I spent the whole time editing this podcast on a yoga ball. So Gabe, I get you.
Hey, remember Ion Fury, that really good old-school FPS I reviewed a few weeks back? Well, since then, it’s been revealed that some of the developers were spouting transphobic diatribes in the official game Discord server. Not only that, but noclipping in the game revealed an instance of the f-slur and a product in-game was called “Ogay” instead of “Olay”.
After these things became public, Eurogamer followed up with both Voidpoint and 3D Realms, the publisher of the game. 3DR made an honestly concise and smart apology, stating that from now on, their contracts would be written to terminate any developers that included hateful language or actions in the game. Voidpoint also promised they would donate $10,000 of profits from the game to The Trevor Project, an anti-suicide and general LGBTQ advocacy group.
Now today, Voidpoint’s co-founder and origin of the transphobia Richard Gobeille hopped on the Steam forums to say that actually no, nothing would be changed.
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!
Later, 3D Realms echoed their previous statement to Jason Schrier at Kotaku that any future games they publish would be without hateful language in it, however, they decided to keep the “Ogay” soap.
“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.”
Instead of committing to what they said and removing all of the offensive material, both companies decided to bend over for bigotry and kept a really dumb joke in the game just to court the homophobes in the audience. There was talk that Steam reviews were being bombarded with bad reviews complaining about the “censorship”, but Steam’s anti-reviewbomb tech didn’t catch it. It’s unknown if that means there wasn’t really as much as claimed, or if Steam just wants to help the bigots make their screams louder. Could be both, honestly.
3D Realms seems to be continuing to work with Voidpoint, at least for the time being. There was also zero actual consequence for Gobeille’s remarks on Discord, save for a promise he’ll undergo “sensitivity training”. Voidpoint claimed on their Twitter that they still plan to donate the money to The Trevor Project, but they haven’t yet, which I have also personally confirmed with The Trevor Project themselves. Their Twitter is also mostly Gobeille arguing with people about his horrid views, so that’s fun.
All in all, this is all pure disregard for marginalized people. There is no sign of any improvement or actual care involved with the actions of those caught saying and doing what they did, and even if they donate to a charity, their actions still put LGBTQ people in the crosshairs of bigots. 3D Realms and Voidpoint would rather have shitbag’s money than respect others, so don’t purchase Ion Fury.