The devs behind the mobile edition of Injustice 2 have apologized for their recent faux pas of an attempt to celebrate Pride Month after a special “Versus Challenge” calling on players to continually fight Poison Ivy sparked outrage among LGBT+ DC fans – particularly users of the ResetEra gaming forum.
The trouble started when the powers behind the game issued a special Global Pride Challenge which tasked players with collectively pounding the plant-based Poison Ivy into the dirt thousands of times over throughout the month of June.
According to the official Injustice 2 Twitter account, after one week, players were roughly only 225,000 beatdowns away from reaching the challenge’s first milestone of 400,000 total Poison Ivy defeats.
As seen in the below challenge rules shared by NetherRealm studios, upon achieving the requisite 400,000 victories over Poison Ivy, players would have unlocked the ‘Great Bundle’, which featured a chance of earning the “shards” needed to unlock the challenge’s special characters.
In current continuities across the board, Ivy is bisexual, and her torrid on/off affair with Harley Quinn has become a staple of DC media, including their comics, video games, and even Harley’s HBO Max animated show.
As such, a number of riled up ResetEra users have called the challenge, which at face value can be seen asking players to beat up a bisexual woman, “tone deaf” and hypocritical to NetherRealm’s purported goal of celebrating Pride.
“That’s f—ing hilariously tone deaf,” wrote one user.
A second user observed, “Ah, the beloved pride celebration of repeatedly punching a barely clothed bi woman in the face.”
Another sarcastic response said “At least they got the rainbow profile pic,” in a shot at all the corporations and their social media accounts that sport Pride flag colors on their logos now when June rolls around.
Typically during Pride, the various attempts by corporations to join in the month’s ‘celebrations’ come across as virtue signaling, and in light of the challenge’s optics, it’s easy to see why critics believe the game is trying to have its cake and eat it too.
They probably didn’t mean any harm, but the game’s Twitter took down the Versus or Global Challenge post and sent out an apology to clear the air.
“We recognize associating our latest Global Challenge with Pride was insensitive and inappropriate,” wrote the game’s devs. “Real life violence against the LGBTQIA+ community and women within that community in particular is all too common and we should actively engage in efforts to end LGBTQIA+ violence, not normalize it.”
They concluded, “We apologize to the greater community, but especially LGBTQIA+ members. We are committed to listening and doing better.”
Most the responses to this statement came from people on both sides who weren’t offended, with some even making light of the situation.
Within the thread, Injustice 2 Mobile also assured players that, despite the devs’ apology, removal of the original tweet, and premature ending of the challenge, “Rewards earned from this Challenge will not be removed from your profile and will be sent […] after it’s complete.
Aside from this challenge, Injustice 2 Mobile is also celebrating Pride by allowing players to unlock Batwoman.
That note aside, how did you react to this small controversy? Tell us your thoughts on social media or in the comments down below!