under in all the stuff that is been happening since yesterday.

  36. mgs2ss
    mgs2ss
    September 18, 2014 at 5:49 am

    Good idea. This is the first site I’ve ever turned off adblock on.

  37. Madbrainbox
    Madbrainbox
    September 18, 2014 at 6:23 am

    I don’t use adblock at all.Instead I try to focus my attention on the sites/people I want to support and ignore the rest.

  38. Thunder Butt
    Thunder Butt
    September 18, 2014 at 6:46 am

    Good advice, I’ve been doing that a lot these past few weeks. Sites that are at least willing to talk unbiasedly deserve our support.

  39. Jess
    Jess
    September 18, 2014 at 7:27 am

    Thank goodness we finally have an opinion from somebody in the industry. Although I suspect they’ll still dismiss him as some oblivious neckbeard. ¬.¬

  40. Andrew 'Wolfie' Woolford
    Andrew 'Wolfie' Woolford
    September 18, 2014 at 7:48 am

    I just realised I still had Adblock on, woops, turned it off, and loved the article.

  41. Mark Samenfink
    Mark Samenfink
    September 18, 2014 at 9:24 am

    The thirst for integrity is real

  42. Donwel
    Donwel
    September 18, 2014 at 11:18 am

    Thank you nichegamer for covering this and thank you xbox dev guy for coming forward, it’s good to know that the people making the games see what is going on.
    I was wanting to get into the industry at one point and even got my degree in computer games tech (programming, graphic design, audio etc.) but seeing the propaganda spreading and abuse toward the audience from ‘journalists’ has left me wanting to pursue a different career path. Articles like this do give me hope though.

  43. DeweyDefeatsTruman
    DeweyDefeatsTruman
    September 18, 2014 at 12:13 pm

    There were literally two websites I had adblock disabled on before today, and while there are still only two things have changed. I shouldn’t have to name which website got the axe and which one got on the whitelist.

  44. Brit Bong
    Brit Bong
    September 18, 2014 at 5:16 pm

    Thankyou for publishing this interview and thankyou xbox dev for speaking out. Even anonymous contributions help us all.

  45. Cody Long
    Cody Long
    September 18, 2014 at 6:11 pm

    I dunno, I might sell out for backrubs. Backrubs are pretty nice.

  46. Alistair
    Alistair
    September 19, 2014 at 3:56 pm

    But isn’t all or nothing normal in fact if a game is so edit (censored) & I know you lot niche hate it as much as me you would vote with your wallet.

    & boycott them, but I don’t know I’m so tired never slept much last night due to a certain scotland thing.

    If you play censored games you just given ammo to these so-called silver spoon month babies SJWs.

    I never buy South park, or beyond two souls if I did buy them it be from a bargain bin.

  47. Alistair
    Alistair
    September 19, 2014 at 4:01 pm

    About gamergate being NOT misogyny that is so right. In fact it not even sexist.

    Why because the cartoon lolis in sexual pose are not erotic as watching real porn. lol

  48. Mastermind Simpleton
    Mastermind Simpleton
    September 19, 2014 at 9:12 pm

    Disabled ad-block. good interview.

  49. ChopperDave
    ChopperDave
    September 22, 2014 at 9:43 am

    Turned adblock off, and bookmarked you guys. You’re now my current news source for all things games related. Thanks for discussing this issue.

  50. ProjectJeff
    ProjectJeff
    September 27, 2014 at 4:30 am

    Xbox fan here. Really enjoyed the interview. I give it a big thumbs up! ;)