Ion Fury Studio Apologizes For Developers' 'Sexist And Transphobic' Comments, Will Patch Out Offensive Jokes

Image: Ion Fury

The developer of the acclaimed new retro shooter Ion Fury has apologised for what it referred to as “sexist and transphobic” comments made by two of its employees on Discord. It has also promised to patch out several “homophobic” jokes that were included in the game itself.

Ion Fury, which was released on August 15, was largely met with gushing praise. It doesn’t wear its influences on its sleeve so much as it treats them like a full-body tattoo.

It is unmistakably a shooter in the vein of chunky ‘90s cheesefests like Duke Nukem 3D and Shadow Warrior. It uses the same engine and even has the same publisher, 3D Realms. It also draws on similar humorous sensibilities — some of which have, to put it mildly, not aged well.

Late last week a user on gaming forum ResetEra posted Discord screenshots with messages from members of Ion Fury’s development studio Voidpoint. These included remarks from a lead developer who goes by the handle “Terminx” about how “SJWs” are “fucking nuts.”

“Something I don’t really understand about the social justice stuff is that they have stuff like the ‘slut walk,’ which I thought was about the right to not be harassed for how they dress but, then if you portray women dressed the same way you get shit for it,” Terminx wrote in a discussion with other members of the Discord channel.

Ion Fury stars a woman character, but Terminx made a point of noting that it contains “no feminist slant.”

Another developer who goes by “Daedolon” expressed similarly thoughtless scepticism toward trans people, implying that “mutilating a perfectly healthy body while you have depression and other big issues” could lead to suicide.

Initially, Voidpoint said these comments were taken out of context. “You should probably do your own research before coming to that conclusion,” the studio wrote on Twitter in reply to a fan who expressed regret that they’d purchased the game after seeing “gross” developer comments. “The crop tool in Photoshop has always been just as much about what you are removing as what you are keeping.”

Over the weekend, however, another ResetEra user discovered homophobic language in Ion Fury, including soap bottles that parodied the Olay shampoo brand as “OGAY” and a secret area in which you can find the word “fagbag.”

This prompted both Voidpoint and publisher 3D Realms to issue statements to Eurogamer. (Kotaku also reached out, but a representative was not able to provide further information.)

Voidpoint said that members of the team made “sexist and transphobic comments, and included homophobic language in Ion Fury,” declaring those actions “insensitive, unacceptable, and counterproductive to causes of equality.” The company apologised to women and members of the LGBTQ community and said it will implement “a zero-tolerance policy for this type of language,” which will include “mandatory sensitivity training” for employees.

The language in question will also be patched out of Ion Fury, it said. Lastly, Voidpoint plans to donate $US10,000 ($14,788) of Ion Fury’s earnings to the Trevor Project, a non-profit organisation focused on suicide prevention among LGBTQ youth.

Publisher 3D Realms noted that the in-game language in question was “not approved by us,” and that it hopes to ensure this kind of thing never happens again.

“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,” it wrote.


Comments

    and i was going to buy this on sale to support them for standing up for themselves even though i would probably never play it. Oh well i'm sure one day we will find some devs that actually have spines.

    i hope all the people hospitalised after unknowingly purchasing such a horrific game get better...

      And we all hope all employees of 3D Realms and Voidpoint survive their suicidal depression after moving to the poverty line after user nobully in Australia retracts his charity and doesn't buy their game. Tough times for us all.

    So a game that's a supposed to be in the same vein as duke nukem has sexist jokes? Wow that's a surprise...

      From the article the jokes in game were homophobic, the comments made were sexist and not a joke.

        Hey, but refuse classification for game for implied sexual violence and you'd all be up in arms!

        They're words. People need to chill.

        If you can play a game that has sexual violence in it, then you should be able to play a game that has a "fagbag" tag in it.

          Uh, not sure if you were actually replying to me, I was just repeating what was said in the article for context.

          If you were talking to me, I dunno what I've said that applies to what your saying.

            Wasn't meant to be.. my original comment (which I can now see) did not, at least from my end, post... Kotaku being Kotaku is all

    Can these people just not block user comments on their socials and simply IGNORE the non-target audience voices? Honestly, if Japan can make ALL of their erotica based around rape, then surely the West can enjoy some good ol' fashioned nostalgic sexism?
    I mean, does "The Wolf of Wallstreet" have to go get censored now due to all the 80's dudes in it not saying PC stuff?

    So good to see that the label of 'hate speech' is still reserved for the worst kind of things, and is not at all being diminished in importance or impact by being applied to anything and everything people simply don't like...

    I'm loving today's comment sections!

    On one side you have: Booo! They refused classification for a game that has implied sexual violence!

    On the other: This game has the word Fag in it! BURN IT TO THE GROUND

    Pathetic

    The Olay -> Ogay thing is weak. Very low effort humour.
    The fagbag thing is bad, but from what I've read it's not in a secret area, but an out of bounds area. Not meant to be discovered by players unless they're cheating. At any rate, that shouldn't be in the game in the first place.

    Unrelated to the above, ResetEra should be flushed down a big toilet. It's groupthink the website.

      Its essentially a far left version of kiwi farms.

      I'd love to know what the thinking was for the dev/artist who put it in. Just so it could be contextualised. Were they trying to insult people, was it pseudo graffiti, was it someone's nickname, was it an in-joke aimed at one person, or what?

    Reeeeeeeeesetera claims another scalp. Stoping giving into these loons. They will never be happy.

    I was going to buy this game. But it seems they have gone full 1984 and banning any and all opinions/ words not allowed by the perpetually outraged crowd. This is censorship plain and simple.

    Seriously. The slightest things are deemed hate speech by these types these days. And if you dont kowtow to that group think or dare question it, It suddenly warrants you having your life ruined or being fired from your job.

    These people make me embarrassed to call myself a leftie. They are an embarrassment to the left.

      As you would know, anything to the right of Mao is "Far-right" these days haha.

      In seriousness, it's sad that these sorts of groups (Inc. Antifa, etc) basically get a pass from vast majority of left-of-centre leaners, just because they align with the left, whether or not the Left agree with it.

      I mean, the recent Portland bullcrap is a great example, hearing the news that the international MSM paint, and then watching footage from those in attendance, you can see that something's not right... But I digress.

      TL;DR anything right of Mao is Far-right!

        I got called an alt right nazi because I disagreed with parents getting to label their baby as transgender at birth.

        Or there was the other time I got called similar because I disagreed with people demanding jail time for misgendering someone.

        I wish we could put the far left and far right in a room and lock the door and leave them to kill each other off. World would be better off without them.

          No doubt!

          My fave is when blacks and Jews are labelled "white supremacists" and "Nazis"

          Then we have those like @angorafish, who definitely belong in that group.

          Although, I find it interesting how you and I can agree on something entirely, yet only I am downvoted... I spose because I don't align with the left at all...

          My point stands though

    Haha all the fragile people here. Oh, you’re outraged they removed a homophobic joke?

    I know you’d all breakdown crying if there was a white people joke in a game. Then suddenly you’d all want it patched out. So pathetic.

    You know I used to think this sort of outrage was an over reaction, but then I started listening with an open mind.

    It's easy enough to dismiss or criticise people who are upset about homophobic or transphobic comments when those words have no impact on you.

    There are people out there who have been hospitalised, or seen their friends killed with these sort of hateful comments being the last thing they hear.

    If these hateful words mean nothing to you then you should have no issue with not using them. This is not about censoring content or free speech, this is about showing a little sensitivity and respect.

      riiiight.

      We should self-censor based on what Reeeeesetera finds offensive.

      Sounds like a splendid idea.

      If you find something offensive dont view it or play it. The offense is your problem. We should not have to censor ourselves based on what someone finds offensive.

        I'm sorry you find this such a touchy and sensitive subject that you can't ignore and your concerns appear to being completely disregarded.

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