Game developer working at computers

The Virtual World Isn’t Always Fun and Games for a Game Developer

Video game creators have feelings too, and it's time for us to start treating them like the human beings they are.
February 28, 2020
8 mins read

Remember being kids and playing all those awesome video games? Those were some of the best moments of my childhood, and back then, I always thought about how cool it would be to become a game developer and play video games all the time.

Now, I know for a fact that it’s not all fun and games (no pun intended). It’s a lot of hard work, and sometimes it takes a toll on mental health. I am not a game developer; I considered becoming one, and I had great ideas for some games. However, after seeing what they go through just to give their followers what they want, I realized it’s not worth it.

Many gamers and even some anime fans know of the game “Yandere Simulator.” It’s about a girl who does everything in her power to get close to her senpai. I first got into “Yandere Simulator” after seeing some YouTubers do “Lets Play” videos of the game, laughing at the playthroughs. I thought about how this will probably be a great game once it’s done.

The game developer’s name is Alex. His last name is unknown, but he goes by YandereDev on social media. He often releases builds to show the fans how much progress he has made in the game and to see if there are any bugs he needs to fix. He is a nice guy who responds to YouTubers’ videos and gives them shout outs, and he did an interview with Bijuu Mike.

YandereDev was also very active on Reddit, where he responded to my questions about “Yandere Simulator” and even took one of my ideas to implement in the game.

However, this recent blog post was concerning. He admitted that he was subjected to a large amount of harassment these past couple of weeks, which worsened his depression. This is not the first time he has experienced this; however, Dev admitted that this abuse was worse than the last time.

He normally posts update videos on the progress of the game, but he has not posted since the beginning of the year. He even came close to making a video stating that he quits and that the stress wasn’t worth it anymore.

Dev is a very talented game developer and has a really cool concept for a new upcoming game, but it seems like all of the hate has been getting to him and it’s getting to a point where he is struggling to find motivation, and he is not the only one.

Being a game developer can be a very stressful job. Behind the hugely successful “Fortnite” are some very tired and overworked game developers who barely have time to themselves. Even though the staff was paid overtime, according to an interview by Polygon, some of them have reportedly been suffering health issues as a result of working consecutive months of 70-hour weeks.

It is not just the long hours. Even with all the work the developers are putting into the games to make fans happy, it still doesn’t seem to satisfy the internet trolls. Developers, just trying to do their jobs, are receiving death threats. There have been things that I didn’t like about certain games, but of course that doesn’t mean that I am going to go that far.

We need to realize that game developers are human beings — just like we are. They have lives, they go out, they eat, they sleep, they cry and they have opinions. We need to stop acting like they are superhumans that can withstand any obstacle in their way. Behind every successful game is an overworked game developer who gave up most of their social life just to give you the weapons you wanted in “Fortnite.”

“Kingdom Hearts 3” was delayed multiple times, and even when it finally got released, there was still some animosity towards the game and its developers. We can be disappointed in some aspects of the game but still not be horrible toward the game developers themselves. They are human, and all humans make mistakes. I would simply say I didn’t like a part of the game and move on, but I wouldn’t go out of my way to send hate mail to the company that did it.

What some gamers need to realize is that without game developers, the gaming industry would not even exist, and we would not have all these awesome video games that we are playing today. We would not have “Yandere Simulator,” “Call of Duty,” “Detroit Become Human,” “Kingdom Hearts,” “Final Fantasy,” “Fortnite” or any of the games that we probably spend most of our money on.

YandereDev and all the other game developers put their heart and soul into these games to make the fans happy, and it’s time we start showing them some gratitude and realize that they are people just like us.

I would rather play a clean, fully finished version of a game even if it takes time to come out, rather than a rushed version that’s full of bugs and almost unplayable. Why? Because the well-being of a game developer is way more important. We should offer some critiques to them, because people receive that in any kind of job, but we can do that without spewing hate everywhere.

If you have a friend who wants to develop video games, give them all the support you can. They are going into a very tough industry. It may seem like everyone’s dream job at first, but it can turn into a nightmare if we keep putting all this pressure on developers to make every game perfect when, in reality, nothing is perfect.

Go out there and give game developers some love; after everything they go through, they deserve it.

Lisa Lilianstrom, Northern Illinois University

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Lisa Lilianstrom

Northern Illinois University
Journalism, minor in Communications

Everyone deserves to have their stories heard. Writer, student, artist — plans to one day travel the world with the love of my life.

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