Mere hours after 3D Realms and Voidpoint apologized for outcry caused by allegedly homophobic content in Ion Fury (and allegedly transphobic comments by the developers on Discord), it seems Voidpoint’s social media is condoning pirating the game.
In case you missed it, ResetEra and others had drawn attention to content within Ion Fury (some of which was in areas you could not access without noclip cheats) and comments made by the developers in Voidpoint on Discord, that they deemed offensive.
Both 3D Realms CEO (the publisher) and Voidpoint’s co-founders apologized- the latter stating they would be instituting “a zero-tolerance policy for this type of language and all employees and contractors will undergo mandatory sensitivity training,” donating “$10,000 from Ion Fury’s release day proceeds to The Trevor Project,” and “patching Ion Fury ASAP to remove all unacceptable language.”
Voidpoint’s Twitter account quickly clarified this only applied to the material that had drawn ire:
“We’ve become aware of some confusion about whether Ion Fury will be censored in response or relation to recent controversy. The answer is no; we are only tweaking a rarely seen decorative sprite and removing some offensive text found outside the game world in leftover map data.”
The social media account has also been dealing with users expressing their dissatisfaction of the content being removed, claiming it is censorship. Many of the replies claim it is not censorship, and that the developers had not compromised their vision:
“We didn’t compromise our artistic integrity. We’re changing a bottle of soap that said “Ogay” on it to something less offensive. That’s it. We’re 100% with you on the “fuck censorship” standpoint but a stupid joke about gay soap isn’t the hill to die on.”
Among the replies, one in particular stands out. In reply to a user stating they would not be buying the game:
“If you want to pirate it, it’s only like 95MB. You should check it out. We worked really hard on it and it’s a cool game. Fuck politics.”
At this time, 3D Realms has not issued a statement on the above comment. We will keep you informed as we learn more.
It is also worth mentioning back in May 2015, the European Union conducted a 307 page report on “Estimating displacement rates of copyrighted content in the EU.”
The report also included research into piracy of media such as games. The report found that piracy effects did not cause a hindrance to sales, and in some cases could increase sales:
“This positive effect of illegal downloads and streams on the sales of games may be explained by the industry being successful in converting illegal users to paying users,”
[…] For games the reason for the positive effects may be that players may get hooked to a game and access a game legally to play the game with all bonuses, at higher levels or whatever makes playing the game legally more interesting.
[…] “The overall conclusion is that for games, illegal online transactions induce more legal transactions.”
Editor’s Note: .pdf hosted by netzpolitik.org
Curiously, the report was never officially published. It was leaked by European MP Julia Reda on September 20th, 2017 (Editor’s Note: We here at Niche Gamer do not condone or support piracy in any shape or form).
Ion Fury is available now for Windows and Linux. It will launch in 2019 for PlayStation 4, Nintendo Switch, and Xbox One.
What do you all think? Sound off in the comments below!