Apex Legends developer Respawn Entertainment has come forward and addressed the growing harassment against its developers.
In a statement posted on Twitter, the studio said, “Recently, we have seen increased harassment towards members of our development team. We welcome community input, however, the line between constructive feedback and the harassment of our dev team cannot be crossed”. Respawn also put out a stern warning and said that it has a zero-tolerance policy for threats against its devs and that it will be taking appropriate action against the perpetrators of such harassment.
The statement has received industry-wide support where Bungie, YouTuber streamer CouRage, and God of War's Cory Barlog, have all extended their sympathies for Respawn in this troubled time. Respawn has also mentioned that despite all this, it's still looking forward to hearing player feedback to uphold the integrity of its game and foster a respectful environment.
While game developers being harassed isn’t new, it is sad to see it becoming a common sight. Something similar happened with Bungie recently. The Destiny 2 developers received all sorts of threats, to the extent where someone threatened to burn down the Bungie HQ. Bungie later sued the person responsible for this to ensure it doesn’t happen again. Consequently, Bungie decided to go radio silent and didn't engage with the community for a while to ensure the safety of its employees.
Elsewhere, God of War Ragnarok developers were also harassed online with explicit photos in a bid to get an update on the game’s release date. Director Cory Barlog was furious over this as some employees had also received misogynistic abuse earlier due to the game being delayed. Barlog addressed this matter and ask the community to "Show some fucking respect" towards the developers. Even Return to Monkey Island’s Ron Gilbert decided to stop posting updates about the game due to the constant abuse he received for changing the game’s art style.