From the game developer’s perspective, would gamers boycotting upcoming BioWare title “Dragon Age: Dreadwolf” due to the studio’s poor treatment of its workers e.g. with regards to severance pay, help or hinder the developers who were laid off and the developers who remain at the company?

It likely wouldn't do anything. First and foremost the timing doesn't line up. The developers were laid off in August, and Dragon Age: Dreadwolf won't launch at earliest until April of 2024. Boycotts won't work until the game is actually launched which would be a full nine months at earliest after those people lost their jobs. The need for severance pay is usually immediate because that money is what we live on while we look for a new job. Promising a starving person that you'll help them get some food nine months down the line is not particularly helpful.

Second, boycotts rarely work. The majority of Dragon Age players couldn't name a single developer who worked on the game, let alone have the kind of deep-cut awareness of the business dealings at Bioware. It's helpful to remember the [80-20-5 rule] - things that the really hard core fans know about are utterly foreign to the majority of a game's community, especially AAA games with literal millions of players.

Even if gamers somehow managed to get the message out to the community, the community rallying together to affect the game's sales numbers, the publisher getting the right takeaway from the boycott, and the publisher deciding to give those developers their due severance pay all those months after DAD launches, we still probably wouldn't ever find out because it would almost certainly end (at best) in a settlement with all parties signing NDAs as a requirement for the settlement to go through. In that situation, we'd get no news at all about the matter. Ever.

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