With the Internet being what it is, it's easy to think that the things one says will never see the light of day. Sometimes that assumption is correct, but it's far more common for one's heated comments to quickly come back and bite them - something a Battalion 1944 player recently learned the hard way.
Usually, players who make a habit of issuing threats or exhibiting bad behavior get targeted for bans, as was the case with a few toxic Overwatch YouTubers earlier this year. However, the developer of Battalion 1944, Bulkhead Interactive, took a somewhat more humorous approach to their problem player. Instead of getting the police involved, they decided to do something that would remind the player to be more careful and, hopefully, less hot-headed in the future.
Battalion 1944 hosted its first tournament back in April. The winners were promised cash prizes and in-game skins, but it seems that the skins still have yet to be delivered. One member of the winning team, "SUSPC7" was upset by this and decided to vent their frustration on Discord. This is where they originally said they would "shoot up the studio" while referencing the shooting that took place at YouTube's corporate offices.
“'Obviously I was just trying to be funny and shouldn’t have used the YouTube shooting as an example of that, basically saying they might answer my question if I did the same, but it was all just a joke that got blown out of proportion,' SUSPC7 said." (via The Verge)
Their comments didn't stay confined to Discord for very long. One member of the Discord decided to post them on Twitter, and from there the comments quickly made their way to the attention of Bulkhead. As one might expect, the developer was not impressed. The studio lead, Joe Brummer, contacted SUSPC7 and delivered the following message:
“So a few months ago, I think you remember, you threatened that if we didn’t get your skins to you soon you’d ‘shoot up the studio. It was really disappointing to see one of the best players in our foundation of the community, one of the winners of the first tournament take this attitude toward the developers. We are not a faceless Valve-esq studio who can choose to remain silent for reasons like this, we chose to expose our personal lives and show players that we’re people who care about FPS games.
“You claimed, ‘It was just a joke.’ I fail to see anything funny about threatening to ‘shoot up a studio’. So I thought I’d teach you a lesson about comedy.” (via VG24/7)
It was shortly after that that a minor change was made to SUSPC7's gun.
Photo credit: SUSPC7 (via VG24/7)
The end result of all this was a little prank on the part of the developer and a hot-headed player who learned a lesson about saying unnecessary things on the Unternet. It's a great example of developers defusing a tense situation like some of this year's April Fools jokes, but it also could have played out very differently.
Threatening violence is no laughing matter. Of course most people know this and would never carry out the threats they make in the heat of the moment; Some do though. Making idle threats might not seem like that big of a deal, but can cause serious problems if made to the wrong people. In the case of SUSPC7, the consequence was getting a phallus painted on their gun. For at least one other, it was a fatal swatting incident. Seriously, just don't do it.