Former Evolve Community Manager Shares His Side of the Story

Josh Olin recalls the events surrounding his termination from Turtle Rock Studios in 2014.


Josh Olin, who was terminated from his post as community manager of Left 4 Dead and Evolve developer Turtle Rock Studios last year in the wake of his comments about Donald Sterling, has now shared his side of the story. Olin, who also previously worked on franchises like Call of Duty and League of Legends and is now a VP at 3D Realms, was the guest on a recent installment of the Joe Rogan Experience podcast.

You can watch the entire two-hour video above, but note that it's full of strong language.

In the video, starting at 8:20, Olin recalls the day he was axed from Turtle Rock. He says he woke up at around 9 AM the day after tweeting about Sterling and found a text from a friend and colleague informing him that his tweets, in which he called Sterling a "victim," were generating news stories. He says he didn't think much of it and got in the shower to prepare for work. When he got out of the shower, Olin had even more text messages, including one from the general manager of Turtle Rock, who Olin says informed him that he needed to go "radio dark" on social media.

"45 minutes later, I still haven't left to go to the studio yet, my email stops working. I'm not stupid, they literally just shut off my email," Olin said. "So I tried calling [the Turtle Rock GM] and he didn't take my call. An hour later, he's like, 'We should probably meet at the Starbucks around the corner.' And I was like, 'What?!, you don't even want me to come in the office and talk about this? You don't want to hear my side of it? You don't want to see what's what? It's just done?'"

After this, Turtle Rock released their statement, confirming Olin's departure. Olin said this statement was "literally putting the match to the kerosene" and propelled the controversy further. "When they fired me, it turned into this huge thing in the gaming industry around 'was that right?' 'was that wrong?'" he said.

"The comments made by our former community manager stand in stark contrast to our values as a game development studio," Turtle Rock said on Twitter at the time. "We sincerely apologize for his remarks and in no way endorse or support those views."

For his part, Olin said at the time: "Anyone who follows me knows my tweets were not in support of Sterling's actions. Rather, they were promoting three core tenets I believe in: 1) The harm sensational media presents to society. 2) The importance and sanctity of your privacy within your own home. And 3) The right to be whatever you want to be as an American, as long as it isn't hurting anyone else. That last point not to be confused with condoning Sterling's actions, which I don't."

Be sure to watch the full segment to hear everything Olin has to say. He also talks about 3D Realms' upcoming game Bombshell and other industry topics.

GameSpot has followed up with 2K Games, publisher of Evolve, to see if 2K/Turtle Rock has a response to Olin's comments. We'll update this post with anything we hear back.

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