A minor character's comments about her gender in the recently released Siege of Dragonspear expansion for beloved RPG Baldur's Gate prompted plenty of negativity from the community bout the game, but Wizards of the Coast has come to the defense of developer Beamdog.
"Dungeons & Dragons stands by the stories our partners tell and we fully support the choices Beamdog has made in developing Siege of Dragonspear." Nathan Stewart, director of the Dungeons & Dragons franchise for Wizards of the Coast, said in a Fecbook post. "Inclusivity is a core value of Wizards of the Coast and we believe that all people, regardless of ethnicity, background, gender identity or sexuality, should be free to play our games without fear of harassment or attacks. In July of 2014 we released the D&D Player’s Handbook for the fifth edition and included the following section as an example of our core values."
Pictured with the post was an image clipped from the 5th Edition of the D&D Players Handbook:
The endorsement comes a day after Beamdog president Trent Oster defended writer Amber Scott and his team in a post on the game's official forum. “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," he said. “I just want to make it crystal clear that Beamdog does not condone this behaviour, and moreover that it will not have the desired effect as we stand behind all our developers 100%. 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.”
However, he did acknowlede that the character Mizhena could have been done a bit differently. “In retrospect, it would have been better served if we had introduced a transgender character with more development," he said. "This is a lesson we will be carrying forward in our development as creators and we will be improving this character in a future update."
In addition to promising bug fixes, he also mentioned that an offhand reference by a character to Gamergate - "it's about ethics in heroic adventuring" - would be cut. "Looking back on the line, we agree with the feedback from our community, it has nothing to do with his character and we will be removing the line,” he said.