David Gaider admits he avoids the BioWare Social Network Forum because of its "increasingly toxic atmosphere."
It's no secret that attitudes towards BioWare have soured in recent years. Their acquisition by corporate hate sponge, EA; a slew of controversial, if not reviled, releases and, of course, that ending have left the once darling studio facing wave after wave of bad press and fan outrage. According to veteran developer, David Gaider, the studio's forums have turned into such an unpleasant whine-festival that he's been forced to flee.
Responding to a fan question about the increasingly hostile social network, Gaider explained his reasons for avoiding the forums.
"They are certainly a group of passionate folks, and while I wouldn't say they were all "utterly gross" as you put it I do agree that the overall tone of the forums has become increasingly toxic," he wrote. "I tend to largely avoid them these days, myself. Why? Because spending too much time there starts to make me feel negative- not just about the games we make, but about myself and life in general."
Gaider has been with BioWare for 14 years. Since his promotion to lead-writer for the Dragon Age series, he's made no qualms about answering criticism and wading into debates with both arms swinging.
"I imagine that can happen to any online community," he continues. "Eventually the polite, reasonable folks stop feeling like it's a group of people they want to hang around. So they leave, and those who remain start to see only those who agree with them- and, because that's all they see, they think that's all there is. Everyone feels as they do, according to them. Once the tipping point is passed, you're left with the extremes... those who hate, and those who dislike the haters enough to endure the toxic atmosphere to try and combat them. Each clash between those groups drives more of the others away."
While Gaider's remarks will likely be met with ridicule from those who've taken up bashing the studio as a recreational sport, one small sentence might just give them pause. In fact, it might just sum up everything that's gone wrong with BioWare's relationship with its fans in the past half-decade.
"I think there's something to be said there about the level of rhetoric and entitlement among online gamer communities in general," he said. "Perhaps there is also something to be said about whether the games BioWare makes still satisfy our core fans."
Source: The Bittersweetest Thing