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Skullgirls got review-bombed on Steam after some art changes

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Skullgirls 2nd Encore from Hidden Variable Studios and Autumn Games is having some community issues lately, with it getting review-bombed after a recent update.

What's going on exactly? Skullgirls now has a Mostly Negative recent user review rating on Steam, and you can clearly see the masses that have been flocking to the Steam page to let their feelings be known:

The why: on June 26th the developers announced some changes to existing content in the game and the Digital Art Compendium. The full list of changes can be seen here and it's not a long list so it's an easy overview. The developers made a longer post a few days before to explain why.

Reading through the updates were done "in the spirit of better reflecting our values and our broad vision for Skullgirls moving forward" which include removing Nazi-like depictions including armbands and symbols, adjusting some character artwork to remove sexualization of younger characters and racial stereotype issues they believed to be in poor taste.

Overall, the tweaks they've made seem quite small but this hasn't stopped the wave of negativity with user reviews complaining about "censorship" and going "woke". It's not entirely negative though, as a few hundred have also come along to leave a positive review but not enough to stop the overall recent review score looking really bad.

This YouTube video does a good look at some of the changes. Some are really a blink and you'll miss it type of deal and most players probably wouldn't even notice:

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Since the update around 3,449 negative reviews have been posted against 868 positive reviews, and it looks like the initial reaction is now dying off.

It does also bring up the interesting topic of how in the age of the internet and the likes of Steam, even games 10 years old can suddenly have changes you really might not like. Even when they're not technically some online-only "live service" type of thing.

Skullgirls certainly hasn't had the best history, with the original studio Lab Zero collapsing after a bunch of developers quit accusing the owner Mike Zaimont of various counts of inappropriate behaviour. After this Lab Zero laid off everyone else who hadn't quit.

You can buy a copy of Skullgirls from Humble Store and Steam.

Article taken from GamingOnLinux.com.
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106 comments
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hardpenguin Jul 4, 2023
Quoteremoving Nazi-like depictions including armbands and symbols, adjusting some character artwork to remove sexualization of younger characters and racial stereotype issues
Good. To hell with nazis. Although I wouldn't say they did good job to remove sexualization of any characters.
dubigrasu Jul 4, 2023
I guess people see what they want to see. I was in the Navy in the '90s and for a long time I wore a dark-blue uniform with a red armband carrying the big white letters "SSC". Those cartoons are kinda remind me of that, rather than anything Nazi.
hardpenguin Jul 4, 2023
Quoting: dubigrasuI guess people see what they want to see. I was in the Navy in the '90s and for a long time I wore a dark-blue uniform with a red armband carrying the big white letters "SSC". Those cartoons are kinda remind me of that, rather than anything Nazi.
I ensure that people online are way more gullible and way more mean-spirited than you.


Last edited by hardpenguin on 4 July 2023 at 12:16 pm UTC
Lomkey Jul 4, 2023
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It sucks when they edit a game after been out, and took people money even people agree or disagree with the change.
Koopacabras Jul 4, 2023
censorship is a such strong word... first and foremost these people should take a long breath
elmapul Jul 4, 2023
if you see the reviews there isnt just people giving negative scores, but also people being ironically positive, i found at least one comment like that:

"Thanks for removing a few of the character colors I didn't like, Hopefully you can remove the rest of the game in the next update. "
^yet the person recomend it lol
elmapul Jul 4, 2023
Quoting: hardpenguin
Quoteremoving Nazi-like depictions including armbands and symbols, adjusting some character artwork to remove sexualization of younger characters and racial stereotype issues
Good. To hell with nazis. Although I wouldn't say they did good job to remove sexualization of any characters.

imagine having bad people being portrayed as bad people...
that was a stupid move too.
chuzzle44 Jul 4, 2023
You have my respect for remaining neutral and just reporting on the facts Liam. The ironic thing is that had something like this happened 10 years ago, I wouldn't have cared. But after watching franchise after franchise be destroyed by absolutely incompetent morons who fundamentally don't understand the appeal of the art and want to make a few changes to meet "modern" sensibilities, I can no longer stand by while it happens. I don't have a stake in this game. I've owned it for years, barely played it tbh. But for the people that do care, I stand with you. It doesn't matter if it's just small changes, "blink and you'll miss it", any change that is made for the purpose of appealing to people who don't actually love the art for what it is should be pushed against as much as possible. Because it won't stop. They never learn. They will "fix" something you actually care about eventually.
PatrickHogan Jul 4, 2023
Quoting: elmapulimagine having bad people being portrayed as bad people...
that was a stupid move too.

It is where it's a hard part to judge, I mean I fully agree it's obviously a huge difference to make bad guys nazi's vs having nazi's that aren't immediately vilified. Though I suppose I also see the reason is the difference in timeline context. IE when people viewed Nazi's as a distant past evil, versus possibly triggering PTSD in people who are still alive and have been harrased by present day Nazi's.


I never will diss someone for just including nazi's as a bad guy, but it is worth noting there's a completely different result when a game uses fictional big bad organizations, versus using ones that are actually real and may in fact be a large part of the current players lives.
JordanPlayz158 Jul 4, 2023
Quoting: chuzzle44You have my respect for remaining neutral and just reporting on the facts Liam. The ironic thing is that had something like this happened 10 years ago, I wouldn't have cared. But after watching franchise after franchise be destroyed by absolutely incompetent morons who fundamentally don't understand the appeal of the art and want to make a few changes to meet "modern" sensibilities, I can no longer stand by while it happens. I don't have a stake in this game. I've owned it for years, barely played it tbh. But for the people that do care, I stand with you. It doesn't matter if it's just small changes, "blink and you'll miss it", any change that is made for the purpose of appealing to people who don't actually love the art for what it is should be pushed against as much as possible. Because it won't stop. They never learn. They will "fix" something you actually care about eventually.
Yeah, if this isn't a thing already in Steam, the best compromise would be having a version select menu for games where you can choose which version you want, would satisfy all parties as I doubt a 10 year old game would get many updates and if it did, I guess they could make community patches for updates moving forward
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