Nintendo has drawn plenty of criticism lately for ignoring a months-long harassment campaign against one of its employees and then firing the woman, citing an unrelated breach of company policy. More recently, a woman who works for Beamdog has been subjected to similar online abuse, but that company is taking a decidedly different approach to addressing the problem.
In a post on the company's forums today, Beamdog CEO Trent Oster responded to complaints about Siege of Dragonspear, its recently released expansion pack for Baldur's Gate. The game has drawn harsh user reviews on multiple sites for an assortment of problems, from UI bugs to broken multiplayer. However, some of the harshest reviews have been more concerned with the inclusion of a transgender supporting character and a line of dialog from a different character alluding to GamerGate, saying "Really, it's all about ethics in heroic adventuring."
Oster acknowledged issues with both points. He agreed with those who complained that the transgender character could have been better developed, and said the team will be "improving" her in an upcoming patch. As for the jab at GamerGate, Oster conceded it was gratuitous, saying, "Looking back on the line, we agree with the feedback from our community, it has nothing to do with his character and we will be removing the line."
While those actions acknowledge some validity to the complaints, Oster drew the line at threats and harassment, particularly those aimed at specific members of the team. (Many of those upset with the presence of a trans character in the game have directed their vitriol at Beamdog writer Amber Scott.)
"I just want to make it crystal clear that Beamdog does not condone this behavior, and moreover that it will not have the desired effect as we stand behind all our developers 100%," Oster said. "We created the game as a group, and moving forward we'll work on the game's issues as a group, which I believe is exactly as it should be."