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God Of War Director Blasts Toxic Fans

Abuse and bad behavior are nothing new to online communities of all kinds. Sadly, the gaming community is no exception, with Twitch streamers and players alike commonly dealing with harassment. Developers have also faced their share of toxic gamers. Now, members of the "God of War: Ragnarok" team are speaking out against this toxicity. In a series of tweets this week, Sony Santa Monica creative director Cory Barlog joined others in blasting toxic fans for their harassment of developers.


The conflict began when Sony failed to announce the release date of "Ragnarok" this week, as was anticipated. It seems some fans did not take the disappointment well and chose to respond by harassing Sony Cinematics producer Estelle Tigani, sending her abusive messages and explicit images. Tigani fired back against this behavior on Twitter, saying that it "will not, in fact, get [her] to reveal the release date." She also included the popular Michael Jordan "stop it, get some help" gif with her comments.

Barlog responded to this tweet by voicing his own outrage. "Are you f***ing kidding me with this right now?" he tweeted. He further defended his team, saying "they are busting their a**" to make the game and telling fans to "show some f***ing respect." He continued to tweet, responding to some fans and discouraging others from trying to excuse the abuse or shift the blame. Unfortunately, this sort of behavior isn't isolated to "God of War."


Support from the Industry

Tigani and Barlog were quickly joined by others in the industry who took the opportunity to show their support and voice their own frustration about toxic fans. Neil Druckmann, co-president of Naughty Dog, retweeted some of Barlog's comments and also fired off his own thoughts about the recent hate developers of "Return to Monkey Island are facing. "Wow! Even wholesome adventure games aren't safe from toxic 'fans,'" Druckman lamented.


The developers of the much-anticipated revival of the "Monkey Island" series have been struggling to respond to backlash from some fans about the change in art style for the new game. Some have claimed the new animation style is a betrayal of the series and demanded a return to the retro feel of the originals. The back and forth and criticism have even led Ron Gilbert, the creator of the series, to lose his joy of sharing updates about his work.

Between "Ragnarok" and "Monkey Island," it has been a bad couple of months for toxicity in gaming. The fact that so many developers are suddenly speaking out at once may be a sign that we have reached a breaking point.