Voidpoint and 3D Realms Reverse Censorship Decision: “We Will Absolutely NOT Be Censoring Ion Fury”

Less than a week after informing their audience that they would be altering certain textures within the game after facing pressure from offended users across social media, Ion Fury developer Voidpoint has issued a joint statement with publisher 3D Realms stating that they will “absolutely NOT be censoring Ion Fury.”

On August 26th, Voidpoint and 3D Realms published a statement to Ion Fury’s Steam. It informed players that “Ion Fury Game Content Will Not Be Censored,” as well as making clear Voidpoint and 3D Realms’ opinion on censorship:

“Joint statement from Voidpoint and 3D Realms:

We’ve caused a recent controversy suggesting Ion Fury game content was to be censored.

We will absolutely NOT be censoring Ion Fury or any of our other games, now or in the future, including but not limited to by removing gags such as gaming’s most controversial facial wash.

We do not support censorship of creative works of any kind and regret our initial decision to alter a sprite in the game instead of trusting our instincts. 3D Realms and Voidpoint stand together on this matter.

Last but not least, please respect our need to keep our community forums clean from hateful messages, spam, or off-topic threads. We recognize our mistake and have received your message loud and clear!”

The sprite in question was that of a bottle of shampoo which featured the text “OGAY” across the bottle, in a juvenile pun on the famous skin care brand Olay reminiscent of similarly crude jokes found in 3D Realms’ previous series Duke Nukem (which served as a direct inspiration for Ion Fury). (Related: Following Public Backlash, Ion Fury Devs Suggest Pirating Game: “F*** Politics”)

Voidpoint and 3D Realms Reverse Censorship Decision: “We will absolutely NOT be censoring Ion Fury” - Soap Bottle Sprite

However, Voidpoint will still be removing a hidden area which contains the text “Aeeress SECRET F***** LAAWRAAH!! Unholy Fanfare” from the game. According to Voidpoint, this area was mistakenly left in by a non-English speaking team member whose country does not recognize the term as offensive:

Voidpoint and 3D Realms Reverse Censorship Decision: “We will absolutely NOT be censoring Ion Fury” - Hidden Area

The development team also indicated that their original statement, which indicated that the whole game would be censored, was crafted by a PR studio in the wake of the backlash:

As for the accusations of bigotry and hate being leveled at Voidpoint, journalist Sophia Narwitz, a transgender woman herself, personally reached out to the studio to discuss the situation. Narwitz found that certain viewpoints held by team members were not based in hate, but come instead from a place of confusion and ignorance, with the team members ultimately thanking Narwitz for helping them better understand the topic of transgender issues:

“After speaking with a member of the team who’d like to remain anonymous, I can again state with certainty that there is little to no bigotry behind the scenes. This one particular dev has a transgender family member, and while there are concepts they struggle to understand (which is normal), they fully support this person’s transition. In their own words there are things they are “ignorant” about, and they don’t fully “get” their family member’s issues, but “they’re happier now and I love [them] anyway.”

Being that I’m trans, I allowed them to ask me anything and everything about my gender dysphoria, and we had a long and enjoyable discussion about transgender issues. This would end with them expressing “thanks for being open to my stupid questions about trans stuff btw”, before following it up with “I wish more people understood that ignorance isn’t hate.”

Voidpoint themselves have stood resolute in their decision, stating that there is no hate speech within the game. (Related: Ion Fury Devs Accused of Transphobia for Opinions and Criticisms Posted to 3D Realms’ Public Discord)

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