A little after four hours into a recent Final Fantasy XIV livestream, producer Naoki Yoshida mentioned that he appreciated feedback from players, but did have a request.
“I just want the verbal abuse to stop,” said Yoshida. “I think my mental state is among the strongest in Japan, but not everyone is like that.”
The analogy Yoshida gave is if you’ve left a junked car downtown in a big city (that’s the city he mentioned was New York!), it could get junked out even more. Others have already destroyed the vehicle, so this gives permissions for people to join in. It’s seen as acceptable.
When players and fans go off on a game, it’s the developers who end up feeling the brunt of these sharp remarks. “There have been mistakes, but at the place where we’ve all arrived in the past 11 years, I feel like the language might be too strong,” said Yoshida. “I can take the worst of it, but the developers feel defeated and lose that feeling that they’re making the game for all the players.”
According to Yoshida, some devs are really impacted by the comments, because they feel like they’re doing their best for the players. Their motivation then decreases.
The FFXIV producer said that he had a request: Before you press enter or return after writing a comment, imagine the face of the folks who make the game. In short, remember that your comments are directed at your fellow humans.
“I’m not saying to praise all the developers as there are also mistakes, but it would be helpful if people thought about the way they convey their feelings.”
Feedback is fine. Being a jerk about it is not.