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The vast majority of game devs are worried about targeted harassment

Devs weigh in on the uptick in harassment aimed at creators.

Chris Kerr

January 26, 2023

2 Min Read
A photograph of the PlayStation 5 controller
Photo by JESHOOTS.COM on Unsplash

Statements made by major studios such as Respawn and Sony Santa Monica last year indicated there's been a marked increase in player harassment towards developers.

Those two companies, and others, felt compelled to publicly request players to treat their employees with respect in the wake of personal attacks and vitriolic comments aimed at their dev teams.

There's no smoke without fire, it seems, and according to the 2023 GDC State of the Industry survey the overwhelming majority of developers think player harassment directed at developers is a problem.

Of those surveyed, 91 percent of respondents felt harassment and toxicity that targets developers was an issue. Drilling down a bit further, 42 percent of those surveyed said it's a "very serious issue," with 36 percent opting to describe the situation as a "serious issue."

Another 13 percent of respondents felt harassment was a "minor issue," while 5 percent said they were "unsure" about the situation. Only 4 percent of those surveyed said harassment and toxicity aimed at devs isn't an issue.

Notably, those who work in areas such as community management, marketing, or PR said they experience or witness harassment more than developers in other job roles, while men surveyed were also less likely to say they experienced or witnessed harassment than women or non-binary people.

Respondents were also more likely to say they experienced or witnessed harassment if they identified as part of the LGTBQ+ community.

Overall, 40 percent of respondents said they had experienced harassment from the player community during their time on a project, whether it was directed at them specifically, towards a colleague, or directed at both themselves and a colleague. In contrast, 54 percent of those surveyed said they hadn't experienced or witnessed harassment at all.

To hear more insights from creators across the game industry, you can download the latest GDC State of the Industry survey for free by clicking here.

Game Developer and GDC are sibling companies under Informa Tech.

About the Author(s)

Chris Kerr

News Editor, GameDeveloper.com

Game Developer news editor Chris Kerr is an award-winning journalist and reporter with over a decade of experience in the game industry. His byline has appeared in notable print and digital publications including Edge, Stuff, Wireframe, International Business Times, and PocketGamer.biz. Throughout his career, Chris has covered major industry events including GDC, PAX Australia, Gamescom, Paris Games Week, and Develop Brighton. He has featured on the judging panel at The Develop Star Awards on multiple occasions and appeared on BBC Radio 5 Live to discuss breaking news.

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