Activision community manager Dan Amrich has responded to the verbal abuse received by Call of Duty developers from a group of "immature, whiny, a**holes." Before we get into the bulk of Amrich's reprimanding, let's first set the stage for why this tongue-lashing had to occur.
Basically, it all stems from the recently released Call of Duty: Black Ops 2 patch, which reduced the rate of fire on the DSR 50 and Ballista and nerfed the damage on the AN-94. Apparently, that struck a nerve among players who allegedly sent threats to Treyarch studio design director David Vonderhaar.
"The DSR fire time was 0.2 seconds. It's now 0.4 seconds," Vonderhaar said on Twitter. "The rechamber time was 1.0 seconds. It's now 1.1 seconds."
"Not sure these fractions of seconds are worth the threats of violence," he added.
And apparently, this latest patch isn't the only time Vonderhaar has received such threats. Writing on his blog, Amrich said that Vonderhaar "often gets told he should die in a fire or kill himself or is a horrible person. If anybody thinks for a second that this is okay, it is not. But if the loudest voices in the Call of Duty “community” act like an angry mob instead, guess how the entire world views Call of Duty?"
"Now consider that these Internet Tough Guy rants and demands are not unique to COD, but exist everywhere, in many gaming communities. This is why the world often does not take gaming seriously; this is why gamers are assumed to be immature, whiny assholes. Because the immature, whiny assholes are louder."
"It’s clear that many gamers understand basic human communication, and it’s doubly clear that developers respond positively and gratefully to this kind of feedback," Amrich continued. "The fact that he focuses on the useful feedback, puts that intel to good use fixing the problem, and doesn’t irrationally lash out at the immature, whiny assholes is amazing.
"Role-play this for a second. When you make a mistake — because you do, we all do — or someone finds something wrong with something that you created, whether it be a meal or driving instructions or even a blog post, how would you prefer to find out that there is an issue? Would you like someone to just say “hey, I noticed this and I think it’s not quite right; are you seeing what I see?” Or would you react better to having someone scream in your face that since your mother didn’t have an abortion, you should commit suicide instead?
"This is not the way to show a developer that what they do matters to you. Not at all," Amrich concluded. "If you enjoy your games, have a little respect for the people who make them — and stop threatening them with bodily harm every time they do their job."
Bravo, Dan, bravo. Honestly, he hit the nail right on the head. There's absolutely no reason to be disrespectful to developers, or anyone for that matter. This is their job, and nothing more. The fact that anyone would send a death threat over a minor change in a game is absurd.
It's important to note that this group of "whiny, a**holes" are a very small minority in the entire gaming community, but as Amrich pointed out, it's this type of behavior that gets the attention — which is unfortunate, really, because there is actually a lot of good in the gaming community.