"Royale" is a celebrity game developer with over 15 years of experience working within AAA, console, mobile, and casual gaming. The Escapist was privately provided with evidence that confirms Royale's biography. We interviewed Royale over email.
What is your definition of "gamer"?
A gamer is somebody who is enthusiastic about playing games. According to the historian and sociologist Johan Huizinga, we are all "homo ludens." All humans are gamers.
Life is toxic. Wear a rubber.
Do you make games for gamers? (I'm using "gamer" here to mean "core game enthusiast")
I make games that I would want to play. I hope you like them!
Do you think gamer culture is more toxic than other enthusiast cultures on the web (political enthusiasts, fashion enthusiasts, car enthusiasts, gun enthusiasts, etc.)? (I'm using "gamer" here to mean "core game enthusiast").
Life is toxic. Wear a rubber.
What is your reaction to this sentiment, expressed in Gamasutra: "Gamers are over. That's why they're so mad."
It's not that there are only five journalists with integrity in the games industry, it's that there aren't even five journalists in the games industry. It's not like Dana Priest writes for Gamasutra - let's all calm down here people - it's not really games "journalism."
Briefly stated, what is your opinion of GamerGate?
There was never "integrity" in games journalism - nor most journalism, really - and there never will be "integrity" in games journalism.
What is the root cause of GamerGate? Do you see it as part of a larger "culture war"?
The root cause of GamerGate, from my point-of-view, was the perception that sexual favors were being traded for media coverage. Whether such is true in that particular instance - let's be fair - trading some asset for media coverage is a trade as old as the industry itself. Think of the gaming website that you view as having the most integrity, and I'll guarantee you that somebody, at some point, has bought favorable coverage from them in the past.
Do you feel there is corruption among the game press? If so, is it primarily mercenary corruption (pay to get a good review) or primarily ideological corruption (toe the party line to get a good review), or a mix, or something else?
Can a system that rests on a foundation of frivolity really be considered "corrupt?"
There was never 'integrity' in games journalism - nor most journalism, really - and there never will be 'integrity' in games journalism.
What are the primary concerns that developers have, vis a vis the game press?
Speaking as a developer, my primary concern vis a vis the game press is in receiving favorable coverage: I want it; I need it; I would even trade sexual favors to get it.
What are the primary concerns that developers have, vis a vis gamers?
Having the thought of being doxed hanging over your head is absolutely terrifying. It's the reason that I'm doing this interview anonymously.
I believe GamerGate is a situation that has been brewing for years. Do you agree? If so, when did the situation begin brewing?
If GamerGate has been brewing for years, I have been oblivious, as I have more meaningful things to think about, and I still have more meaningful things to think about today.
Are you or developers you know changing their interactions with gamers or press as a result of GamerGate?
Yes. For some, the attention whores, GamerGate is a platform to peacock and preen and receive exposure. For others, it is a terrifying opportunity to have one's life put on blast. I have yet to meet a developer who truly cares about silly, unicorn-notions of "journalistic integrity."
If you have concerns with the press, what could the press do to improve relations with you?
I am fine with the press.
If you have concerns with gamers, what could gamers do to improve relations with you?
Some fans write me creepy death threats. I wish that would stop.