Majority of developers see player harassment as a serious issue, survey suggests
While around 40% surveyed said they’ve experienced harassment
75% of game developers responding to an industry survey have said they believe harassment and toxic behaviour from players is a “serious” or “very serious” issue.
As noted by Axios, the poll was organized by the Game Developers Conference and its affiliate publication Game Developer, and surveyed some 2,300 game developers from around the world.
91% of respondents agreed that player harassment and toxicity toward developers was an issue in the industry. About 4% of respondents said it was not an issue, while 5% indicated they were unsure.
Around 40% of those surveyed said they’d experienced harassment from players themselves or seen it happen to someone on their team.
Those working in community management, marketing, or PR reported experiencing or witnessing harassment more than those in other roles.
Men surveyed were less likely to say they experienced or witnessed harassment than women or non-binary people, and those who identified as part of the LGBTQ+ community were more likely to say they experienced or witnessed harassment.
Last year saw many studios speak out against harassment of their employees, with some even aggressively pushing back such as Bungie, which sued a player who allegedly threatened a staffer.
In GDC’s survey, around two-thirds (68%) said their companies had addressed harassment they experienced or witnessed. One-fifth said no, while 11% were unsure.
One survey taker said: “I think setting boundaries clearly and publicly, as well as calling on the community itself to help, can be effective. Large companies seem to fear that their toxic players are their fanbase without appreciating that they are impacting much larger numbers of their actual fanbase.”
Another wrote: “I’m a community manager, so it’s a part of the job, unfortunately … We need to recognize that behavior when it happens, call it out, and set expectations that we are not going to allow it.
“We also need to stop inviting the community to be part of the family. You’re part of the conversation, you get to offer an opinion, but you don’t get to demand everything goes your way.”