With MMO developer ArenaNet recently becoming the latest in a long string of studios laying off developers, Guild Wars 2 players have been gathering in the game to show their appreciation for those who find themselves without jobs.
Multiple events saw people from all over the world meeting up under the Lion’s Arch, toasting with body-changing tonics, and setting off fireworks in commemoration of the developers’ hard work.
The extent to which these layoffs actually impacted the Guild Wars 2 team is unclear. ArenaNet said at the time that they "will not be affected," and that the restructuring was “due to the cancellation of unannounced projects.” But a later post on the company’s forums by game director Mike Zadorojny states that “it's going to take some time for us to adjust to our staffing changes,” and that there would be some as-yet-unannounced delays to upcoming updates.
Still, even if these job losses don't affect the MMO directly, it's a nice place for players to show their gratitude towards the company’s workers in general. Plus, it comes as a welcome reminder that the player-developer relationship doesn’t need to be antagonistic.
Fans like those who harassed Jessica Price and Peter Fries (who ArenaNet eventually caved in to, firing the pair) don't define the whole community. Instead, events like these mean that people like Reddit users PhamyCaint and BluJasmine, who organised some of the gatherings, and Twitter user David33Bx who took pictures (including the one used in the header) of the attendees arranged in heart patterns, get to make their voices heard, and saying something nice for once.
Well wishes have also been flooding in through the Twitter tag #Love4ArenaNet, and on a dedicated page on the Guild Wars 2 Wiki. It’s hardly a fix-all for an industry that’s been shedding workers almost too quickly to keep up with, but it is at least a breath of fresh air.