Tactical FPS Ready or Not has found itself mired in controversy, ultimately resulting in Void Interactive responding to these allegations with a statement.
2022 is going to be a feast for fans of tactical shooters. Aside from the surprisingly good-looking Aliens: Fireteam, Escape from Tarkov got a new update and a wipe that further expanded the game with new areas and guns.
One of the more notable new releases was Ready or Not, a tactical shooter done in the style of the classic SWAT FPS games that arrived on Steam late last year. Unfortunately, it's found itself mired in a bit of controversy -- Kotaku wrote a critical preview of the game that pointed out some in-game assets and voice lines that use crude or edgy humor. This article has caused the game's developer Void Interactive to issue a statement in response.
Ready or Not Developer Void Interactive Responds to Controversy
The issue with Ready or Not boils down to several in-game assets and items highlighted in Kotaku's impressions of the game. These items include a box of vitamins from a fictional brand called "Bonor Health" and from a fictional store called "Whore Foods," a play on the real-world store Whole Foods.
Another in-game asset highlighted by the Kotaku piece is a "Red Pill" box in a trash can with "Noggin Joggers" listed on the top of the box.
Kotaku author Ethan Gach explains his interpretation of these jokes and links to a theory that this could be a reference to an apparently unrelated racist meme. Of course, the insinuation that these in-game assets could be related to racist memes is a concerning issue; as a result, Void Interactive issued a lengthy statement in response (which you can see in full in the above tweet).
"We would like to start by saying that VOID Interactive does not support or condone any form of racism, bigotry, or alt-right views, and any such views will never be tolerated by our development team or in our community," the statement began."
"Intolerance has no place in Ready or Not."
Void Interactive's statement goes on to explain that the assets highlighted in the Kotaku impressions are placeholders that were created by a contractor who no longer works with the company. It further adds that it plans to replace these assets as development continues. The game's developer also noted that it takes these accusations "quite seriously" and it specifically explained the references behind the Red Pill box.
"Regarding the 'Red Pill' boxes specifically, these were intended solely as a reference to the Matrix movie (Neo choosing between the red pill and the blue pill.)" Void Interactive explained in its statement. "A noggin jogger is slang for an activity or challenge that messes with the mind and is commonly used as a reference to complex puzzles or brain teasers."
Finally, Void Interactive took time to specifically address Kotaku's article and its past experience with the company.
"It is worth noting that we were cautious about issuing a statement to Kotaku, given that in the past they have produced articles with misleading headlines regarding our mutual split with publisher Team17," the statement concluded. "We are saddened to see that this has happened again, but we are looking forward to and will continue to correct the record whenever we can."
Regardless of what you may think of the game's occasionally-crude humor and placeholder assets, many seem to be enjoying the game -- an opinion highlighted by its "Very Positive" rating on Steam with over 22,400 reviews. You can buy Ready or Not for PC via Steam Early Access starting at $39.99 or your regional equivalent.
Have you had a chance to play Ready or Not? What is your favorite tactical shooter in recent years? Let us know in the comments below!