Does a developer’s politics affect your decision to buy their game? | Tell GR

Cliff Bleszinski has popped his head up above the parapet to claim that LawBreakers‘ politics and him being a “woke bro” caused the game to fail. It’s an odd statement, all things considered, but it also makes for a good Tell GR topic, so we’re not complaining.

Does a developer’s personal politics affect your decision to buy their game? If so, why? And if not, why not? Leave your responses in the comments section below, and as always we’ll feature our favorite response in tomorrow’s Tell GR.

Jason Faulkner, senior editor: It really depends on the developer. I usually separate my feelings about a person’s personal beliefs and work. For example, Daniel Vavra is a bit too mixed up in the whole alt-right troll community for my liking. Still, I really love Kingdom Come: Deliverance. On the other side of the spectrum, Disco Elysium was one of my favorite games of 2019, and the devs gave a shout out to Karl Marx and Friedrich Engels when they accepted an award at The Game Awards.

“I’m a-ok with socialism, but I’m a pragmatist where communism is concerned, and the whole “fashionista commie” thing is a big turn off for me. The big thing with Kingdom Come and Disco Elysium is that neither game forces you to pick a side that would align with the dev’s personal beliefs. Everyone is an asshole in Disco Elysium regardless of their political views, and Kingdom Come is set so far in the past that there’s no real analog for current issues. I don’t particularly want to play a game that forces me to play out some wish fulfillment for the devs, and luckily that doesn’t seem like a common thread in the industry.”

Paul Tamburro, executive editor: Video game studios are made up of tens if not hundreds of people, so basing a buying decision on the politics of a member of that team is fruitless. However, if the questionable personal politics of a studio head impacts any facet of their final game, from its concept through to its marketing and beyond, then I’ll definitely consider where I’m putting my cash. I’m not exactly going to withhold my funds if a member of the dev team has a different viewpoint on the economy I do, but if we’re talking about bigotry, then I’m absolutely not going to want to give that individual my money. With that being said, the gaming industry is decidedly apolitical when it comes to its output compared to film, music, and television, so rarely do I have to make that choice. But that’s a problem for another day…”

Mack Ashworth, lead editor: “Generally, no. Unless those politics are particularly extreme and I feel like I’m funding something morally wrong, then I’m fine with someone having a different opinion to me and checking out their game.”

Michael Leri, features editor: “No, I can’t say that I have. But then again, I don’t think I’ve ever been tested. I don’t recall seeing any far-right politics in the games I play, which is what would turn me off. And the developer who have said some nasty shit have always made games I don’t care about anyway.”

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