Ready or Not is a tactical first person shooter from the studio Void Interactive. Depicting “a modern-day world in which SWAT police units are called to defuse hostile and confronting situations” the early access game saw controversy for announcing that it will feature a school shooting level. The devs have now responded to the backlash, saying “There is no easy way to address this issue without creating strong emotional responses from one group or another, but we will do our best.”
Recently, it was reported that Ready or Not had split with its previously announced publishing partner – Team17. At the time, many attributed this split to the fact that the game is planned to have a level set inside a school – though this was in fact not the case.
Evenso, this recent split has brought the game’s controversial nature back into the limelight. In response, the team at VOID Interactive took to Twitter to say “There is no easy way to address this issue without creating strong emotional responses from one group or another, but we will do our best.”
They continued, “Void Interactive has a clear commitment to deliver high quality, impactful content that other mainstream software developers may shy away from due to cultural conventions and norms. At Void Interactive we value the voice of our customers and partners and whilst this will not dictate our direction, we will allow it to smartly influence what we do. At its core, the game honours the work of dedicated law enforcement officers across the world and in no way intends to glorify cowardly criminal acts.”
Discussing the primary controversy, they said “School is not just a part of the fabric of Ready or Not's story, it is part of the fabric of thousands of people's stories worldwide. It is the story of those who have died too soon at the hands of a deranged gunman, the story of family and friends waiting for a phone call that might never come, the story of the first responders who do everything they can only for it to not be enough,” adding that “It is a look at an uncomfortable reality that has become all too common, and we hope that we can play some small part in honoring those who have been impacted by these real world tragedies with a portrayal that does not trivialize their experiences.”
The team concluded by saying “We will continue to follow our vision, we will continue to listen, and we will continue to work every day on Ready or Not. Thank you.”
As the video games industry matures, more and more difficult subject matters are able to be addressed and discussed in a nuanced and careful manner. Whether Ready or Not will be able to do this is currently unknown, but hopefully it is covered respectfully.
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KitGuru says: What do you think of VOID Interactive’s response? Do you think they will handle the subject matter properly? Are there any subject matters which should be left alone in your opinion? Let us know down below.