Voidpoint has confirmed it will now not remove offensive content found within newly released Ion Fury and its official Discord.
When sexist and transphobic comments were discovered in the company’s official Discord and shared publicly, at first the developer maintained the comments had been taken out of context.
It later apologised, however, with publisher 3D Realms stating that going forward, contracts would permit it “to sever relationships” if a contractor did not abide by its zero-tolerance policy for hate speech.
Voidpoint co-founders Evan Ramos and Richard Gobeille also formally responded, apologising for the comments and pledging to add “mandatory sensitivity training” for all employees and contractors, as well as donating $10,000 from Ion Fury’s release day proceeds to The Trevor Project, an American non-profit organisation that works to prevent suicide in the LGBTQ+ community.
“We recognise these statements are insensitive, unacceptable, and counterproductive to causes of equality,” the statement on the Steam page said, adding “we are also patching Ion Fury ASAP to remove all unacceptable language”.
In another twist, however, yesterday 3D Realms and Voidpoint issued a joint statement that now confirms it will not patch out all of the offensive content after all.
“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.
“Last but not least, please respect our need to keep our community forums clean from hateful messages, spam, or off-topic threads. We recognize our mistake and have received your message loud and clear!”
In further exchanges via its official Twitter account, Voidpoint said one of the homophobic slurs was “a legitimate error made by a developer who doesn’t even live in an English-speaking country” and the person responsible “removed it”.
Despite previously stating the proposed changes “didn’t compromise [its] artistic integrity” and that “a stupid joke about gay soap isn’t the hill to die on“, Voidpoint now says: “I’m sorry, but if you think playing off the brand name ‘OLAY’ to write ‘OGAY’ is a homophobic slur, I don’t know what to tell you. If you’re looking to be offended you will often find what you’re looking for.”
The company has, however, confirmed it is “absolutely still donating” to the Trevor Project.