Baldur’s Gate expansion studio under fire over trans-character and GamerGate reference

| April 11, 2016
Baldur's Gate expansion studio under fire over trans-character and GamerGate reference

It hasn’t been a happy couple of days for Baldur’s Gate expansion developer, Beamdog. The studio has received a wide array of heated criticism over social media following the release of the Siege of the Dragonspear expansion due to its inclusion of a poorly developed transgender character and a line that jokingly references the group GamerGate.

Beamdog’s CEO, Trent Oster, issued a statement to Polygon about the comments and criticism where he says, “While we appreciate all feedback we receive from our fans, both positive as well as negative, some of the negative feedback has focused not on Siege of Dragonspear but on individual developers at Beamdog, to the point of online threats and harassment. I just want to make it crystal clear that Beamdog does not condone this behavior, and moreover that it will not have the desired effect as we stand behind all our developers 100 percent. We created the game as a group, and moving forward we’ll work on the game’s issues as a group, which I believe is exactly as it should be.”

Baldur'S Gate Expansion Studio Under Fire Over Trans-Character And Gamergate Reference 2

The entire issue started out when players discovered the npc character, Mizhena. The character reveals herself to be transgender, originally being raised as a boy. Mizhena’s key criticism is that she is written poorly and is too open about her sexuality with the player. Some players feel that her inclusion is cheap, only serving to tick a box that a transgender character was included in the game. Oster says that Mizhena will be receiving improvements in a later update, which will place her as a more central character.

Lastly, the line that jokingly references GamerGate, “It’s all about ethics in heroic adventuring”, will be removed from the expansion. Oster said that the studio is busy working on fixing up all the issues quickly and will be providing a complete list of what they plan to fix in their next update.

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