Abuse Accusations and "Censorship" Drama Were at the Forefront of a Busy Week in Games

Abuse Accusations and "Censorship" Drama Were at the Forefront of a Busy Week in Games

THIS WEEK IN BUSINESS | A series of accusations of abusive behavior dominated the industry during a week full of new releases.

This Week in Business is a collection of stats and quotes from our sister site GamesIndustry.biz that sheds light on console sales, new trends, and more. Check back every Friday for a new entry!

If you've been paying attention to GamesIndustry.biz this week, you probably noticed a whole bunch of stuff came out, some good, some less so.

There was Remedy's reality-bending Control (good!), Platinum's Switch-exclusive Astral Chain (good!), and Ancestors: The Humankind Odyssey (interesting!), the first new title from both developer Panache Digital Games and Take-Two-owned publishing label Private Division.

On the other hand, we also had a flurry of developers coming out with horror stories of mistreatment that ran the gamut from "clearly unacceptable" to "deeply disturbing and criminal."

It wouldn't necessarily be appropriate to use this space to let victims name their accusers without also including the accused's responses, and attempting to do that would pretty much devote this entire week's column to a parade of horrors many people could probably use a breather from, so instead I'll just link them here. And here.

And don't forget this one.

Here's a couple more.

My point is that there were a bunch.

Annnnnnd…. done. (For now, at least.)

QUOTE | "These stories are sickening." - Oculus VP of AR/VR Andrew Bosworth probably didn't intend to sum up the entire week in gaming, but he may as well have.

QUOTE | "One time you find out is Layoff Day. You go drink with the people who got laid off, and women who have been dealing with shitty men for YEARS will suddenly feel the freedom to speak. And let me tell you, every time that happens, other women at the table will, almost without hesitation, say 'I know!' or 'Oh my god, not you too!'" - Veteran developer Damion Schubert talks about one of the things that helps open men's eyes to the prevalence of harassment, abuse, and shoddy treatment of women in the industry. (That article is a round-up with loads of perspective from people around the industry and I encourage everyone to read it.)

QUOTE | "Members of Voidpoint's Ion Fury team have made sexist and transphobic comments, and included homophobic language in Ion Fury. We recognize these statements are insensitive, unacceptable, and counterproductive to causes of equality. We unequivocally apologize both for these comments and language as well as for any pain they have caused the gaming community, particularly women and members of the LGBTQ community. We take full responsibility for any damage that has been done to the relationships we've worked so hard to build." - 3D Realms and Voidpoint, last week, in a joint statement promising to patch the game.

QUOTE | "We've caused a recent controversy suggesting Ion Fury game content was to be censored. We will absolutely NOT be censoring Ion Fury or any of our other games, now or in the future, including but not limited to by removing gags such as gaming's most controversial facial wash. We do not support censorship of creative works of any kind and regret our initial decision to alter a sprite in the game instead of trusting our instincts. 3D Realms and Voidpoint stand together on this matter." - 3D Realms and Voidpoint striking a very different tone this week. The facial wash referenced was a bottle labelled "Ogay," a devastatingly insightful satire of the Olay brand and truly the type of meaningful, substantial speech that must be defended at all costs.

QUOTE | "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." - 3D Realms, in an update to the previous story, showing the world it has a very fuzzy grasp on this whole "censorship" concept.

QUOTE | "At this point, it feels like 2K and Rockstar (following its perfectly-timed casino update to GTA 5) are careening towards the cliff edge, blindly ignoring all the warning signs, almost as if to say: 'You think those other publishers are problematic? Just wait until you see this.' And all we can do is watch as they pop a wheelie and plummet into the void." - GamesIndustry.biz's Haydn Taylor takes 2K to task for an NBA 2K20 trailer predominantly focused on how fun the game's gambling mechanics are.

QUOTE | "Overall, I'm still of the opinion like I was at the beginning that, as an industry and as a publisher, we should welcome Epic and their business model." - Koch Media CEO Klemens Kundratitz says the company is very happy with its decision to make Metro Exodus an Epic Games Store exclusive, and would consider more Epic exclusives in the future.

STAT | 10 years - The maximum prison sentence potentially facing six men arrested in Australia over allegations of match-fixing in Counter-Strike: Global Offense.

QUOTE | "Defendants did not just copy a few discrete elements from Blizzard's Warcraft games. They created a game whose content is almost entirely copied from the Warcraft games and related products." - Blizzard, in a lawsuit against the makers of free-to-play browser and PC game Glorious Saga.

QUOTE | "It's unfortunate the way that it ended. Certainly we're working very hard not to make similar mistakes." - Jamie Ottilie of LCG Entertainment talks about the company's relaunch of Telltale Games after recently acquiring the brand that created The Walking Dead episodic adventure games and collapsed spectacularly, leaving its employees in the lurch.

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Brendan Sinclair

North American Editor

Brendan joined GamesIndustry International in 2012. Based in Toronto, Ontario, he was previously senior news editor at CBS-owned GameSpot in the US.

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