Top Hat Studios state they “categorically refuse” to censor Sense: A Cyberpunk Ghost Story, after the spread of false information about the game and death threats against the developer.
A recent gaming news outlet reported on the game’s upcoming Nintendo Switch release date, and comments both on that website and Twitter had some users object to the game’s rather busty main character (Mei-Lin Mak).
As we note in our review, the game’s dystopian cyberpunk setting features themes of heavy body modification. The world features “strippers, hyper-sexualized adverts, body enhancements, and red-light district regulars;” and as such many of the game’s female characters are over-sexualized.
This further emphasizes the world’s dystopian setting as morals have deteriorated, while also providing a little bit of fan service. Our review notes that Mei-Lin’s boob physics mean that her “breasts do not stop bouncing up and down as if they’re balls of jelly strapped to her chest.”
For some this may be distracting, while a selling point for others (and “may still become distracting in an entirely different way”). Players can also unlock alluring outfits for solving puzzles in unique ways, much like older Japanese horror games.
Some have seemingly objected to this, with reported claims of them calling the game pornographic- and even bizzare claims that it’s content is illegal and “encourages violence.” The game features several gory scenes, and gruesome deaths for Mei-Lin. Suffice to say, these are not portrayed as something desirable or praise-worthy.
Others have objected to the comments, feeling (as with past calls for censorship) that a few are demanding change for everyone based on their own personal objections.
Finally, publisher Top Hat Studios issued a statement on Twitter. Along with stating some had threatened to review bomb the game, Top Hat Studios stated there have been threats to harass the distributors, and even death threats sent to them.
Top Hat Studios state they will “categorically refuse” to censor the game, and condemn the lies spread about the game, and hypocrisy of threatening a developer Suzaku to change content based on lies. You can find the full statement below.
“With the recent news of Sense – 不祥的预感: A Cyberpunk Ghost Story coming to Nintendo Switch, we are aware of a large amount of messages and demands aimed toward the games’ console platform release based on lies (claims that it is explicitly “pornographic” or somehow “encourages violence” or, most ridiculously, somehow “breaks the law”). Furthermore, voices have attempted to advocate making sale of the game untenable through demanding harsh censorship aimed towards the developer’s artstyle, with threats to “review-bomb” the game and/or harass its distributors. In addition, we have received death threats from those who feel threatened by what essentially boils down to an aesthetic decision of how pixels are arranged on a screen. While disappointed at these behaviors, we are certainly not surprised.
Let us be clear on this – we will not censor the game because of self-centered crowds who care solely about grandstanding. We categorically and absolutely refuse to restrict creative expression. Creators should be allowed freedom to express themselves, particularly when it is an expression of the subcultures they have been immersed in. As a cyberpunk game, Sense uses imagery and themes relating to a future of hyper-commercialised, over-commodified imagery as part of its cyberpunk theme and inspiration; this is reflected in ALL character designs. With that said, we expert that this is lost on those attacking the developer for being “harmful” and somehow inflicting “violence and pain”. Those who believe words or images inflict “violence” should perhaps stop spurting their own hateful, false rhetoric and also cease condoning death threats to those they disagree with.
We reject any and all of the aforementioned, brazen characterizations of the game, and would like to reiterate our principles against tampering with creator’s expressions. We would also like to reiterate this game is rated ESRB M (17+) / PEGI 18. This is not an AO game, not have any “laws been broken”, as some social media commenters have ridiculously claimed out of their biases. The game’s rating reflects the target audience, and yet this fact is lost on those who have been lead by a will to blindly crusade against their false perceptions.
Once again, Sense – 不祥的预感: A Cyberpunk Ghost Story is rated ESRB M (17+) / PEGI 18. The game will release as planned, and without censorship, on the 7th of January, 2021 for Nintendo Switch. It can be preordered and pre-loaded now on the Nintendo E-Shop. The game has passed QA on other platforms, and release dates are being decided.
The game will not be censored. We categorically refuse.”
Sense: A Cyberpunk Ghost Story is available on Windows PC, Linux, Mac (all via Steam), PlayStation 4, PlayStation Vita, Xbox One, and January 7th on Nintendo Switch. In case you missed it, you can find our review here (we recommend it!)