ArenaNet has fired two of its Guild Wars 2 employees, after Jessica Price and Peter Fries got into a heated Twitter spat with the MMO’s fans. The employees were said to have “failed to uphold [ArenaNet’s] standards,” suggesting that Price and Fries are those who have been in the firing line. The pair got into a dispute with a fan on Twitter, that eventually escalated into an argument between the ArenaNet staffers and online onlookers.
The dispute began when Jessica Price, who is still listed as working for the ArenaNet narrative team in her Twitter bio, started a thread in which she discussed how to write the player-character in an MMO. Guild Wars 2 YouTube creator Deroir Gaming then criticized some of Price’s points, with the ArenaNet employee taking offense to this:
Price’s comments were then shared across social media and on Reddit, with her receiving a lot of negative attention as a result. She responded by stating that she would block “the next rando asshat who attempts to explain the concept of branching dialogue” to her. “We’ve got a lot of hurt manfeels today,” she said, adding that she wasn’t “on the clock” on her Twitter feed. “Don’t expect me to pretend to like you here,” she concluded.
In now-deleted tweets, Peter Fries defended Price in the dispute, with many believing that he has now been removed from his position with ArenaNet as a result. ArenaNet President Mike O’Brien posted the following statement to the Guild Wars 2 forum, in a thread discussing Price’s comments:
“Recently two of our employees failed to uphold our standards of communicating with players. Their attacks on the community were unacceptable. As a result, they’re no longer with the company.
I want to be clear that the statements they made do not reflect the views of ArenaNet at all. As a company we always strive to have a collaborative relationship with the Guild Wars community. We value your input. We make this game for you.
Though many believe that Jessica Price’s comments were an overreaction to fan criticism, some on the forum have also said that this is the wrong decision and that ArenaNet is appeasing an angry internet mob. “Well. Even more disappointment then,” one user wrote. “Although I did not agree how the “sexism” call was pulled, I still believe terminating two employees to please the fans isn’t the best option. But hey, we’ll live. I just hope the content doesn’t suffer with that.”