GG: Mordhau dev provokes this week’s diversity controversy, blames a “misunderstanding”, but maybe it shouldn’t be

Triternion has denied claims that the studio ever intended to introduce an option to disable female, black, or other not “historically accurate” characters in a game that lets you beat other people with a lute or a frying pan and rush around on foot in full plate armour, despite evidence that it kind of did, explaining that, actually, it was some guys with “minimal PR experience” who “ended up answering some of the questions in a misleading way”. Awkward.

It started with an interview on PC Gamer, in which game artists Andrew Geach and Mike Desrosiers were talking about the problems of racism, sexism, homophobia, and other toxic but drearily predictable shit in the Mordhau community, and the prospect of even more of this gross stupidity when female and black characters are added into the game.

“Whatever stance we take officially, some group of people are going to be upset with us,” Desrosiers told them. “And so, ideally we’d put the power in the players’ hands, and give them the option to enable and disable different things.”

Okay, so that came out… wrong? But, inconveniently, it’s not the first time that one of the team has suggested more or less the same thing.

“The realism complaint is valid,” Triternion developer C. “Crush” Rushed posted on Steam, back in April. “So when we add them we might add a simple client-side toggle (for both female and male characters) which would let you disable them.”

I guess that came out wrong too, huh?

According to that promised statement, “this is an absurd idea that stems from a misunderstanding”, and that Geach and Desrosiers are “both uninvolved with character development”, and “went into a verbal interview with minimal PR experience and ended up answering some of the questions in a misleading way”.

But what about Crush? He’s not an artist, he’s one of the game designers, and going on his Reddit account, he’s very much involved in this sort of thing. Double awkward.

And even the studio’s statement somewhat contradicts the claim that Triternion “do not, nor have we ever, had plans” to do it.

“This concept was brought forth by one of our developers and posted prior to the game’s release as a response to a large number of heated debates regarding the topic of realism. The idea to give players this ability was simply a theoretical solution to a difficult problem and was never intended to be the official stance of Triternion on this topic.”

It wasn’t exactly a plan, perhaps, but it was definitely discussed, and enough that three of the eleven people on the team assumed it was more than “theoretical” at the time. So, uh. And so what.

I vote Triternion introduces that feature. Let those people who don’t want women or Moors other profane abominations in their HISTORICALLY ACCURATE game with lutes and frying pans and tin-foil full plate armour controlled with clicks and keyboard presses disable them, because realism is important like that, and also so that everybody else can choose to recreate famous medieval battles with zweihander-brandishing black women all named Laqueesha Liberalle-Ajenda because fun is important like that too.

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