The head of Baldur’s Gate studio Beamdog has spoken out against the fans harassing and threatening his team, stressing that the firm “does not condone this behaviour”.
The company has been at the centre of recent controversy after some fans lashed out in outrage over the inclusion of a transgender character in new expansion Siege of Dragonspear – an aspect the original Forgotten Realms creator points out has been part of the fantasy universe since the beginning.
In a new statement, Beamdog CEO Trent Oster acknowledged fans’ complaints and vowed to improve on how such characters are handled in future titles, MCV reports.
“We’ve received feedback around Mizhena, a supporting character who reveals she is transgender,” he said. “In retrospect, it would have been better served if we had introduced a transgender character with more development. This is a lesson we will be carrying forward in our development as creators and we will be improving this character in a future update.
“While we appreciate all feedback we receive from our fans, both positive as well as negative, some of the negative feedback has focused not on Siege of Dragonspear but on individual developers at Beamdog – to the point of online threats and harassment.
“I just want to make it crystal clear that Beamdog does not condone this behaviour, and moreover that it will not have the desired effect as we stand behind all our developers 100 per cent. 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.”
Oster added that another point of contention – a reference to controversial internet movement GamerGate – will be removed. One character says in-game: “It’s all about ethics in heroic adventuring” – an obvious parody of the GamerGate slogan: “It’s all about ethics in games journalism”.
“Looking back on the line, we agree with the feedback from our community,” Oster said. “It has nothing to do with his character and we will be removing the line.”