stellaris_01

Stellaris is, from what I hear, a rather champ 4X sci-fi strategy game, pooling lessons from Game of Thrones simulator Crusader Kings II and nation-builder Europa Universalis IV. With the vastness of galaxies as its canvas, the cultural milieux range from frog-people to sentient AI machines. Bipedal meatbags feature as well, but as it turns out, they just had too much variety for some.

One user, originally going by Lord Xel and now Progeny of Europe (promising start), posted a mod entitled “European Phenotype and Names Only (White Humans)”, which replaced all the human in-game portraits to be what I assume would be an acceptable pallor to the mod’s creator. It hung around a bit until, according to Paradox, some additional edits to the description (the¬†statement “No multiculturalism here!” highlighted as particularly egregious) and user comments on the mod pushed it into unacceptable territory.

It was removed in accordance with Paradox’s stated rules of conduct (the page stating that it was last updated today), although remained available on other third-party mod sites. As always, the decision has been a polarising one: many have congratulated Paradox on taking a firm public stance on these kind of mods on their Steam Workshop page, while others feel that Paradox is being hypocritical when other mods with similar overtones remain available in the Workshop. Paradox has encouraged people to report mods that contravene their rules of conduct.

But, as Baron Harkonnen once decreed, the salt must flow, and not even the infinite expanse of space can hold the saltiness of the creator and the salt that accompanies the mod’s re-posting on the Steam Workshop and its new description. I think my “favourite” exaggeration is warning players to treat conversing on Stellaris’ Steam Workshop comment section to being in a meeting with the Stasi. Yes, they went there (of course they went there – ed).

They describe the newly uploaded mod as an experiment, which I assume is sticking two fingers right up Paradox’s nostrils while screaming, “What ya goin’ to do ’bout it, huh!? HUH!?!” in the hopes that they can sue after the “entirely unprovoked” battery afterwards. Nevertheless, the whole debacle spurred a conversation about what topics are appropriate for mods and the company’s role in moderating them.

Source: Ars Technica