Neostream have stated they will be censor the design of one of the enemies in Little Devil Inside, after they were accused of being racist stereotypes.
After a recent trailer during the PlayStation Future of Gaming showcase, it appears some objected to certain characters in the game (possibly enemies). At 0:44, what appears to be dark-skinned humans are seen.
The characters appear to be wearing a white wooden mask with a single eye (though there are two eye-holes in the mask), horns, jagged teeth, and red lips. They also have dreadlocks, and are using a blow-pipe.
It should be noted that the game also appears to feature fantastical creatures (as seen from 0:31 to 0:40). While unlikely, it may be possible the creatures are not human.
“In answer to a series of inquries made in the last 24 hours regarding certain character deign revealed in the PlayStation PS5 Reveal Event showcase trailer yesterday, the LDI team wish to make the following announcement.
Racist stereotypes of any kind were absolutely not intended, we were not aware of the stereotypical connotations and wish to apologize to anyone who may have been offended by the character design.
In addition, no one (not just limited to team members) has ever commented or hinted on the character designs. However, these characters have not been revealed publicly elsewhere prior to the event.
The design intention was to create characters who are protectors/guardians of a particular mystic region in the world of Little Devil Inside. We were not producing character designs referenced on any real African and/or Afro-American human tribes.
The focus was on creating colorful masks and our designers were researching masks from all various cultures. As characters in the game, they move in groups and use blow darts that paralyze when hit. We wished to add character to the mask design and give it life to it – something like the little Kakamora characters in Disney’s Moana.
However, regardless of our intentions, if any people were offended in any way, we sincerely apologize.
We will be making the following fixes to the current characters but if it ends up not being suitable to the game as a whole, we may change the design entirely.”
The changes will include removing the dreadlocks, changing the “bold” lips, changing the skin tone, and tweaking “the dart blower so it looks less like a joint.”
“On a minor note,” the Facebook post concludes, “this is our first game title and we are still quite naive in many areas. As always, we thank you all for your support!”
The comments of the post include many who were shocked anyone was offended, and feeling the developers were bullied or harassed into making the change. Some encouraged the developer to not “bend the knee” to the outrage and keep the characters as is.
You can find the full rundown (via the official website) below.
“Explore, discover, adapt, fight and survive
experience a world filled with atmospheric contrasts
embark on hostile missions and journeys that challenge
your survival instincts and the choices you make”
Little Devil Inside is coming soon to Windows PC, PlayStation 4, and PlayStation 5.