GDC 2014: Orth openly discusses how he bounced back both personally and professionally from death threats and losing his job

Dejected, ashamed and embarrassed: Adam Orth on his internet abuse ordeal

Former Microsoft Studios creative director Adam Orth has spoken of how a tirade of abuse from people on the internet affected his life and lost him his job, and why it was the best thing to happen to him.

Last year Adam Orth lost his job at Microsoft following his outburst on the always-online rumours circulating about Xbox One, which many people had already taken a dislike to. Following his comments on the matter over twitter through a hashtag “Dealwithit”, Orth became the subject of a hate campaign across the internet which affected his personal and professional life.

As reported by GamesIndustry, he described the moment following his tweets as “an absolute feeding frenzy. My public and private life was fair game”.

"People began to distance themselves from me. I was dejected, ashamed and embarrassed,” he said.

“I destroyed my career and feared being blacklisted by the industry. I went from income to no income."

Orth also suggested that most developers “don’t even raise an eyebrow” at internet threats and abuse, because it has become “the new normal”.

“As an industry we’ve become desensitised to this insane behaviour because it’s overwhelming, ubiquitous and unstoppable. Somehow we’ve devolved while moving forward, and there’s no going back.,” he said.

Orth is making a comeback to the industry despite the experience however, and is currently developing a new title called Adrift that reflects what happened to him and how he felt at the time.

He went on to claim that the whole situation was “the best thing that happened to me”.

“When everything burned to the ground, it became a forcing function for radical reset. I saw it as an opportunity of a lifetime,” he said.

“I grew closer to my friends and family, I matured as a person, I became a better parent, got healthy and lost 50 pounds, and I recommitted and rededicated myself to my creative life."

Image credit: GDC 2014 Flickr

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