Update: ArenaNet has provided the following statement to USgamer: "We are committed to fostering open, constructive dialogue with our community around our games. Earlier this week, two of our employees failed to uphold our standards of communication, and they are no longer with the company.
Guild Wars 2 has parted ways with writers Jessica Price and Peter Fries following a Twitter exchange with a Guild Wars 2 streamer and content creator.
Price, who served as a narrative designer on Guild Wars 2, shared a lengthy Twitter thread about the process of writing for MMORPGs, and how the process differs writing for characters in shared online games as opposed to single player games.
Deroir, a partnered content creator for Guild Wars 2 through ArenaNet's content creator program, responded that they disagreed. A day later Price quoted Deroir's tweet and suggested it was condescending and that he was trying to explain to her how to do her own job. As PC Gamer reported, this is when the situation kicked off and commenters began flooding into Price's comments.
Today in being a female game dev:"Allow me--a person who does not work with you--explain to you how you do your job." https://t.co/lmK0yJWqGB— Jessica Price (@Delafina777) July 4, 2018
Fries, Price's colleague at ArenaNet, also went to Twitter to support Price online. However, community members took issues with Price's remarks about blocking "rando asshats" who try and talk to Price about her job.
ArenaNet president Mike O'Brien took to the Guild Wars 2 forum to announce Price and Fries' departure without naming them explicitly. "Recently two of our employees failed to uphold our standards of communicating with players. Their attacks on community were unacceptable. As a result, they're no longer with the company," write O'Brien.
Deroir also tweeted that he meant no disrespect and announced that he will retract his previous comments to Price.
The situation is difficult to explain without a full clarification from ArenaNet. Does the company have a policy regarding social media behavior even on personal accounts? And did Price and Fries' response warrant termination? The situation is also very much related to how women, and women in the game industry, face very different interactions on social media.