In a recent post on the Anthem subreddit, BioWare community manager Jesse Anderson explained that the increasing negativity has driven some of the game’s developers away from wanting to interact directly with players, demonstrating what a fraught relationship the constant feedback demands of Reddit can create.
“To start, things used to be a lot friendlier here for dev team members who normally don’t talk on social channels or forums,” Anderson wrote in response to a long post critical of BioWare’s dwindling communication. “They could answer questions, give information and know that they aren’t going to have people getting upset at them.”
He went on:
“Why would a dev team member take time away from working on the next update to post when they know it’s likely to be met with hostile replies, or they get flamed because [they] can’t answer other questions that players are asking? I don’t mind posting here when things aren’t so nice, but that’s because it’s my job. For the devs it isn’t their job, and I’d like to ask that people remember that when replying to them. When some people say ‘be nice or the devs will stop posting’ it’s 100% true.”
During the final stretch of Anthem’s development, some of its developers like lead producer Ben Irving and development manager Camden Eagar could frequently be found commenting directly in the subreddit, explaining mechanics and thought processes. In the last two weeks, as the negativity on the subreddit has hit an all-time high, posts by those same developers have become much rarer.
Anderson’s post struck a chord with a lot of commenters in the thread. “I love the updates, but THIS is the most important thing out of the entire post honestly,” read one of the most upvoted responses. “I’ve seen it with every game I’ve played. The devs jump in, have open discussions, share ideas and talk about areas of improvement etc. Then the toxicity of the community comes along and ruins everything.”
“I wish players would stop chasing away the devs,” it concluded.