Farewell to Chris Priestly

Priestly

This screen cap was taken from Chris Priestly’s facebook page on 7/4/2013. In case it doesn’t show up on your screen, it is an announcement by “Evil” Chris Priestly telling everyone he will no longer be employed by BioWare effective July 29th, 2013.  As of yet, there’s no other information available. It doesn’t sound like Priestly has another job lined up currently, as he asked for a job as part of his 2nd to last line. That strongly suggests that this move did not come from Priestly and/or was unexpected.

This concludes the news portion of this post. Now onto opinions.

woohooWe here at Press Start to Begin have a variety of opinions and feelings on this. I think it is appropriate that we all share our feelings as “Evil” Chris Priestly’s position as Community Manager helped shape our experiences with BioWare.

First off is our very own liefofrohan3891 with her thoughts and feelings on this.

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Chris Priestly? Leaving? Say it be so? Really? Its true? What can I say to all this… hmm….

Karma sucks dude.

What do I mean by this? Well…here’s some back story: March 8th 2012 I joined a little but vastly growing community on Facebook called “Demand a Better Ending to Mass Effect 3”. This was a group of dedicated BioWare and Mass Effect fans, greatly displeased with the endings to the game series we loved.

Over the next few weeks and months we toiled as a growing community to get BioWare to listen to why exactly we were not happy. How we felt. Everything. During this, we had very very VERY creative people come up with Initiatives to get BioWare attentions, including one of my favorites, the M&M campaign. (Created by this blogs VERY OWN Michael Zack!!!! Kudos mate you deserve the praise!)

That was when we had Mr. Priestly attacking us over ANYTHING we would do. Wither it be a spirited debate (granted trolls were on both sides of the spectrum) on the BioWare Social Forums, to attacking us on FB or other pages. He wouldn’t let up.

What sealed the deal for me was on Easter of that year. Like any good social media nerd these days I of course have a Twitter. On said Twitter, I was following BioWare developers and the like. When I woke up I found one of the main sites I was on, blowing up over a comment he posted on his twitter: “Happy Messiah Zombie Day”

Not cool dude. Just not cool. I am completely OK with people believing what they want, and the like. But don’t be rude about it. And this was very rude. And on Easter? Not okay. At the point my opinion of him was pretty darn low.

So in reality am I sad to see him go? Nope. Not at all. At this point its not clear if hes leaving on his own or if hes being shown the door, but after the 2 consecutive Golden Poo Awards and massive amount of fan complaints to EA they should be seriously considering looking into the Public Image and I could defiantly see him being shown the door.

Jenn

Next, we have ryokometal75 sharing her thoughts!

I can’t honestly say that word of Chris Priestly’s departure from Bioware was all that monumental for me as someone who took part in the Retake ME3 campaign. In fact, I would go as far as to describe it something as a hollow victory. During the early stages that the ‘Demand a Better Ending for Mass Effect 3’, Chris Priestly apparently made it his mission to trash talk and deliberately antagonize not only the fans, but also rally the public against them. Now I’m not saying that he was the sole person behind all the hostilely, but he certainly didn’t help matters either.

Priestly’s job as Community Manager, as my fellow blogger Michael Zack as said, was foster good will between the disappointed fans and try to ease some of the brewing tension. That was he was paid to do. Yet, at seemingly every given opportunity, Priestly would do just the opposite and only add fuel to the fire with hurtful comments and remarks at what the Retake Movement (as it would later be called) was trying to accomplish. As a advocate and member of Retake, our goal was simply to get the company to hear our concerns and to meet us on a neutral ground as to how to fix a flawed end to a great series. And our best go-to man, at the time, was Priestly as it his job to listen to the fans concerns.

Instead, the fans were ignored.

Now I could go on and on about Priestly’s involvement in the Mass Effect ending controversy, but I rather not seeing as how thinking back on it only makes me angry about the situation all over again. I suppose I am in the same boat as Michael Zack when it comes to my own personal opinion about the man. I have never met him on a face to face basis and anyone who has says nothing but good things about him. Perhaps that is true. Perhaps he is a generally nice guy. But as the old saying goes, first impressions are everything. And my first impression of Mr. Priestly was when he told fans who wanted to know more about ME3’s ending (keeping in mind that these were fans who were NOT part of the Retake Movement) that they all needed to ‘get over it and stop whining.’

Am I sorry to see him? No, I can’t say I am. I found him to be rude, spiteful, condescending and overall, not as in touch with the fans as he liked to think. However that is as far as my venom will go.

Mr. Priestly, I wish you all the best in the future. I hope you find the same fulfillment in your next job as you did with this one.

Michael Zack - Renaissance Man of Geek Culture

Michael Zack

I hear from everyone who’s met “Evil” Chris Priestly thinks he is a very nice and soft-spoken guy. And you know what, I can believe that. He seems like the type of guy who is probably very shy when you first meet him, but is actually really funny the more you get to know him. I never met the guy, but everyone who has seem to love him to death. So, please keep in mind that all my experiences with him have been online, which seems to be very different from knowing him in person.

The Chris Priestly I knew was a jerk who seemed to love antagonizing people. I’ve seen him berate people through twitter and on BioWare’s message boards. His role as Community Manager was one that was supposed to foster goodwill between the customers and company. He’s the one that is supposed to be the voice of the company to the online world. If BioWare wanted their message to be “Go f*ck yourself,” then yes… Priestly did a great job.

But I don’t think it was. I think BioWare wanted to have great relations between their fanbase them themselves. Chris Priestly’s role should have been the guy who made that happen. When the contraversy surrounding Mass Effect 3’s ending came out, he should have been the one to step forward and say, “A lot of people seem to be upset about how game ended and we want to gather as much information as we can to better understand where you are coming from. While we cannot promise to be able to make everyone happy, your feelings on the game and its ending is very important to us. So please tell us your thoughts on the ending and what we could have done to make your experience more enjoyable.” Or if not that message, something along those lines. He didn’t do it and BioWare’s reputation took a few huge hits for it that they still haven’t recovered from. They still haven’t learned from the experience, sadly… but that’s a different topic altogether.

That’s not to say he only antagonized people online. I’ve seen him reach out when I led a campaign to thank the people who made Mass Effect 3.. I can’t remember which one off the top of my head. I included a link to the page in the letter to Priestly and he showed up on the page to thank everyone for sending it. It was a nice gesture and one I won’t forget.

So godspeed “Evil” Chris Priestly. I hope you find the job of your dreams somewhere and lead a happy and productive life. Just please, please, please, please, please stay away from the video game industry. Or if you have to come back to it, please try to not… well… go back to your jerk persona that you seem to love so much online. It doesn’t help facilitate relations between the company and customer.

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3 comments on “Farewell to Chris Priestly

  1. Chris Priestly went on to act as “communications manager” for a former welfare fraud (convicted), charity fraud, and deadbeat dad named Dale Prouse of Edmonton AB and another former Bioware employee named Leah Hollands as part of a fraud scheme selling shares in a fake sports entertainment web company known as Sportmafia.com. Their Several Edmontonians (and possibly others) were defrauded of thousands of dollars as part of an ongoing fraud scheme going well back before 2011. EPS Economic Crimes and the Alberta Securities Commission were contacted. A class action suit may yet follow.

    As “Communications Manager”, which in this case is shorthand for “guy who updates Twitter and FB page by cut and pasting updates from legitimate sports outlets and emailing cold-call ad requests for commission” ( I know because I was duped into doing this job before him) he still lists this on his LinkedIn CV, which begs the question, was he duped into participating, or was he complicit in the fraud?

    “Evil” can sometimes be pretty banal. Does his new company CD PROJEKT RED know about his association with known criminals (and not even big time criminals but petty fraudsters that engaged in charity fraud, using the memory of dead veterans to elicit funds)

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