Earlier today Voidpoint, the developer of throwback FPS Ion Fury, changed its mind on removing some homophobic content from its game. While it clarified that one slur in particular would still be taken out, publisher 3D Realms has confirmed today that another disputed joke would stay in, while reaffirming the developer's original pledge at the same time.
In a statement to GamesIndustryBiz, Ion Fury publisher 3D Realms reaffirmed Voidpoint's donation to The Trevor Project, a charity that helps at-risk LGBTQ teens, and sensitivity training plans.
It also confirmed it would uphold developer Voidpoint's stance to keep a bottle labelled "Ogay" in the game, citing it as "censorship" that "should be protected by free speech." The full statement is below:
We at 3D Realms spoke with Voidpoint today and they reaffirmed their commitment to honoring their original statement, including the donation to The Trevor Project and sensitivity training. However, the soap bottle will not be removed.
The use of the word "f*gbag" in an area that was inaccessible without hacking the game, and was added by one developer without approval from anyone else, was removed a few days ago. We once again apologize for this text as it does not reflect the values of 3D Realms or Voidpoint.
Jokes at the expense of marginalized communities will not be present in future games published by 3D Realms. However, a portion of our community made it loud and clear they felt removing "Ogay" was censorship and should be protected by free speech. Voidpoint wanted to listen and we respected this decision.
In previous comment, 3D Realms had said both references would be removed, and that future contracts would include terms allowing them to sever contractors who don't abide by a "zero-tolerance policy" for hate speech. Cries of censorship are often confused with other issues like localization or simply artistic changes on the developer's part, but in this case, it seems like a capitulation.