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News video games 27 March 2024, 07:24

author: Jacob Blazewicz

Manor Lords Dev and Others Address Recurring Problem With Drugging GDC Participant

The developer of Manor Lords has joined developers drawing attention to the problem of drugging Game Developer Conference participants, and the outrageous behavior of the San Francisco services, where the event is held.

Source: Game Developer Conference.

Grzegorz Styczen has a busy month leading up to the release of his first game in early access, and occasionally shares new updates about it. However, the latest post by the Pole doesn't concern his game.The dev of Manor Lords further provided information about the police ignoring the case of drug intoxication of one of the participants of this year's edition of the Game Developer Conference - by no means the first time in the history of this event.

The matter was reported by Hooded Horse studio, publisher of Manor Lords. The CEO of the company, Snow "Xue" Rui, alleges that someone tampered with her drink at the hotel bar where she was staying with numerous conference attendees (via LinkedIn / X).

Intoxication and ignorance

At some point, she was expected to start behaving as if she were drunk, even though she had only consumed a small number of drinks ("about one per hour"). No other developers present reported any issues, certainly not like hers. Rui was unable to stand and was vomiting heavily when her colleagues attempted to take her to her room. An ambulance was called quickly.

Rui and the rest of the Hooded Horse team present at GDC quickly concluded that someone must have slipped something into her drink. However, San Franciso police didn't agree. The security services showed no interest in examining the hotel camera footage from the time of the incident, and it was only the pressure from the developer's friends that prompted the start of the investigation.

Drug tests, including the so-called "rape pills," were also refused to be conducted at the hospital. In both cases, the devs heard that Rui "was just drunk." Here, the tests were only conducted after pressure from developers. At least that's what the Hooded Horse employees believed when they canceled all the meetings.

However, when Rui called the hospital, it turned out that the doctors had only conducted tests for the presence of substances like marijuana and cocaine. No tests were conducted for the presence of GHB and similar substances, because it "would consume too many resources."

The American woman was also disappointed by the conversation with the police. The police station in San Francisco has decided to assign an inspector to the investigation... within two weeks after the end of GDC.

Developers insist on changing the location of GDC

Rui and her colleagues remind that this isn't the first time such a situation has occurred. A year ago, there were many reports about attendees of GDC 2023 who also had drinks with "additives," and this is certainly not the first time such incidents have been reported in recent years (via Venture Beat /

At that time, some individuals also noted the San Francisco services' unwillingness to investigate the matter. According to representatives of Hooded Horse who spoke to TheGamer, there were reportedly many people pressuring the GDC organizers to change the city for the next editions of the conference.

Styczen also spoke out on this matter. The developer is clearly unhappy with how the situation unfolded with the publisher of his game and wants to bring attention to the matter. Judging by the response on social media (the Polish post has more likes and quotes than the original Hooded Horse message) - it seems he succeeded.

At the time of publishing this text, no comment from the organizers on this matter has appeared.

Jacob Blazewicz

Jacob Blazewicz

Graduated with a master's degree in Polish Studies from the University of Warsaw with a thesis dedicated to this very subject. Started his adventure with in 2015, writing in the Newsroom and later also in the film and technology sections (also contributed to the Encyclopedia). Interested in video games (and not only video games) for years. He began with platform games and, to this day, remains a big fan of them (including Metroidvania). Also shows interest in card games (including paper), fighting games, soulslikes, and basically everything about games as such. Marvels at pixelated characters from games dating back to the time of the Game Boy (if not older).