Ion Fury developers Voidpoint have been under fire since this past weekend, following a number of comments made by their employees in the studio’s Discord server, which allows players to communicate directly with the developers about their games. Screenshots of the comments in question were uploaded to ResetEra, a video game message board. The subject matter of their comments included social justice warriors (“SJW”s), transgender identity, and feminism.
It didn’t take long for the screenshots to spread from ResetEra to other social media sites, which led to Voidpoint initially going on the defensive. In response to a fan disappointed by the comments from Discord, Voidpoint insisted that context was missing from the screenshots.
That’s your choice, but you should probably do your own research before coming to that conclusion. The crop tool in Photoshop has always been just as much about what you are removing as what you are keeping.
— Voidpoint’s ION FURY out NOW (@voidpnt) August 17, 2019
However, Game Informer investigated the Discord server in question once the screenshots came out. At the time of their research, nothing from the screenshots had been deleted, so the full context was still present. Game Informer concluded that there didn’t seem to be any context missing from what was screenshotted.
Later on during the weekend, another ResetEra user found some homophobic language in the game, such as the word “fagbag” written in a secret area and “OGAY” as a brand of lotion seemingly parodying the real-life brand, Olay. The user also included a screenshot from the Discord server, in which one of the developers under the screenname “terminx” uploaded a picture of a packaged food labeled as “2 pork faggots”, followed by a cry-laugh emoji.
Following all of this, Voidpoint and Ion Fury publisher 3D Realms released statements to Eurogamer apologizing for “sexist and transphobic comments” made by Voidpoint staff members.
Mike Nielsen, CEO of 3D Realms, assured that in the future, “all of 3D Realms’ contracts will include terms which would allow [them] to sever relationships if a contractor does not abide by [their] zero-tolerance policy for hate speech.”
Voidpoint co-founders Evan Ramos and Richard Gobeille issued a longer statement, acknowledging their staff’s language both in the Discord server and in Ion Fury itself as “sexist”, “transphobic”, and “homophobic.” They, too, aim to enforce a “zero-tolerance policy for this type of language” and will require their staff and future contractors to “undergo mandatory sensitivity training.” Additionally, they’ve promised to donate $10,000 from Ion Fury’s release day sales to The Trevor Project, an American-based non-profit organization that focuses on suicide prevention among LGBTQ+ youth. Lastly, they will patch out any “unacceptable language” in Ion Fury “ASAP.”
Ion Fury first launched on PC on August 15 and is now available on PlayStation 4, Xbox One, and Nintendo Switch.