Game Companies Can Serve Communities or Customers, But Rarely Both


CW: This article contains discussions and descriptions of online harassment and abuse.

This is a companion discussion topic for the original entry at


I can’t help but feel like this article is important right now when we’re seeing games like Overwatch try to reduce toxicity of their audience and the alt-right, etc push back against actually being punished for hate speech. The information here is frustrating but unsurprising. My hope is that bringing by them to light more often - and while I totally understand the author not revealing the game that this took place in, I think we need some folks who are willing to drop names - these sorts of practices will become unacceptable.


Great article! Every time I hear more about the money hose bullshit I get more and more frustrated by the “live service” model.

Few companies have stood the test of time long enough to see how this method is a failure over time. Not surprisingly the few that have managed to stay afloat are often the ones who really took the idea of community focus to heart.

Digital Extremes is a good example of this in action. They have thrived because they chose community over cash up front. They pushed hard to cull the toxicity from the community. They have made active choices to remove any products they see as exploitative.

I can only hope that other companies can use this as an example of success over time instead of a road to quick cash before they burn it all down.


Excellent article! Very illuminating but like @mundanesoul said, unfortunately not very surprising.

Capitalism is so friggin’ cool y’all!!! (I’m just so tired.)


Just wanted to agree that, yeah, this was a great article.


There’s nothing I can really add to this that the article doesn’t make clear itself – it is a very good article about a different kind of moderation experience than doing it for Waypoint & Twitch streams is (although I have definitely heard about similar issues arising with Twitch streamers).


As aggravating as the details of the treatment of SuperCreep are, what amazes me is how many so-called entrepreneurs or executives seem utterly unfamiliar with the concept of Opportunity Cost. Yes, they may be keeping SuperCreeps “money hose” open, but how many are being crimped or turned off completely by his behavior? How many people (I can point to at least one!) don’t bother trying to play online games at all because they know encountering behavior like this is inevitable?

I’ll be rooting for R6: Siege’s continued success, so maybe some of these other companies will realize the opportunities they’re forgoing by refusing to address their community’s problems.