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Top Hat Games Pushes Back Against Censorship Demands on Sense: a Cyberpunk Ghost Story

January 4, 2021

By: Patrick Perrault

 
 

Developed by Suzaku and published by Top Hat Studios, Sense: A Cyberpunk Ghost Story has attracted attention, leading to the publisher pushing back against cries from some to censor the game. They have released an official statement discussing how they "categorically refuse" to censor the game. The full statement is posted below:

What is Sense: A Cyberpunk Ghost Story?

Sense: A Cyberpunk Ghost Story is "A 2.5D horror game inspired by Clock Tower and Fatal Frame, mixing cyberpunk with traditional Cantonese folklore." The game is set in 2083 Neo Hong Kong, and the protagonist Mei-Lin Mak struggles to solve a century-old mystery that will make her question her reality. The game will have players solve puzzles and "examine every nook and cranny of the world around them in order to progress." There is partial-voice acting as well, which helps to build up the lore and world of Neo Hong Kong as players try to uncover its secrets.

 

What do people want to censor?

Top Hat Studios has received many messages due to the game releasing on consoles (such as the Nintendo Switch's 1/7/21 release) due to its content that is "pornographic", "encourages violence", or "breaks the law". Top Hat Studios fought back against such claims, ultimately saying that "the game will not be censored. We categorically refuse." This is amidst claims that many people will review bomb the game and/or harass the title's distributors, as they have received a number of threats. 

Top Hat Studios have also received death threats for a title that has been rated ESRB M (17 +) / PEGI 18. They note that it is not an Adult Only (AO) title either, which seems to put to bed that the game is "pornographic" or "encourages violence" in a way that forces Sense: A Cyberpunk Ghost Story to be rated AO.

 
 

Top Hat Studios also have released evidence of the threats and messages that they have received, with the full Twitter statement posted below:

We originally did not want to make this post, as to not accidentally incite a search for these posters and cause further fights. However, as there are now industry-adjacent people slandering/gaslighting us as liars, we've compiled a sampling from twitter, FB, and email.

Skepticism is healthy in this industry, but it is not universally applied. Not only were many of these comments actively findable in <10 seconds to verify, but many "curious" individuals seem to have a vetted interest in slandering us as liars because of their connections.

We don't blame people for being skeptical; but keep this energy toward other claims. This isn't a marketing campaign. The game released 5 months ago originally. This was a pre-emptive response to what we saw as a rising, ridiculous spread of lies and slurs aimed at us.

We can play semantics, but if you can't understand why a response to such is needed, you're being willfully obtuse. We couldn't let false, hateful info spread, and also wanted to reinforce our stance against creative infringement. It certainly got bigger than we expected.

With that said, we appreciate, sincerely, the overwhelming support - really. As we said we didn't want to make this post, but we aren't going to allow people to spread lies - no less from those with a vetted interest in calling us liars. We aren't changing Sense's content.

Sense: A Cyberpunk Ghost Story is available on Steam for 20% off (14.99) and for pre-order (and pre-load) on the Nintendo Switch for release this Thursday for $19.99.

 
 

What do you think of this article? Do you think Top Hat Studios is in the right? Let us know in the comments!