Destiny 2 developer Bungie recently struck a big win against a player who's now been sued $500,000 for threatening and harassing a community manager and their family, and game developers across the industry hope it sets a new standard for protecting employees from all-too-common abuse.
Kathryn Tewson shared the court win on Twitter, and countless developers have already chimed in with praise and optimism.
"This is an incredible work of law and sets excellent precedent," says Riot design manager Steven Lumpkin. "What great news!"
"Hope other game studios are looking at this and planning to step up their game by taking harassers of their employees to court," adds Thirsty Suitors narrative designer Meghna Jayanth. "A workplace culture of no tolerance for this BS and protection of employees will definitely be attractive to lots of talented devs, just sayin."
Narrative director Josh Scherr of Crop Circle Games writes: "This is amazing - kudos to Bungie for seeing this through, having the harasser held accountable (to the tune of $500k) for his actions, and paving the way for similar lawsuits in the future."
Jean Pierre Kellams, a former EA employee and now lead producer at Harmonix, says: " I was very loud at EA that they should have been more proactive in preventing and actioning harassment against Madden employees. I got a meeting and a 'you don’t have to be on social media' out of it. This is how things should be handled. Kudos."
"We finally have a path to combat online and real-world harassment in the gaming industry," agrees Star Wars licensing manager Dianna.
"This is huge for employee safety and sets a wicked awesome precedent moving forward," says PTW community senior Nel.
Corey Strobbe, associate QA analyst at Volition, reckons: "maybe toxic gamers should think twice about harassing a dev for any reason relating to their employment."
JC Lau of Probably Monsters minces no words: "If you are a piece of shit and are considering harassing actual human beings for just trying to make video games, perhaps the legal precedent of being sued by the studio for half a million dollars will make you think twice. This is a huge win for devs in the industry."
"Bungie is doing the hard work of actually protecting its employees from online harassment, and making it legally easier for other companies to follow suit," echoes Damion Schubert, creative director at Netflix game studio Boss Fight.
Design lead David Ellis of Tomb Raider studio Crystal Dynamics sums it up: "This is a win for everyone who busts their ass to deliver interactive entertainment to audiences who sometimes don’t see or care about the effort put into the games they love."
The responses go on and on, and they're all saying the same thing: this court ruling is about more than this particular harasser, and could be a significant boon for innumerable game developers facing harassment.
Elsewhere, AAA and indie devs are rallying to send free games to patients of Australia's first young adult hospice center.