Paradox pulls 'whitewashing' Stellaris mod for racial discrimination

‘We embrace the idea that players mod the game to best represent how they want to play, we do NOT however wish to enable discriminatory practices,’ developer says, adding that comments surrounding mod reinforced decision
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A player-made mod that made all characters in sci-fi strategy game Stellaris white with European names has been blocked by the game’s creator.

Paradox pulled the ‘European Phenotype and Names Only (White Humans)’ mod from Steam Workshop, stating that the game had been designed to reflect a diverse roster of in-game characters.

"We shipped the game originally with an accurate representation of humans, that is to say diverse in both ethnicity and personality," a Paradox representative told Eurogamer.

"We embrace the idea that players mod the game to best represent how they want to play, we do NOT however wish to enable discriminatory practices.”

Expanding on the decision on Reddit, community manager Paradoxal_Bear said that while the studio disagreed with the mod’s content, it was actually the creator’s distasteful description that had spurred the removal.

“We saw the mod, thought it wasn't in very good taste, but let it remain,” they explained.

“Then the creator of the mod decided to update the description of the mod to promote an ‘agenda’ not related to computer games at all, and this was being clearly displayed on our product page. We decided it was a step too far and removed it.”

They went on to describe the mod’s description as containing “disturbing elements”, acknowledging concerns over perceived censorship by agreeing: “Our job is to make computer games, not push political agendas. This is why we removed some political proclamations being made in the description field on our workshop page.”

Paradox COO Susana Meza Graham later issued a longer statement regarding the move, adding that the community surrounding the mod had reinforced its deletion.

“It would appear that the comments surrounding the mod, rather than the mod itself, were the biggest problem,” she wrote on Twitlonger.

“We welcome everyone to create all kind of mods for us as long as they comply with our rules of conduct and we expect our modders to help us keep the comment sections free of any racial slurs or other things that do not comply with these same codes.”

Image via Kotaku

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