At the end of December, Void Interactive, the maker of the upcoming strategy game Ready or not?, suddenly lost his publishing partner. While not directly confirmed at the time, online speculation suggests the first-person shooter’s shakeup was due to a recent official exchange with fans where an employee irritably reiterates that the world “better to believe” the game “will” include the previously announced shooting range level. And now, a few days after outrage erupted over that story, the studio has released a more measured statement about the general approach and philosophy behind the game.
In addition to early access, Top rated game on Steam Ready or not? puts you in favor of an elite SWAT team sent to diffuse high-stakes situations, like when someone is taken hostage. Perhaps, a level where a school shooter terrorizes a classroom would be in the game’s sights. Mechanically and even conceptually, it’s a pretty good idea in video games, with military strategy games forming a genre of their own. The game can make you play both sides of the conflict like this. Usually, however, video games depict or imply situations involving adults, not children. For example, you could play a video game where you are tasked with robbing a bank — which will then require you to make a careful plan that involves taking hostages.
Arguably the issue is off topic, it’s worrisome that this particular studio will be able to handle such a complex subject with the grace it requires due to several developers working on the game. Play sounds like such a nasty thing lately. Means for Ready or not? Nor does it inspire confidence in some people. A trailer for the game shows all of these elements: brave men swooping down to save children, a school desk flash, and a broken neon sign that says ANAL.
And so, some people are not entirely confident that Void Interactive will handle the proposed theme issue delicately enough, which may explain why the developers make a lengthy statement on the eve of Christmas.
The cliffhanger’s version of the note is that the team admits that the idea of a school shooting level will cause a strong reaction, but they’re doing their best to stay true to the theme.
“Void Interactive has a clear commitment to providing high-quality, impactful content that other mainstream software developers may shy away from due to cultural conventions and norms,” the note reads.
It can be said that although they value feedback, the public will not influence what they do. However, the studio will honor “the work of dedicated law enforcement officers around the world and it is not intended to glorify cowardly criminal acts”.
We strive to promote authenticity and realism in our video games, Ready or not?, that brings with it a difficult subject. We understand that this entails a certain responsibility — to our fans and community, yes, but also to those who have been impacted by the traumatic events that law enforcement usually react. Rest assured, our aim is to handle it all Ready or not?content with the weight and respect it guarantees. We recently had to remind several team members of the care required when discussing this document now and on an ongoing basis.
The note goes on to say that school is an important aspect of our daily lives, which is why the game developer wanted to try and honor those who “have been affected by these tragedies.” this real-world drama with a non-trivial portrait of their experience.”
According to the game’s official Steam page, Void Interactive consulted with police around the globe to create the game. In some largest school districts in the United States, there has been a concentrated effort since the Black Lives Matter protests broke out to cut the police presence from some schools. In a study involving 25 school shootings, crises of this nature are not resolved by an officer, but by general staff disarming an attacker — or by shooters who decide to stop on their own.