EA issued an apology for its lack of action against one of its Game Changers in “The Sims” community who was sexually harassing teenage boys, in a statement last week.
“We are disappointed in how events have unfolded and we own our responsibility to that,” Pearson wrote.
EA’s Game Changer Network is a community partnership program that recognizes select content creators and influencers. Dylansimz, the man accused of sexual harassment, was a part of this program. He has since been reported to the authorities and removed from the Game Changers program.
However, this only occurred after the boys took their concerns to “The Sims” YouTuber Pastel Sims, who made their concerns public, while still keeping the boys’ identities private.
“I’ve had multiple boys … message me saying that when they were teenagers, when they were 15, 16 around that age, they were also harassed by [Dylansimz] on so many different platforms. He’s used email, Discord, Twitter messages, he’s gone into people’s livestreams and creeped on them … this isn’t just like an accident, like this isn’t just him making a mistake thinking ‘Oh I didn’t know how old they were’ ,” she said in a video published on her YouTube channel last week. “This is like his thing that he does and he’s been getting away with it for years.”
Pastel Sims further said she was appalled that “The Sims” community managers, called “Sim gurus,” weren’t doing anything about the situation. She said in her video that one of the boys messaged Kate Olmstead, global community manager for “The Sims” to report the harassment.
In the statement from Pearson, it was noted that “team members followed up [about the allegations] with the Sims Game Changer in question, and confirmed directly with him that the conduct occurred as it had been described.”
However, the statement further acknowledged that the proper investigation and escalation did not occur, and that the “actions taken at the time were clearly not sufficient, and not in line with our values as a company.”
Olmstead further noted in a tweet that the “Sim Gurus” cannot comment publicly on the matter.
This isn’t the first time the Game Changers program has been involved in controversy. Last month, an EA Game Changer said that he was told to take down a negative “Anthem” review, though EA insisted that it was simply a request to modify his disclosure statement, and encourages its Game Changers to be honest in game reviews.
“The relationship we have with our community and Game Changers is paramount, and something we don’t take for granted,” Pearson wrote in the statement. “We should have done better. We will do better.”