Sony Santa Monica issues statement calling for ‘respect’ following online abuse

God of War developer Sony Santa Monica has issued a statement calling for “respect”, following reports of online abuse against its developers.

Sony was heavily speculated to have been announcing a release date for God of War Ragnarök this week, but when this ultimately didn’t happen some of the game’s developers reportedly received abuse on social media.

This led the studio’s creative director to urge the community to “treat the people that make the things we love with some human decency and respect”.

On Friday, the studio itself tweeted: “Every single person at Santa Monica Studio is working to create a game that we’re proud of, one that we hope you will enjoy playing once released.

“Our fans inspire us, and we understand the passion and desire for more information. But that passion should not be toxic nor come at the expense of any human being’s dignity.

“Let’s celebrate our community by treating each other, every game and developer alike, with respect.”

Earlier on Friday one female developer tweeted that some users had been sending her unsolicited, explicit images and asking her for the game’s release date, to which creative director Barlog replied: “Are you fucking kidding me with this now?”

Demanding that nobody should send explicit images to anyone in the industry, he added: “They are busting their ass to make some[thing] for you to enjoy. Show some fucking respect.”

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Later, after retweeting the news that Return to Monkey Island director Ron Gilbert will no longer be posting about the game because of online abuse, Barlog again expressed his wish for the community to behave more respectfully.

Barlog’s tweet was commended by head of Xbox, Phil Spencer, who replied: “So well said Cory. Can’t wait to enjoy GoW when it comes out. And thanks to you and the team for the amazing work that goes into creating things we love. Thank you.”

Barlog asked fans on Wednesday to “please be patient” as they await news on the game’s release date.

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