BioShock Infinite developer Ken Levine says that the abuse directed at Call of Duty's David Vonderhaar and Fez developer Phil Fish over the last week has made him sad. Speaking to Eurogamer, Levine explained how he deals with abuse from fans and what he thought about how Phil Fish handled the situation with Marcus Beer from GameTrailers earlier in the week.
"Look, I'm very fortunate, Tom," he told Eurogamer's Tom Bramwell. "Don't play a violin for me. I've got a pretty good life and I get to do cool things. I think it's more actually that it can end up being counterproductive for the gamers' own interests.
Like, for instance, Vonderhaar. If I were him… Especially to start bringing your family into it. I mean, I've had people say threatening things to me. You know, it's like, why would he want to get up the next morning and go try?"
Levine is referring to some in the Call of Duty community who threatened Vonderhaar last week after a patch for Black Ops 2 made some minor changes to a handful of weapons in the game.
Speaking on how Phil Fish handled his interactions with Marcus Beer on Twitter, Levine said:
"I don't want to speak for anyone, but you've seen some major developers starting to… You know, Phil [Fish] I think was probably a… Probably a bit of a… I don't know how well he thought out that reaction. I don't know him very well."
Levine goes on to say that he can understand why some developers who have taken public abuse would decide that it is just easier to walk away from the industry.
Speaking on his own experiences with fans, Levine says that most of his fans are "sweethearts" and that over-the-top criticism and uncouth behavior ultimately hurts gamers:
"And that's what I worry more about is how it affects games. As a gamer, game comes out, I hope it's good, and if I like it I play it and if I don't like it I don't play it, and I think you can get in a strange space where it ends up being counterproductive for the gamers. But for me, it's just part of the job at this part, but I don't think it helps gaming."