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A few weeks ago, TechRaptor published an interview with an anonymous developer who spoke out on a personal blog about his perceptions on the gender issues of gaming, the existence of corruption and political correctness in the industry, and the controversial hashtag turned consumer watchdog known as GamerGate. The developer interviewed hid his name from the public, fearing backlash, and discussed how this fear was rampant in the industry. He said that he hoped more developers would speak out.

Since then, the SPJ Airplay event was held, reinforcing some of this fear after being targeted by bomb threats. At the same time though, it introduced GamerGate to many new ears, and seems to have reopened the discussion on the anniversary of the hashtags inception. Before Airplay, TechRaptor got in contact with another triple A developer, with his own thoughts on GamerGate and the issues that surround it. Like the previous, he too chose to keep his name and information private. The culture of fear has not completely gone, but this developer also had some poignant views. We held our interview the day after Airplay was over.

The developer interviewed had his identity confirmed by our site owner, including the company he works for and his name. For his privacy, as noted above, none of this will be revealed except that which he gave his explicit permission to reveal. This interview was conducted by email.


TechRaptor: Can you briefly give as much information as you can on what your role is in the industry?

Developer: I am a developer for a popular studio under Sony Computer Entertainment America LLC (SCEA). The majority of my career has been in the AAA scene, but I have made my own small-time indie game and helped others in their small projects as well.

TechRaptor: Is this your first time commenting on this or have you written about GamerGate or similar controversies in the past anonymously?

Developer: This would be my first time talking about Gamergate at all, or anywhere for that matter. Due to how volatile the subject it, from my perspective, it truly feels like there isn’t a safe way to have an open dialogue about Gamergate without the threat of harassment or worse.

TechRaptor: How does AAA regard things like GamerGate and gamer led “movements”? Is there any sort of written policy when dealing with things like that?

Developer: Publicly and at the corporate level, most AAA companies will try not to actively engage in the movement, unless it obviously directly effects them. I am personally not aware if there are any set protocol or policy about Gamergate or other “movements.” We have a good amount of trained PR people who handle that whenever it focuses our attention to us.

Inside the studio, it is not really a subject that is brought up. Part of the reason why is that we are too busy working on it, which is the prevalent attitude among most of the developers. However, for those that do want to talk about it, it can be very difficult to have a private conversation among like-minded people.

TechRaptor: Is it hard to find those like-minded people, or do you and your coworkers just not feel comfortable talking about it in the current atmosphere?

Developer: Its mostly because of the current atmosphere of the situation. Many of my co-workers have put so much (metaphorical) blood, sweat, and tears into the projects they love, there isn’t any real incentive to talk about something that could get you in a large amount of trouble or danger. It has almost become an unspoken rule not to talk about Gamergate, without any real planning.

TechRaptor: Do you know of anyone who has gotten into trouble for talking about Gamergate, positively or negatively? 

Its mostly because of the current atmosphere of the situation. Many of my co-workers have put so much (metaphorical) blood, sweat, and tears into the projects they love, there isn’t any real incentive to talk about something that could get you in a large amount of trouble or danger.

Developer: Thankfully, I don’t know anyone in particular who has been in trouble for talking about Gamergate, positively or negatively, in my company. I do know various people that has been on the public eye that has had their names smeared though the mud. Each time something like that happens, especially when it’s a famous veteran I look up to or a personal friend, I want to be able to defend that person with all my might. But, I know that would expose me as well.

TechRaptor: What do you think about GamerGate the movement? The things they tend to tackle—corruption, censorship—are those big industry problems from your point of view?

Developer: I have always seen Gamergate as a group of passionate people rallying behind the platonic cause for honesty and accountability. While the Gamergate movement did have a rocky start to begin with, I feel the Gamergate movement has become quite clear with its intended mission. The video game industry has always been both a global community and very tight-knit. Because of how close we are and that we are an entertainment-based industry, it does allow of nepotism and corruption when money is on the line. These are large problems that I feel any entertainment-based industry has. But, what is unique about the video game industry is that we have consumers willing to speak up and demand that we strive for a better way.

Unfortunately, there are individuals who don’t feel comfortable about changing how they do things, especially when it works out so well for them in the past and the present. To those who fight against Gamergate, I can understand the feeling when a large amount of people are saying how you do your job is wrong. Within the game journalism part of our industry, it does seem like the Wild West. Media companies will make deals and write articles that help them grow and keep their employees. However, that stubbornness or misguided grandstanding doesn’t improve the industry or game journalism as a whole. The corruption and censorship that Gamergate is fighting against is after years of such “deals” and how some game journalists have their ingrained mindsets. It is an uphill battle, but it needs to be done.

TechRaptor: Does that corruption impact your ability to create or put undue limits on your projects?

Developer: I am blessed to be in a position where it mostly doesn’t affect our work. We don’t make games so that a gaming website will like it. We make a game so that our fans will like it. In truth, our biggest and most important critics will always be the people that buy and play our game, not the journalists that cover it. However, we always look at reviews and how it is received. If a review is biased against us from an ideological standpoint instead of the content of the game, then that can theoretically cause unnecessary issues for future projects.

TechRaptor: Something that has come up a lot in recent months is the move towards political correctness, is that something that is considered a lot in AAA and taken seriously when making games?

Developer: Political correctness as an issue is mostly addressed on a project-to-project basis. I have seen projects that have bowed to the ideas of political correctness and others that how thrown caution to the wind. Regardless of the project, its has to be considered in some fashion. Ideally, a project can make systems and characters great enough that it doesn’t need hit against the political correctness attitude. In the projects I am been a part of, the political correctness has either been glanced over or it has tailored a project in some degree. Political correctness can become a balancing act, but an act we shouldn’t have to deal with. However, I have seen that affect the Indie scene alot more than the AAA scene. Political correctness has never stopped a project from making a great character or gameplay feature that I have been a part of, and it never should.

To those who fight against Gamergate, I can understand the feeling when a large amount of people are saying how you do your job is wrong … However, that stubbornness or misguided grandstanding doesn’t improve the industry or game journalism as a whole.

TechRaptor: Have you or your company or your coworkers been targeted for censorship or told to remove anything? Or is that also more of an indie issue?

Developer: For the AAA scene, “censorship” internally is not the right word. While there are many hands in a game’s design and story, that leads to different viewpoints and ideas about how the project should go. Ultimately, it could come down to a Lead Producer or Game Director making a final call. Even after that, someone in QA could point out a major flaw that needs to be resolved. Censorship really doesn’t come into play until after a game is released. While I won’t go into any real specifics in my company, I have talked with professionals in both the AAA and Indie scene about how a vocal minority doesn’t appreciate what was put in their game. While that can provide constructive feedback, it has occasionally turned to be politically fueled judgement instead of honest critique. I would say that it would happen more toward the Indie scene, but I also see that with how open Indie developers are with their fanbase, especially with the age of Kickstarter and promises of Alpha/Beta builds out to the public.

TechRaptor: How much impact do you think gaming journalists have on the AAA industry as compared to alternatives like YouTubers and podcasts?

Developer: I think that YouTubers and podcasts have definitely gained alot of ground to show how much effect they have now. Personally, I find Egoraptor’s “Sequelitis” series to be one of the best critiques of modern and classic game design methodologies. As for reviews, Angry Joe has been brutally fair and honest with his videos, which I enjoy as well. In the studio, we talk about these YouTubers and Let’s Players all the time, where some fellow employees have even done their own Let’s Plays and podcasts themselves. For YouTubers and podcasters, their critiques, if fair and well researched, are listened to.

As for magazines and gaming websites, it seems now more than ever that we must be more critical ourselves about what is being reported. Back during the 16-bit era, magazines like Nintendo Power, EGM, and Game Informer had a huge impact on our industry. Now, with so many tech blogs and game review sites, it feels like we have an over-saturation of print, where YouTubers are still thriving. However, the more popular game journalists will always have an audience in our industry, for good or bad. At this point, what now matters is the content of the publication is, instead of the medium is is being delivered in.

TechRaptor: If you could make any one improvement to the industry right now, no questions asked, what would it be?

Developer: Would you mind if I answered that in a Realistic improvement and an Ideal improvement?

TechRaptor: Absolutely!

Developer: Thank you!

Realistically, there is one improvement that we need to make in the online part of our industry: No more Doxxing. Period. It doesn’t matter what its trying to accomplish or who it is effecting, if you are for or against Gamergate. doxxing is a bane on the internet, and tangentially, our industry. The fear of being doxxed stifles the ability to speak freely, which is one of the greatest virtues of the internet. Doxxing is a tool to silence people and hurt their way of life, just because of an opinion. I have heard numerous arguments for Doxxing on both sides of the Gamergate controversy, ranging from how it “weeds out trolls on the internet” or how MovieBob said “I ‘believe’ that there is (almost) no such thing as a bad tactic – only bad TARGETS.” Doxxing is, and always will be, a bad tactic that should be shunned and punished severely. That fear is the reason why I am talking anonymously today. It is not only for the protection of myself, friends, and family, but also my company and my co-workers.

The ideal change is how the game industry is viewed by the mass populace. I would like to see a large media push toward who developers and gamers really are. Possibly something along the lines of a fair review/critique/story of a studio or group of developers. Currently, the mass media still portrays gamers and game developers as a failure to grow up. We see that in movies like Pixels and Grandma’s Boy, and with weird advertisements to get game degrees like the infamous “tighten up the graphics on level 3” commercial. While we might make fun games for all ages, our professionals and veterans are not treated to the same esteem as a football coach or a movie director. Thankfully, I see that as something that is on the horizon, so long as we keep building our industry instead of attempting to tear it down from inside.

TechRaptor: Is there any message you’d like to give to GamerGate and advocates in the industry?

Developer: We are listening. We are paying attention to everything Gamergate and Anti-gamergate does. Every action, good and bad, is documented and view-able. We go over forum and Twitter posts. Now that SPJ Airplay is done and traction has been made, Gamergate needs to maintain its commitment to keeping game journalism honest and fair. One of the most deciding moments for me was how 4chan donated to The Fine Young Capitalists to help young women make a game. That is a proper example of how we should support the growth of the industry and I encourage people who agree with Gamergate to keep doing that. Make GameJams, sell rare and antique games, and do what you can to show that you care about the industry you love.

We are listening … Every action, good and bad, is documented and view-able. We go over forum and Twitter posts. Now that SPJ Airplay is done and traction has been made, Gamergate needs to maintain its commitment to keeping game journalism honest and fair.

As for my fellow developers who support Gamergate, I would say to speak your mind, even if its anonymously. Your words mean the world to gamers. It wasn’t until I heard Edward Snowden say: “If we sacrifice our values because we’re afraid, we don’t care about those values very much.” that I realized that if I truly value how gamers are represented in our industry, then I had to speak out. I would encourage you to do the same.

TechRaptor: Anything you would like to say in closing?

Developer: I don’t have anything more to say, really. I think that about covers it from me. I think the biggest thing I would like to reinforce and remind is to say in the interview as a disclaimer that my opinions here are NOT reflective of Sony, SCEA, or any company related to Sony in any way. They are mine, and mine alone.

TechRaptor: Of course. Thank you so much for your time!

Developer: Thank you for helping my voice reach out to people. I can’t wait to see it on TechRaptor. I hope its a small step to a positive change.


TechRaptor would like to thank this developer for taking the time to talk with us.

Kindra Pring

Staff Writer

Teacher's aid by day. Gamer by night. And by day, because I play my DS on my lunch break. Ask me about how bad my aim is.



  • Invin

    Nice interview! Thanks.

  • DiiMoz

    Based Sonydev is based. Thank you for speaking out dear sir/ma’am.

  • An Honest Opinion

    Liked the interview, nice work :).

    This developer is so right, their words really matter to us and I hope more of them can take the time to speak out soon. We also do need to keep the ball rolling, so to speak.

  • ArsCortica

    “I don’t have anything more to say, really. I think that about covers it
    from me. I think the biggest thing I would like to reinforce and remind
    is to say in the interview as a disclaimer that my opinions here are
    NOT reflective of Sony, SCEA, or any company related to Sony in any way.
    They are mine, and mine alone.”

    I do take this statement was intended? As DevAnon right rightfully remarked, most developers are to scared of possible backlashes as if that they would offer anything even remotely disclosing their identity.

  • the red army

    i want to personally thank this person for their hard work and dedication(and obvious passion) to the hobby we enjoy so much… from one gamer to another thank you

  • Mark Samenfink

    Imagine a world where no game dev would have to worry about the repercussions of such innocuous statements to the point of having to make them anonymously

  • TheSharpeful

    “As for my fellow developers who support Gamergate, I would say to speak your mind, even if its anonymously. Your words mean the world to gamers.”

    So much this!!

    I wish more game devs would speak out… Gamergate exists so devs are “allowed” to create whatever content they want to create, without ideologies interfering or dictating what can and what can’t be portrayed and how it must be portrayed, and ultimately so we, the consumer can experience their products without any of those barriers.
    So they can get fair reviews and coverage from the press.

    I wonder how many indie devs simply failed to launch at all because either they had no friends, aquaintances or lovers in the journalism industry, or their game failed to meet some authoritarian ideological check box.

    Thank you for coming forward based sonydev.

  • Haze

    What a great piece
    There’s a lot of great insider info from an AAA deve viewpoint, many great quotes and I am personally always get happy to read that a developer loves what he does and cares about his audience more than what everyone else says.

    One that strikes me is ” It has almost become an unspoken rule not to talk about Gamergate, without any real planning.”

    This my friends is how a state of censorship works, at this point no one even needs to tell them not to talk about it, they are all so afraid of being doxxed and pressured out of their jobs, or having their work, their company, coworkers, friends and family suffer the consequences of an angry mov that they just can’t talk about the important matters.

    And talking openly and earnestly is the way to improve things, not by closing our eyes and pretending it is all perfectly fine or by ignoring what others have to say.

  • The dev mentioned that they worked for a studio under Sony at the beginning of the article, so that last bit is probably just in case their identity ever comes out.

  • kzrtg

    Techraptor fucking rules.

  • justathought05

    The way anon dev talks about humanizing devs and gamers more. Reminds me of Dave Kushners books about Rockstar and Id’s history. Did a lot to humanize those guys. Being interested in old mob flicks, or Aliens, and heavy metal and just wanting to find ways to abstract their curiousities.

    Reminded me of how RZA and ODB got their inspiration for Wu Tang as just young guys watching old martial arts flicks and growing an ethos around it

  • GGHaikus #5276

    I thank the dev for his time and words but if I may play devil’s advocate for a while, this is all starting to leave a weird taste in my mouth.

    “…it truly feels like there isn’t a safe way to have an open dialogue about Gamergate without the threat of harassment or worse.”

    Really? So, since it is a difficult discussion (Thankfully, not due to the gamers you love but their insane SJW detractors who have decided bomb threats and mailed packages of syringes are good conversation starters.) you and other devs don’t want to have it?

    You don’t want to lose your job, I get it. This is your dream. But it’s okay for me to have my job threatened instead?

    You don’t want to get harassed by a bunch of insane future cat ladies and the men desperate enough to be beta for them. I get that too. But it’s okay for me to be harassed by these people for a year? Have my events canceled because they don’t want me to talk? Have my life threatened?

    Studios seem to want to have their cake and eat it too. They want all the benefits knowing these cliquish, goose stepping jokes while none of the downsides of everyone knowing you’re paying them hush money. I know Bungie had Anita come and talk to them for a good five figure dollar figure about ‘diversity’. Notice how Destiny wasn’t on the SJW hit list? Weird right?

    But it’s alright, because some Devs are anonymously here with us too! Just not you know, here here. They’re here in spirit! Which also means they can’t provide any support. They know the fight is a long, hard, challenging fight but they are here to give us a thumbs up. Not, fight it beside us of course, like an ally would, or even give us something to eat or drink,.. But here, have some kind words.

    My opinion is all these anonymous devs will come out a long while after gamergate calms down and the SJWs have been pointed and laughed at until they get back to the Lolfarm. Then, all these Devs will be -happy- to say how hard they fought for #GG and stood up for games and blahblahblah when all they really did was have an interview on a tech magazine.

    Again, I thank the devs who do this. Which thankfully, is -far- more than most devs would do. But this is starting to feel like a slap in the face rather than a morale boost. All my opinion though, feel free to throw tomatoes at me.

  • Cytos Lpagtr

    >everything here does not reflect on sony rather..

    the opinions.. they are MINE

    ALL MINE!

    MUAHAHAHahahahahaha…

    (great article, ‘nother please)

  • TheScienceEnthusiast1130

    10/10 article

  • DariusQ

    He had me until citing Snowden as a role model. Standing up for your morals is one thing, but cutting & running when you’ve done something illegal is totally separate. That’s the kind of irresponsible behaviour Gamergate is fighting against in the first place.

  • Fenrir007

    Thank you for this interview, Kindra / Techraptor and anon dev! Your words inspire us to keep going.

  • Casey

    The only thing I’d like to say is, keep creating. Keep creating freely and without limits. If video games truly are an art form, we should not limit them for puritanical nut-jobs, left-wing or right.

    We need to address and talk about issues that some find offensive, otherwise, we might as well just make clickers on the app store.

  • Dr. Evil’s Brother’s Evil Twin

    We need more game developers to speak out. I know a few have come out as anti, but there’s no way that’s the majority. As much as GG gets blamed for all the harassment, we are fighting for the creator’s artist expression and that’s got to ring true for a lot of them.

  • Kain Yusanagi

    So protecting yourself from a censorious government that will do anything in its power to shut you up and shut you down because it’s their being in the wrong beind exposed (just like with games journos and their shitting all over us in GamerGate) is the wrong thing to do now?

  • GrimFate

    Yeah, cos NOT running did so well for Chelsea Manning… Just because something is illegal, doesn’t mean it’s wrong.

  • Arbitrary

    “Now that SPJ Airplay is done and traction has been made, Gamergate needs to maintain its commitment to keeping game journalism honest and fair. One of the most deciding moments for me was how 4chan donated to The Fine Young Capitalists to help young women make a game. That is a proper example of how we should support the growth of the industry and I encourage people who agree with Gamergate to keep doing that.”

    So he’s yet another one of those cucks who thinks GamerGate is only about Ethics, then.

    Fuck this guy. Ignore.

  • CC

    No dude. It’s more like communism in the era of McCarthy’s witch-hunts. Even if you read Karl Marx and thought he had some decent ideas, like FUCK would you want to say that out loud to anyone who might 1) be strongly against that 2) throw you in for brownie points 3) sell you out to save themselves. Being sexist is the new witch-hunt. I’m just in movies/theater and it’s all but been career suicide for me to be like “No video games are not sexist you fucking idiots, learn more about what you’re talking about or stfu.” You don’t bring this stuff up in the office when ANY SINGLE ONE of your coworkers might 1) feel “threatened” (because… reasons?) 2) make a big fucking deal about it.

    Ergo: total fucking silence.

    This era of fear is what #GamerGate needs to end above all else. Doxxing is just part of their silencing tactic. There’s all this claim that it’s trolls, but even if trolls are the ones releasing deets, the people USING IT TO SPECIFICALLY HARASS AND TARGET PEOPLE OVER POLITICS? THOSE ARE THE ONES THAT SCARE ME.

    I agree that devs NEED to start stepping forward to say “This is my principles and I WILL NOT BE SILENCED,” because without that then that fear will forever persist and there’s nothing that even as fans we can do about it. But we still need to do our best to help the people see that it’s okay to band together.

    Hopefully the more we help and protect games like Jennifer Dawe’s, Freak, Afterlife Empire, and the rest, it’ll become obviously financially -BETTER- to brave the risks, but right now, don’t expect such instant gratification.

  • GEhotpants101 .

    Well, he clearly cares more about the ethical aspects of GamerGate, which is not a bad thing. If he doesn’t want to risk his career telling SJWs to fuck off, I think that’s pretty fair.

  • Arbitrary

    “Well, he clearly cares more about the ethical aspects of GamerGate, which is not a bad thing.”

    It sure as fuck is a bad thing. Surely you’re not saying that video game reviews are a bigger issue than what harms us all in real-life, holds an entire society hostage and frightens people to silence?

    “If he doesn’t want to risk his career telling SJWs to fuck off, I think that’s pretty fair.”

    Oh, yes. The massive risk he undertakes with this anonymous post.

  • MRAlias

    Thank you Techraptor and anonymous AAA Dev. We appreciate what both of you do. Even in these days, where Gamergate is an industry wide name, we still appreciate every little gesture and interview. It means the world to us that someone somewhere out there acknowledges what we’re trying to accomplish in the face of massive censorship. Every interview like this will go down as a record of what we accomplished from day 1. I only hope that we can continue to live up to your expectations of us.

  • KindraPring

    Surely it’s none of my business, but how is what you’re doing so different from what SJWs – that is, saying “fuck this guy” because you believe his opinion is not up to snuff? Maybe it’s more the rudeness than anything – you don’t know this mans full opinion. Perhaps in this case, he was more concerned with the ethics and corruption issues and that is what he wanted to talk about over the SJW issues (which he did touch on at least briefly).

    Certainly doesn’t warrant a “fuck this guy” reaction.

  • Xoranios Fellheart

    This was great! Even if this is just an interview done through e-mails, the answers are pretty much everything that I personally would have wanted to hear!

    Keep making games that you think people will like, no matter how unrealistic or how insane they might be; games that innovate, have a strong emotional vibe or just awesome gameplay will draw fans to it! Politically driven critics and their opinions/feelings should just be tossed aside, they can’t enjoy a game for what it truly is, if you ask me!

    Thank you for speaking your mind on this, this really warms my heart after all those happenings! 😀

  • Niwjere

    Illegality is illegality, not moral wrongness. If it were illegal to speak, would you obediently shut up simply because the government told you to?

  • Murk

    Just curious while this post seems just fine let me ask a question.

    What if an interview is conducted anonymously by email and then edited without consent.

    The interviewer cannot attack the publication for being dishonest while at the same time hiding his identity. This is especially problematic if a website is corrupt from the top down.

  • Mordrag

    Great interview, I hope we get more from other devs!

  • GEhotpants101 .

    “Surely you’re not saying that video game reviews are a bigger issue than what harms us all in real-life,”

    Surely you’re not saying that all interest in journalistic ethical standards is only relevant to game reviews? And SURELY you’re not implying that the biased misinformation spread through unethical journalistic standards isn’t actually harmful, that would be downright silly.

    Whether or not YOUR end goal is to engage in a wider culture war, it would be incredibly short sighted of you to ignore journalistic integrity, as corrupt journalists are one of SJWs most powerful grips on society at the moment. It’s how they reach those who aren’t in the colleges, and how they maintain control over people when they get out of the colleges. Whether or not HE simply wants better journalism and is taking no part in a wider cultural conflict, you both should want the same outcome in this particular topic. It would make you a fucking idiot to discount him because he doesn’t share your end goal. If you want to fight SJWs, you won’t win the battle, let alone the war if you snub allies that can help you strike a decisive blow now because of some prissy standard you invented.

    “Oh, yes. The massive risk he undertakes with this anonymous post.”

    Because as we all know, everyone who wants to stay anonymous on the internet always stays that way, and nothing bad ever happens to them.