Halo: The Master Chief Collection has had an awfully rough launch, plagued with matchmaking issues that have prevented many gamers from being able to play it without problems. Unsurprisingly, fans are upset with the half-finished product that they've bought, but some have been going to unnecessarily extreme lengths to vent their anger, even sending death threats to developers of the game.
The director of Microsoft's flagship franchise, Frank O’Connor, claims to have been the victim of serious harassment. He's so far been trying to fix the game's technical issues, while posting on NeoGAF - a popular video game enthusiast forum - to keep players updated on the latest fixes to the game. That was until he started receiving death threats from disgruntled Halo fans. O’Connor told a user on NeoGAF:
I am not posting much for a couple of reasons, one, too busy trying to fix. Two, well past a couple of dozen believable (I don’t personally believe them, but better safe than sorry) death threats.
Death threats are an unfortunately common problem in the video game industry, but are never justifiable as appropriate behavior.
This isn't the first time harassment like this has been directed at a game developer. Last month, an executive at Bungie - the makers of Halo and Destiny - became the victim of 'swatting' when someone made a hoax phone call to the police, falsely claiming the executive:
had an assault rifle and he had placed explosives in the yard and he was holding a family hostage.
Cops surrounded the home at 4am, armed for a genuine hostage situation.
This kind of behavior is seriously irresponsible and is never a reasonable reaction to being disappointed by a video game. In fact, these kinds of dangerous stunts are more likely to impede a game from being fixed for players, simply causing distress to the very people trying to resolve the issue.
I hope Frank O’Connor can continue his work in safety, and that the people responsible for the death threats are swiftly reprimanded.