Hero Siege Developer Says Women “Don’t Have the Capability” to Be CEOs

Hero Siege developer and Panic Art Studios founder Elias Viglione has said that “women don’t have the nerves” and the “interest or the capability” to be CEOs in the gaming industry. In a heated exchange on Twitter, Viglione told game designer Jennifer Scheurle to “Gtfo with that flag waiving feminazism [sic],” tweeting that the gaming is a “male dominant” industry as “geek girls are a really new thing.”

Viglione’s comments were made after Opaque Space’s game design lead Scheurle tweeted about how there is “not a single female CEO” in Germany’s largest game studios:

The Panic Art Studios CEO then chimed in with his own take on the matter. “I think most women just either don’t have the interest or the capability,” he wrote in a now-deleted tweet. “There are some but those are rare cases, but definitely not cus of patriarchy.”

Scheurle then told Viglione to “get out,” to which the Hero Siege dev replied: “I mean, get real. Video games is a male dominant industry, geek girls are a really new thing and most of these companies were formed back in the day. How about you show the way and get into a ceo position? :)” After Scheurle stated that she was going to block him, Viglione tweeted: “This just proves women dont have the nerves to be a ceo :)”

The exchange was then shared by Twitter user @failnaut, with it retweeted over 11,000 times:

Following Viglione’s tweets, an influx of negative reviews appeared on Hero Siege‘s Steam page. After apologizing for his comments, Viglione pleaded with Steam users to stop “review bombing” his game, saying that it was hurting “3 innocent people” who had also worked on the game. Other Hero Siege developers also spoke up on Twitter. In a response to a user who asked if he agreed with Viglione’s comments, lead programmer Jussi Kukkonen tweeted: “I don’t.”

Viglione later noted that English is not his first language and that his “understanding of certain terminology is very bad.” He then went on to share screenshots of positive Hero Siege reviews, including one that told those offended by his comments to “grow up, losers,” and another which stated that “soy-amateurs may have a hard time with its fine, testosterone-packed action.”

Panic Art Studios released Hero Siege back in 2013, with the studio currently working on Eastfound, an RPG in the style of 2D Zelda games. Scheurle addressed Viglione’s apology amid the controversy, tweeting: “Apologies are generally good. But you gotta do it right and you gotta mean it. Elias still has me blocked 🙂 Meaning that he does not care about apologising to me. That’s fine But it also tells you a thing or two. I’m positive this can still work out.”