Voidpoint, the developers of Ion Fury, have removed allegedly homophobic content from the game after outcry surrounding the content and comments made by the developers on their discord.
On August 16th (the day after the game’s release), ResetEra user “Twenty5Thousand” created a thread, drawing attention to comments made by the developers on their official discord server for the game.
The posts include mockery and allegations of hypocrisy of “social justice warriors” (SJWs), feminists. In addition, some had criticisms of the World Health Organization declassifying transgender people as mentally ill, and their disapproval of parents declaring a child as trans “at birth”.
Editor’s Note: The archive of the source omits the images posted in the thread. You can find them below:
The official Voidpoint Twitter account would later respond to this outcry. When user Anatoly Shashkin tweeted “Having now seen the gross things that have been said by key members of the Ion Fury dev team on their Discord I now regret buying the game in early access and talking about it as much as I have,” the official Ion Fury account replied. The ensuing back and forth even prompted Twenty5Thousand to join in (assumedly the same one from the Reset Era thread, judging by the logo and the context):
Voidpoint: “That’s your choice, but you should probably do your own research before coming to that conclusion. The crop tool in Photoshop has always been just as much about what you are removing as what you are keeping.”
Shashkin: “I think I’ve seen enough context already, but thanks for chiming in.”
Voidpoint: “Depends on the comment–I haven’t read all of the nonsense that has cropped up today yet. I tuned out when I saw someone saying it was bad that I said someone was “fucking nuts” but had removed the part of the message that clarified it was referring to doxxers and swatters.”
Voidpoint: “I’ve always strongly been of the opinion that if someone has to edit or obscure the “facts” to bolster their statement, it says more about them than it does about whatever point they were trying to make.”
Twenty5Thousand: “The kind of transphobic and bigoted sentiments shared by the discord posts should not be tolerated. It was the developer’s decision to voice their opinions publicly and should be ready to face consequences when those opinions are hateful and can cause harm.”
Voidpoint: “Sounds like what my wife’s dad used to say when we’d try to get him to watch something other than Hannity.”
Shashkin: “Doubling down is not exactly what I’d expected here, but can’t say I’m surprised.” [Image with the text “Disappointed, but not surprised”]
Voidpoint: “You kinda sound like one of those harassers and doxxers I made the comment about tbh. If you did a better job digging you’d see one of the guys you’re slandering is one of the biggest “SJW” “leftists” you’ll ever meet.”
In addition to this, the game Ion Fury is heavily inspired by 90’s film culture, much like the original Duke Nukem. This includes references to things that are crude or vulgar. The thread continued, with user Flapjack21 discovering two pieces of content. The first was a bottle of “Ogay” soap in a bathroom (a likely parody of the Olay soap & skin care brand).
The second was discovered in a room that could only be accessed via a no-clip cheat (allowing the user to pass through solid walls). The room contains various words written on a wall, including “Fagbag”.
3D Realms CEO Mike Nielsen spoke on the matter, in a statement to Eurogamer:
“It has come to our attention Voidpoint, the developers of Ion Fury, have been accused of making transphobic and misogynistic statements.
Under current leadership 3D Realms has taken pride empowering marginalized groups, as evident by our strong female protagonist Shelly “Bombshell” Harrison and the makeup of our team.
Moving forward all of 3D Realms’ contracts will include terms which would allow us to sever relationships if a contractor does not abide by our zero-tolerance policy for hate speech.”
In addition, EuroGamer spoke to Voidpoint co-founders Evan Ramos and Richard Gobeille. Their comments were as follows:
“Members of Voidpoint’s Ion Fury team have made sexist and transphobic comments, and included homophobic language in Ion Fury.
We recognise these statements are insensitive, unacceptable, and counterproductive to causes of equality. We unequivocally apologise 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.
Moving forward, Voidpoint will institute a zero-tolerance policy for this type of language and all employees and contractors will undergo mandatory sensitivity training. As part of our efforts to contribute to the work that must be done to further support these communities, we are donating $10,000 from Ion Fury’s release day proceeds to The Trevor Project. We are also patching Ion Fury ASAP to remove all unacceptable language.”
What do you think? Sound off in the comments below!
Ion Fury is available now for Windows and Linux. It will launch in 2019 for PlayStation 4, Nintendo Switch, and Xbox One.