Dedicated communities always react to changes to their favorite games, it's normal. But threatening someone's life over a small tweak to a game? That's a whole other level of ridiculous.
Still, that's exactly what's happening to David Vonderhaar, design director for Call of Duty: Black Ops II according to One of Swords.
Earlier today, a patch hit Black Ops II. It was full of typical things you might find in a patch: changes, tweaks and fixes. A few tweaks in particular involved reduced damage on the AN-94, and reduced rate of fire on the DSR as well as the Ballista weapons. Not to belittle how much of a difference these things actually makes for players, but in the big picture, we're talking about a difference of fractions of a second. In a video game. Still, if you take a look at Vonderhaar's replies on Twitter, where he linked to the patch notes, just in the last hour he's received a number of death threats over the patch.
"End your fucking life you cancer cunt i will fuck your daughter," one Tweeter writes. "I hope u die," writes another. "Haha screw
@DavidVonderhaar fuk*n up the DSR and Ballista cant fuk*n hit quad feeds now #KillYourself Vonderhaar!!! SERIOUSLY!!" rages yet another player. That's a small sample. Even if all of the response aren't death threats, Vonderhaar is still being inundated with negativity. Responding to the reactions, Vonderhaar Tweeted the following:
Not sure these fractions of seconds are worth the threats of violence. +— David Vonderhaar (@DavidVonderhaar) July 23, 2013
Guns have powerbands and learning curves. Over time, both change. As one goes up, so does the other. That's the short answer to "why now."— David Vonderhaar (@DavidVonderhaar) July 23, 2013
This type of response might not be surprising. Last year, Robert Bowling resigned as the "creative strategist" of Infinity Ward, the lead Call of Duty development studio. The move was met with much hostility. Not that Call of Duty developers are alone in experiencing death threats over video games, of course.
Although ugly and uncomfortable, the death threats often seem to be empty threats, thankfully.
(Via One of Swords)