Digital games distribution platform Fanatical removed the Kyle Rittenhouse-inspired game, Acquitted, from a sale bundle following social media outcry.
The UK-based digital games distribution platform regularly sells their “killer bundle,” selling a selection of hand-picked titles for cheaper prices. Their most recent, Killer Bundle 23, has caused some outcry however.
While it features Valfaris, Everhood and more, it also briefly featured Acquitted, the Kyle Rittenhouse-inspired title.
“Just a heads up in case you, like me, have shopped at @Fanatical,” warned @NicMcC83 “– their current “Killer Bundle” includes the Lyle Ritttenhouse game. Quick question – what the f—k?”
Fanatical would later announce that the game had been removed from the bundle. “We have heard your concerns, have immediately pulled Killer Bundle 23 and will update ASAP. At Fanatical we never want to offend our loyal and important customers and as a reaction to the feedback, we have taken immediate action to pull the content from the bundle.”
“To clarify, we did not realise the ties that Acquitted had with Kyle Rittenhouse and reacted promptly once our community informed us of it,” Fanatical continued and claimed. “Thank you for giving us the information that we needed to do better!”
While others also complained, it would seem @NicMcC83’s post got the most attention, as Fanatical would later reply to his tweet. “Yes, we have removed Acquitted from the Killer Bundle 23; we did not do this intentionally, as we did not know the actual connection of the game. We’re deeply sorry.”
While Fanatical state Acquitted was only removed from their bundle, the game cannot be found when searching for it on their website. Developer Nordic Empire Games later stated that Fanatical had violated their contract.
“Acquitted just got censored in violation with our contract with the major gaming company @Fanatical. Acquitted was included in their best-selling bundle, but was removed today since the company claims customers have been offended. Stop cancel culture – Support freedom of speech!” Nordic Empire Games encouraged.
As previously reported, Nordic Empire Games released Acquitted, a top down twin-stick shooter, in May of this year. The game was clearly inspired by Kyle Rittenhouse’s trial — over his self-defense during the August 2020 Black Lives Matter riots of Kenosha, Wisconsin — and subsequent acquittal.
Players fend off the “braindead” zombies — coupled with Social Justice Warrior and ANTIFA stereotypes — with a variety of weapons. Kotaku’s John Walker dismissed it in his editorial as poorly made, along with deriding the developer’s involvement with William Hahne; former press secretary for the Swedish Democrats’ youth league and founder of Alternative For Sweden.
Walker condemned him as “too big of a yellow-bellied coward to make a game that actually says anything.” After Hahne’s wife corrected several falsehoods in the article on Twitter, Walker told her to “Please go away, actual Nazi.”
It is also worth pointing out that, as of this writing, the Kyle Rittenhouse-inspired title not only was removed from the Killer Bundle 23 but can no longer be found on Fanatical’s website either; perhaps another breach in the contract between the video game distribution platform and Nordic Empire Games.
Did Fanatical do the right thing? Let us know on social media and in the comments below.