Superhot Game Gets Review-Bombed After Removing ‘Depictions Of Self-Harm’

Superhot Game Gets Review-Bombed After Removing ‘Depictions Of Self-Harm’
Image: Superhot Team

Earlier this week, Superhot VR received an update that removed all scenes that involved the player-character hurting or killing themselves. The devs explained that these scenes had “no place” in the game and apologised for taking so long to remove them. In response, hundreds of gamers yelled at them and began review-bombing the game on Steam.

The update for Superhot VR went live on July 21 and with it, the devs at Superhot Team explained in a short post why the scenes featuring self-harm had been totally removed from the game. The removed scenes involved the player shooting themselves and jumping off of a building.

“‘Skip disturbing scenes’ toggle was added in a previous update. Considering [the] sensitive time we’re living in, we can do better than that. You deserve better. All scenes alluding to self-harm are now completely removed from the game. These scenes have no place in superhot virtual reality. We regret it took us so long. We’re [committed] to shipping this update to all vr platforms.”

As you might expect, numerous Steam users responded with anger and hostility to news of the update. Many upset by the update began to give Superhot VR negative reviews, triggering Valve’s anti-review-bombing tech to kick in and filter out the flood of bad-faith evaluations.

Reading the comments under the Superhot developers’ update note is like scrolling through a warzone, with participants flinging angry attacks at the devs, the game, and society as a whole.

One popular comment suggested that “Snowflakes” were to blame and predicted that Grand Theft Auto games will have all the blood and violence removed next. If that seems like an overreaction to a developer making a small change to their own game, you’d be correct. There was no evil cabal forcing the devs to update a four-year-old game to remove a few scenes featuring acts of self-harm. The reality is that people change, and the devs might have looked back at what they made and felt uncomfortable today, in 2021, having their name attached to a piece of content that depicted self-harm. So they decided to remove it.

Kotaku has reached out to Superhot Team about the removal of the scenes.

Currently, only the Steam version of the game has had these scenes removed. However, the team mentioned in its note that Superhot VR on other platforms, like Oculus Store, will be updated in the future to also remove these scenes.

Anyway, yeah, it is happening again: The gamers are angry because some developers have decided to change their own game. This isn’t the first time this has happened and sadly it probably won’t be the last.

Comments

  • If they had no part in the game then they should have never been included in it in the first place. The better solution would be just to not have that kind of content in their next game.

    Can you imagine if they became cocaine addicts from their success. “We’ve looked back and decided Superhot is missing all the fun stuff in life, so we’ve added snorting lines of cocaine in bedrooms and off hooker’s backs so that our VR players can enjoy experiencing our lives.”

    • It’s really a no win situation for the devs here, if they don’t remove it they continue to receive objections from the woke warriors who object to everything nowadays but if they cave in to the rubbish they get smashed by the far right retards. Common sense and normal is becoming so rare.

      • Almost like they should have made it optional, which they did initially. Really, a simple tweak like turning it off by default would have gone over much better, and achieved the same thing, though the devs would probably still have a guilty conscience. If you believe that the developers did this of their own volition, that is, which is reasonable enough.

    • Well that’s a fantastically nonsense straw man you’ve built there.

      They’ve made a game more accessible to some people without actually changing the gameplay. Good on ’em.

      It’s always hilarious when people rage review and use terms like snow flake while seething over their keyboards, typing out messages by rolling their face across the peripheral.

  • I always wonder why kotaku articles just continually disappoint me now compared to some of the older stuff..

    And then i see an article like this where the obvious double standards are front and center with kotaku “defending” a dev for making a change (which truthfully is well within their rights to do) diverting blame to the supposed “gamers” for also undertandably being upset a game they enjoyed has been “sanitised”. Forget trying to have any nusnce here.. pick a side and make them the “right” one.

    And yet its this same website that will promote dogpiling on devs for problematic content and also call out “harassment”. This constant posturing of right vs wrong is utterly damn tiring and frankly I once assumed our hobby of gaming was better.. when the hell did “just be respectful and accept everyone has different tastes” (or in short dont be an asshole) to “be respectful and follow these very many guidelines and if your personal beliefs deviate from these then you are a monster”… well frankly I’d rather not engage anymore…

    • Nah.

      Entitled gamers can, in the words of Donnie Darko, suck a fuck.

      There is very clearly a right side here.
      The development made a game more accessible by removing scenes that served no value to the story.

      Instead all the edgelords got mad over something that doesn’t affect them. It does literally nothing to negatively affect their life in any conceivable way.
      This change does, however, make the game more accessible to others.

      Getting angry over that is just narcissism.

      • Thanks a lot mate.

        You have pretty much just confirmed everything I said of everything has to be on a side and you better be on mine or GTFO! attitude on everything these days and frankly as a person im over this.

        Fun fact you can disagree with someones position and yet still at the very least understand what causes such disagreements to come up and try and bridge/understand the cause without starting an us vs them argument.

        Some one call me back when people grow up again and realise not everyone has been brought up the same, thinks the same, have different circumstances and situations.. oh and people can actually you know.. agree to disagree and mutually respect other ppl? Instead of the default oh your against us so you must be (insert appropriate term to denigrate other side here depending on your personal stance)

        • We understand ‘why such disagreements come up’. It’s because people like you have spent your entire life doing what you want, whenever you want, and you are OUTRAGED that you might be even in the slightest bit inconvenienced to make a big difference for others.

          It’s because in basic terms, you’re a sociopath. You’re told ‘Hey, this is a BIG DEAL for other people and can HURT them so please make a tiny adjustment’ and your brain says ‘NOPE MY FREEDOM TO DO WHAT I WANT AT THE COST OF OTHERS IS MORE IMPORTANT’.

          And you know this. You’re not an idiot, you understand that depictions of suicide actually can help kill people, while removing them from the game doesn’t hurt a soul.

          But you’ve been taught that your privilege is sacred, and filled with crazy ass bullshit arguments that you regurgitate in scenes like this.

          ‘Some one call me back when people grow up again and realise not everyone has been brought up the same, thinks the same, have different circumstances and situations.’

          Yeah bro, that’s kind of the problem here. Your broken-ass brain doesn’t get that some trivial thing MIGHT KILL SOMEONE NOT AS PRIVILEGED AS YOU AND THAT IS A THING TO AVOID.

          Not everyone is as privileged as you. While it’s great you are, flinging your poo over things that don’t harm you in order to actively fuck over other people makes you the human equivalent of a bag of warm bin juice.

          You’re not defending some kind of holy principle, you’re just screeching because your privileged was threatened.

          • Lol… funny that. Im against you so I must be a either privileged or an sjw depending on the side you ascribe to correct?

            Must be nice to be able to be comfortable enough in your own life to be able to make snap judgements on a person on the basis of just disageeing with you.

        • I dislike this position as it seems to imply that for every disagreement, a “middle point” exists and can be reached, thus anybody taking either “side” is wrong in principle. It is perfectly possible for something to be objectively right or wrong and opposing it is the opposite.

          I am not saying that this is your intention, but most times when I see this type of criticism, it is transparently levied by people supporting something wrong (or opposing something right) and using this call for sobriety and peace-making to deflate the arguments of people arguing for the right thing/opposing the wrong thing.

  • I was reading about Pepe Le Pew last night and was thinking “what the hell is going on with us as a society?”. Pepe Le Pew is a cartoon skunk who would spend his time chasing a cartoon cat yet has been scrapped by Warner Brothers because he apparently promoted Rape Culture. I grew up watching these cartoons, and I never once associated how he treated the cat to how men should treat women in real life. Nor did I try and drop boulders on road runners or shoot a gun in a rabbit hunters face.

    Point of it all, this weird insane over the top snowflake / cancel culture thing that’s going on is not a good thing. We’re literally regressing as a species to the point where now we can’t say anything lest we offend someone or things are being cancelled because all of a sudden people find them offensive (Apu in the Simpsons is offensive, yet Grounds Keeper Willie isn’t).

    I played through Superhot VR. Was a good romp. The parts where you self harm, they were just part of the experience and I barely even remember them to be honest. Literally shaking my head at this weird notion of companies apologising for their original vision and removing things.

    • Thats not what happened in this case though, there was no backlash to this old game, they just decided to remove it themselves.

      Removing content from old games is pretty lame though.

    • Wow. You genuinely think there’s nothing wrong with a character who actively ignored consent? Who outright tried to force kissing on another character through physical force?

      Jesus man. That’s just fucked up.

      Oh by the way? It’s the right wing conservatives trying to pass laws to silence critics and charities BTW. That’s the definition of cancel culture.

      Bet you haven’t got up in arms about that.

    • ‘I allegedly haven’t raped anyone so a cartoon that actively teaches children to ignore consent is OK’

      Great argument there, maybe grab a glass of water so you don’t choke on your level of privilege.

    • I’ve never tried to rape anybody.

      That said, back in the day when I was a teenager, I acted as though women’s consent was owed to me. I may have not forcefully tried to take it when I was denied but I certainly believed (and acted) as though I had been wronged. After being “wronged” like that a few times, I started to develop resentment: “what the hell is wrong with women? I am a perfectly nice guy and here I am, alone and virgin! It must be that stupid women only like guys who treat them poorly” and the sort of stuff that we nowadays call “incel culture”, though it predated it by at least a decade. I was saved from that path by a good friend with saint-levels of patience.

      Did Pepe Le Pew make me like that? No, absolutely not. Pepe was, however, the product of a pervasive cultural paradigm that informed my way of thinking. He was but one of the many icons who instilled the idea in my mind that being a hopeless (and persistent) romantic /should be/ rewarded with a woman’s love regardless of her own preference.

      Nowadays we take Pepe down from our collective imagery not because he has, by himself, the power to create rapists but because we need to make a clean break from the paradigm that produced him in order to create a new paradigm.

      • Well, Doesnt this post make a whole lot of sense on why plygrim is the way he is.
        Completely misses the point that pepe would always be turned down cause of being a creep and flat out being repulsive and because he missed that, he must save anyone new from missing that point because pepe lives in a system that creates rapists.
        All you did was go from “Wheres my sex im a good boy” To being a white knight, you didnt change as much as you think you did.

        • Ah, a post jumping in a conversation between two other people and turning a rather personal story into an entirely unnecessary attack, while betraying how very little you know about the subject matter. In other words, an m2d2 “classic” with the works.

          Sit down, child, class is about to start, and like it or not, today we’re going to talk about FACTS because you unwittingly messed with someone who has a near eidetic memory for the cartoons he saw as a kid. (Not that I think you’ll ever be moved by facts but at least so you know how much you missed with your silly dunks.)

          -Pepe was never portrayed negatively. He was the hero and protagonist of his cartoon, a genial, impossibly optimistic and cheerful romantic who was into the finer things of life and was very determined.
          -Pepe was never rejected for being “creepy” (because his advances were not intentionally portrayed as “creepy” to begin with). He was rejected because he’s a skunk and smells like one. In many of the cartoons, the cat is portrayed as being flattered or at least intrigued by Pepe’s advances UNTIL the point where the smell reaches her nose. In a few episodes, the cat goes out of her way to attempt to minimize the smell or raise her tolerance of it in order to withstand Pepe’s company. Alas.
          -Even though Pepe rarely got the (cat)girl, he was never portrayed as a loser or his behaviour exposed as inappropriate. (At worst, he was portrayed as clueless by the fact he rarely noticed that his smell was unbearable.) In fact, his way of “winning” at the end of the episode (as all cartoon protagonists usually did) was giving a knowing look at the camera, letting the viewers know that in spite of the many slapstick turn-downs he suffered, he was perfectly happy to continue off-camera and, in fact, was thrilled at the challenge.

          Those are the facts; let’s now move to the critical thinking bits, or rather, reading comprehension:

          I explicitly said that this cartoon (nor any one cartoon or a collective of them) put the sort of ideas in my mind that I described. They merely normalised a pervasive cultural and social tradition that informed my thinking. I don’t really believe that Pepe’s creator was a malignant rapist intent on coding his perverse desires into a cartoon to make kids become like him or anything of the sort. He’s just yet another victim of that cultural hivemind, merely reproducing in cartoon form the narrative he grew into.

          Last, the common decency and humanity bit (who am I kidding, I’m sure you have long checked out by this point):

          When a normal, functional human being encounters an argument they disagree with (whether they are right or wrong) they start a discourse with courtesy, using logic and factual counter-arguments. At worst, they will criticize and laugh dismissively at it. Most, really, will just carry on and not even bother to respond. But to instead, disingenuously and with a proud display of ignorance, try to turn the argument into an entirely unprovoked attack against a stranger… that’s not normal, my dude. Please do get that head checked because such vileness has to be pathological.

          • “This cartoon (…) DID NOT put the sort of ideas…” before you try to make a writing mistake into a cornerstone of your argument.

          • Ah yes, Anyone who disagrees with you must be vile and patholgical.
            Another Plygrim Classic.

        • Lol I outright said that what was vile was the personal attack; your little deflecting lie fools nobody. Good to know that you had no counterarguments for the rest so the best you could do was pretending that I was dismissing your “disagreement” with prejudice.

          • A personal attack. Saying that you went from ““Wheres my sex im a good boy” To being a white knight, you didnt change as much as you think you did.””
            The fact you think thats a personal attack to bring the truth to the way you act, especially after you go around calling people ‘incels’ when they bring up the truth about female streamers occupying more screen vs gameplay than male streamers, After you admitted that at one point you thought consent was owed to you.
            Whilst you go around with a proud display of ignorance, multiple times try to turn the argument into an entirely unprovoked attack against a stranger routinely cause they say something you dont like. Did you really REALLY think you could act like you are a good debater with all the shit you sling endlessly acting like you have decency and humanity? YOU THOUGHT CONSENT WAS OWED TO YOU. The Skeletons in your closet are probably far worse than the people you always have a go at on here have ever done.
            The funny thing is, not once did you think that pepes stink is a metaphor, a double meaning, and not once did you think that pepe is in the same boat as one cayote. Where the pain is always at his expense. You probably missed that point in Johnny Bravo too.
            But hey, When someone so deperately wants to tar everything with “ItS RaPe CuLtUrE” after being a self confessed “i have a good guy stamp card that will give me sex” rather than actual good guy. For a person with ‘near eidetic memory’ you definitely need a better set of glasses to look back at your past, as they are covered in shit.

        • You use the word “truth” twice in your tirade. Let’s look at what you call “true”:

          First, my being a “white knight”. This is not a profoundly biased and hateful opinion, no. This is objective “truth” so saying it is not an attack, right? You can see into my mind and see that if I ever do anything to try to help diminish the prevalence of sexism in common discourse is not precisely because I feel an honest desire to make /amends/ for my way of thinking and acting when I didn’t know better, or that I genuinely understand the issue at hand. No, it’s because I am a hypocrite wanting to score some internet brownie points! You got me! Foiled by your unexpected mind-reading powers!

          And how do you know this? Well, surely it’s because you know intimately how much of a filthy shitstain you are but you are smart and cool and totally do not loathe yourself secretly, so if you are like that, surely /everybody else/ is like that too! And those who say and act as though they don’t? Virtue signalers, the lot of them. True virtue and true caring do not exist! If they did, well, then maybe you’d have to feel bad about being an unrepentant and odious asshole. Good thing nobody does! We are all garbage but you are the least garbage of all because you enthusiastically own it instead of being a hypocrite, right?

          So yeah, point your finger in judgment at me for being candid about having been sexist when I was an adolescent. Point and laugh as though you had any moral ground when you weekly post sexist garbage far worse than anything that ever crossed my mind. Speaking of that, your other use of “truth”:

          “calling people ‘incels’ when they bring up the truth about female streamers occupying more screen”

          Yep, so it’s not that some female streamers do that. Or many. Or even “most”. No, it’s FEMALE. STREAMERS. OCCUPY.MORE.SCREEN. That’s the holy truth of the world as decreed by the great judge of reality, m2d2. Anybody who says that’s not true is a virtue-signaling white knight! No wonder you can say confidently that “rape culture” doesn’t exist, right? Chicks are basically begging for it with their big streaming presence and whatnot? See, I too can pretend I can look inside that diseased mind of yours.

          “The funny thing is, not once did you think that pepes stink is a metaphor, a double meaning”

          Oh yeah, a bunch of dudes in the 1940s were totally thinking of a highly nuanced metaphor to /condemn/ a common behavior of their time. Avant Garde feminists, the lot of them. Their message was so nuanced that every time that Pepe said that he was going to keep going at it with a wiggle of the eyebrow as the episode ended, they meant it as a stiff shake of a finger, not as a genial slap on the back. Yep. Totally and not a ridiculous argument you pulled out of your ass to try to come ahead in an argument that you cannot possibly win otherwise.

          So yeah, judge me all you want. I bet you’re going to bring it up over and over, giddy that you got something on me, proof that you are right, that there’s no virtue in the world and an excuse to keep being an unapologetic, crusty, hateful, bigoted skidmark on the fabric of society. Do your worst. I know who I am. I am not proud of what I once was and I wouldn’t dream say that I’ve finished my journey of improvement, but at least I endeavour and keep working towards it. That’s what separates you and I. Call it hypocrisy or whatever other diminishment you need to in order to relieve the endless revulsion that being you must be.

  • If the developers think more people will play the game without the scenes, they may as well remove it. Their own metrics will be the judge of whether or not that’ll translate to sale numbers for any future decisions. With the media guidelines on depictions of self harm though, better to er on the side of caution and not include it as a general rule.

  • Maybe with everything going on in the world the collectively impacts everyone’s mental health, it’s best to remove as many subtle inklings of self-harm and suicide.

    People shooting themselves or throwing themselves off buildings, without any major involvement in a story, shouldn’t make the removal of such so controversial.

    The benefits highly outweigh the detriment.

    “Okay everyone, should we remove the scenes of self-harm for those who aren’t in a good mental state with the current circumstances the world is facing, or should we leave such a thing that shouldn’t effect the overall enjoyment of our title?”

Show more comments

Log in to comment on this story!