Yostar, the internet game company responsible for developing and operating Azur Lane, issued an apology through the Azur Lane English language Twitter account after facing backlash for removing a fan-submitted artwork from a loading screen due to complaints from some users that found the image inappropriate.

In the month of October, Yostar held the No Paint No Treat art contest, a fan art competition whose winners would have a chance for their art to be displayed on loading screens in-game:

On October 31st, Yostar  announced the official winners of the contest, which included various Halloween-themed images of various ships available in the game.

Among the pieces chosen to be displayed in-game was a piece by artists piukute062 and Kazuharu Kina which featured numerous ships dressed as seductive succubi clad in risqué leather one-pieces:

Piukute062’s winning piece can be seen below:

Azur Lane Apologizes After Facing Backlash for Removing Ecchi Fan Banner from Loading Screens

However, the day after announcing Piukute062’s art as a selected winner, fans began to notice that the loading screen featuring the winning artwork had been removed from the game:

One player of Azur Lane in a Facebook group titled Azur Lane Fleetposting submitted an official feedback request to Yostar asking if an option could be implemented which would allow players to disable or select loading screens in response to the “NSFW” art produced by Piukute062:

I want to bring this up.

Apparently, the loading screen we got recently somewhat really NSFW. And some people who used to play the game in public really takes this seriously.

I saw a lot of people insult Azur Lane existence with a reason like “AzUr LaNe TaRgEtInG vIrGinS” or “AzUr LaNe : pOrN gAmEs CoNfIrMeD”. There’s nothing we can do to ignore that fact, especially about Loading Screens that we got recently. But there’s also zero reason to fight those people, even their goals is just mocking Azur Lane as a whole.

But there’s something you can do, apparently this suggestion already suggested at Azur Lane Official Feedback at Trello. And if you guys want to participate, “vote” this and wait until Azur Lane actually do something about it.

Link : https://trello.com/c/l1WdLybr

TL;DR : vote this if you’re agree with this idea, and let them do the work, or at least listen to the community.

Btw, congratulations for 6K members!

– Ade Ridwan, October 31st, 2019

The reasoning for this request, as provided in the complaint, describes how some loading screens could be “borderline NSFW,” and thus could make it “somewhat awkward to play it in public.”

“Can we have a way to disable loading screens pictures?

I like them, but some of them tend to be borderline NSFW.

Makes it somewhat awkward to play it in public.

maybe can use some placeholder screen with game’s logo

Alternatively, let players choose which loading screens will show up

Alternative suggestion: All/SFW selection for loading screens & shop icon

Also perhaps have an option for them to turn off the loading screen tips when selecting the loading screens”

According to leaked Discord chat logs, after discovering this complaint against themselves because of their artwork, piukute062 stated that they “draw this time to triggered ppl,” that it “was planned from the beginning” and that their “main goal [was] to trigger normies and lolicons.”

Piukute062 also pushed back against the proposed toggle option, stating that “making the selective BGs will be unfair […] for the artists” and criticized those who took issue with the ecchi artwork (and more specifically it’s potential appearance in public), stating that it “seems like you dont respect artist’s works.”

Piukute062 also stated that they were concerned that this option could allow “lolicons” to “choose full loli BG,” which piukute062 considered “criminism” [sic].

Some players accused Piukute062 of buying votes to win the No Trick No Treat contest, due to an out of context screencap of Piukute062 saying “buy some vote” on Discord. In the full chat logs, it is clear that Piukute062 is making a joke to another artist, “Milfier really love Albacore” who stated that “I wanna beat popularity [and win the contest] […] fair and square.”

Eventually, a statement was made by an official representative in the official Azur Lane Discord server, who confirmed that they had “removed a Halloween artwork” specifically because it “had brought inconvenience to commanders when the game was played in public.”

Azur Lane Apologizes After Facing Backlash for Removing Ecchi Fan Banner from Loading Screens

“Dear commanders:

In answer to your recent feedback, we removed a Halloween artwork, which had brought inconvenience to commanders when the game was played in public, from the current loading screens during yesterday’s hotfix. We intended to make a contact with the artist to clarify such situation before the artwork was removed, but he/she was unable to be reached on our Discord server. Hereby, we want to express our sincerest apology to the artist, and to all his/her fans. We will keep trying to contact the artist and solve the issue in a proper way.

We reiterate our respect to all kinds of fan arts, and we will be more careful with such issues in the future. Thank for your understanding and support for HQ.”

Following this explanation, a large swath of Azur Lane players began to voice their opposition to this decision, criticizing Yostar for censorship of the artwork due to the outrages of a small, vocal few.

Eventually, both Yostar and Piukute062 were overwhelmed with the bombardment of accusations and criticisms from various sides of the Azur Lane fanbase. In response, Yostar issued an apology for the removal of the artwork, but made no indication that the artwork would be restored to the games loading screens:

Their apology reads:

“Thanks for the understanding of artists piukute062 and Memphis Mugetsu. The reason why we removed the artwork was that we wanted to bring the best game experience to every commander, but not the censorship. We sincerely apologize again for the inconvenience we made to all commanders.

We will improve the contest system in the future and what most important is we will keep encouraging all kinds of free creation. Thanks again for your understanding and support.”

Piukute062 also issued a statement, apologizing for their “irresponsible” actions (in reference to the false accusations of vote manipulation) acknowledging that they “have accepted the removal of my loading screen artwork in order to close this incident for good” and declaring that “the story is ended.”

Their statement reads:

“Hello! This is piukute062,

As you know, these past few days have been hard on all of us because of that Azur Lane loading screen on the EN Server.

The artwork was intended as a gift to the fans, the community and players from all servers.

After discussions with the Azur Lane staff, I have accepted the removal of my loading screen artwork in order to close this incident for good.

I fully acknowledge that my actions have been irresponsible and have led to misunderstandings.

I am sorry for the trouble I have caused for the staff and do not wish to be seen as a troublemaker for the fans. After all, I do not wish to harm the image of the Azur Lane game in any way.

While I may have said some harsh statements, the truth was that the artwork was made out of love for the game.

Moving forward, I will be more careful next time I enter a contest since I truly love this game and its community.

Hopefully you can continue supporting the game, and if possible, my artworks in the future.

Best Regards
.
Piukute062″

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