We continue our #GamerGate 2nd year special interview series by interviewing some more developers from the games industry (we talked to Doug TenNapel in our previous #GamerGate interview). And this time we’re happy to chat with Brad Wardell, the CEO of Stardock, and the designer/producer of games such as the “Galactic Civilization” series, “Ashes of the Singularity” and “Sorcerer King“. So without any further ado, please enjoy the interview folks =)

Jack TGG:
When did you discover GamerGate and what was your opinion on it when you found out about GamerGate?

Brad:
I started paying attention to GamerGate when I saw the coordinated “Gamers are dead” articles.  That made me want to find out what caused the gaming media to circle the wagons.

Jack TGG:
Do you think GamerGate has brought some positve change to the games industry in the past two years?

Brad: A lot has changed since. For one thing, the social justice warriors no longer have a free reign online. Before #Gamergate, the SJWs would routinely make life hell for whoever their target of the week was.  I had been consistently targeted by them for two years before #Gamergate doing real harm simply because of my personal politics (I’m libertarian leaning and reject identity politics).

Many people don’t realize just how toxic the environment was for developers.  Once upon a time, game developers would actively participate on forums and social media to talk about their game.  But over time, the SJWs would drive them away because, surprise surprise, most game developers have personal beliefs similar to mine (we just want to make cool stuff, we’re not making games to send some message and refuse to change our games to suit someone else’s political agenda).

The viciousness of SJWs and, as has recently been seen, their ability to coordinate their viciousness is rarely appreciated by casual observers.  Let me give you an example:

So in this example, I wrote a book as a companion to one of our games.  When it was released, these guys organized to savage it in the Amazon reviews claiming it was a racist book (it has Orcs).  If you look at the 1 star reviews, none of them have the book. They reviewed it to punish me for my beliefs.  If you look at the verified purchaser reviews, it’s about 4 stars.  Putting aside the financial damage, it just makes the act of creation a miserable experience.  It’s that kind of thing that has driven game developers out of social media and forums.

When gamers wonder why game developers no longer interact much with gamers publicly, it’s because the SJWs drove them off.  With GamerGate, there’s a push back against the bullying tactics of SJWs.

Here’s an example from this past week to serve as the changes that have happened since GamerGate came out:

So this past week, Stardock had its annual Steam sale.  In response, the SJW game site, “First Person Scholar” published an open letter to Soren Johnson, my friend and business partner who co-founded Mohawk Games with me.  Besides complaining about the name of his company (naturally) they tell him they are boycotting his game because of his association with me. In other words, they sought to punish him and me for my beliefs (which, again, amount to me not having any discernible politics when it comes to games).

However, unlike in the past where we would have gotten dogpiled, we instead were vigorously defended by gamers who are now all too aware of the tactics of these social justice warriors.

Jack TGG:
Has GamerGate changed your view of the game industry and journalism in some way?

Brad:
No, Gamergate hasn’t changed my view of the industry or journalism because I was already familiar with the issues.  GamerGate is simply when gamers became aware of how journalists routinely punish those who have wrong think.

Jack TGG:
Only developers who are independent (or in your case own their own company) have shown a willingness in discussing GamerGate, why is that you think?

Brad:
Developers who work for public companies aren’t really in a position to give opinions on this.   Few developers have the authority to speak for their employers and thus really shouldn’t try if they’re not.   I can publicly speak because I own one of the largest and oldest independent game studios.

tgg author avatar Jack Davis
Jack Davis
The Gaming Ground
Twitter: @TheGamingGround

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12 Comments ON " Brad Wardell interview – #GamerGate 2nd year... "
  • Sevuz

    Glad to hear that more people have become aware om the BS the gaming industry has to deal with.It’s the same shit storm music and films has been through (and are still fighting).

    Whatever people want to admit it or not, we are in a culture war (each gen has one). 2014 was the year Gamers lost their patience with the old media, SJW and the PC elite assholes of the industry.

    • So am I. And I had a feeling that this was the case long before #GamerGate even existed, since very few dared to speak about the matter at all. Yes, it´s a culture war with no doubt. Yep, it´s time to throw out the garbage for good.

  • darkgamer001

    There we go, another clear example of a developer coming out, using the term “SJW” and very clearly accusing them of having a harmful effect on creativity and promoting a toxic, fearful atmosphere.
    It’s not the first time….on here and on other sites….were I’ve argued with people who refuse to acknowledge the fact that developers themselves are calling this BS out.

    • I´ve been saying that for years, but no no “SJWs don´t exist, it´s just a made-up boggy man”…”No, we´re not going to take your games away”…Yeah, right. I guess that´s why we´re in this damn mess now huh?

      • darkgamer001

        I mean, it’s sad enough when it comes from random dudes in the comments, but when it’s also perpetuated by the horribly corrupt gaming media too…*sigh*
        Let’s just say this kind of crap was what put me off games journalism in the first place, and it just seems to keep getting worse and worse. I’m thankful for the small victories like the one playasia pulled off, and when devs like this guy bravely come out and express their views, but I do wonder if it’ll be enough.

        • True that…And Randy Pitchford´s (Gearbox Software´s CEO and co-founder) song during the Pax West 2016 event, is pretty much a summary of the current state of the games industry as a whole. The SJW cancer needs to be removed in-order for the games industry to be healthy again.

          • darkgamer001

            Dear lord Arceus, I’m actually catching up on that just now. Suffice to say the cringe was very real and I could only manage to skim through the video.
            Anyway. cancer is such an appropriate way to describe what the gaming industry is going through, on both the journo and actual dev side of things (the fact that it’s also “offensive” makes it even better in my eyes, but I digress…)
            The way the industry was infiltrated, how people who should be standing up for us turned against us, and the long and difficult battle ahead on the way to either recovery….or the industry’s death.

          • His down, and so is the new “Duke Nukem” game. There is no coming back from this. That´s how it was done, just look at bloody Google. Harper, Queen Anita and the rest of the SJW gang work there now. Yes, and we have to win that war in-order to give our children a better future.

          • darkgamer001

            Well there is hope. And that hope is mainly down to the fact that businesses are, at the end of the day….out to make money. If SJWs prove to be bad for business, they’ll cut ’em loose.
            And for all intents and purposes, they already have.
            Gawker crashing and burning, Twitter stock plummeting, Ghostbusters 2016 being a monumental fail and moneysink for Sony…this is just off the top of my head.
            On the other hand, you have Playasia taking a stand against them, and voila….despite the boycott threats, they’re raking it in. I for one am definitely buying more stuff from them these days out of respect.
            Publishers like XSEED also enjoy great respect and loyalty from their customers.
            There are small signs that the tide is turning, but it’s still a long and grueling battle up ahead

          • Yes, it´s all about money at the end of the day. So it should just be a matter of time before the industry starts to kick them out for good. Exactly, good examples! Yep, that´s why we signed up with Play-Asia 😉 Sadly enough, yes. There is still a long way left to go. We´re off to a good start though.

  • Damn right 😀 glad Wardell is able to speak about the issues with SJW’s at large.

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