Frogster COO Dirk Weyel has told GamesIndustry.biz that his company will not negotiate with or cede to the demands of the hacker who is attempting to blackmail it over issues with Runes of Magic community management.
The hacker issued his demands last month - claiming that he would release the payment and account details of thousands of Runes of Magic users unless the company addressed what he felt was an unacceptable level of customer service and poor forum control. He duly backed up this claim by releasing the details of 2000 accounts.
Frogster contacted the police, and an investigation is ongoing, but Weyel says that despite the frustration and anger that the development team and community feel about the situation, there are clearly some lessons to be learned about interacting with the community.
"It's very frustrating for the team, in the first place. To see that a guy can hack accounts, claim things, influence public opinion and harm the users," Weyel told GamesIndustry.biz in an interview due to be published tomorrow.
"Our team has to focus and work on making the system more secure, on managing the whole incident. It means that they can't work on their regular goals and targets, like making events for the game, or improving it in other ways,"
Weyel said Frogster hopes to remain as open with its community as possible and to continue to improve its service for loyal users.
"Of course, we looked at what it means. Why is someone so angry? Why do they want to harm Frogster and the user base? Obviously, in any community you have people who complain. Some of them are reasonable, and some complain in a way that is unacceptable. What this guy did is definitely criminal, but is also unacceptable in terms of the way that the he communicated.
"On the other hand we can also try to make sure we're communicating as openly as possible with the community - which is an ongoing process. I'm not saying that our community management is perfect, or that they always do the right thing, but we know that our community is our most important asset, so we always try to be as open and transparent as possible.
"So we can try and keep continuously improving in that area, but we can't accept people hacking and threatening us."