Earlier this week, the small team of developers for the breakout hit Mordhau, Triternion, came under fire for comments they’d made in an interview with PC Gamer. In that interview, they said there were plans to implement race and sex toggles, allowing those who wanted it to only come across the currently available, default white men models in the game, ignoring people’s own custom-character creations in the future.
When coupled with the game’s in-game chat and official forums being loaded with racist and sexist drivel, and you have what looks like a toxic community that’s given not just free reign by the developers, but a blessing.
“If we take an official stance and we put an official filter list on all the words in chat, people will, first, find a way around it, and it might catch innocent words, or people might claim we’re censoring. So we’d rather put the power in the player’s hands,” said artist Mike Desrosiers.
“Whatever stance we take officially, some group of people are going to be upset with us. And so, ideally we’d put the power in the players’ hands, and give them the option to enable and disable different things,” he said.
When PC Gamer prodded, artist Andrew Geach confirmed that the thinking was to have toggles for race and sex, which really just seems to be catering to racists and sexists.
“Yeah, that seems to be the current thinking,” he said. “It’s not set in stone, it depends how our community is in the future. Maybe if it calms down in the future, the game still has a lot of players, a lot of toxicity, a lot of racism, a lot of politics, everything, people argue in chat about all sorts of nonsense.”
On Twitter, the developers have said it’s all just a misunderstanding.
“We at Triternion, and as a small indie team, have a lot to learn when it comes to dealing with toxicity/racism in a large community,” they said on Twitter. “However, we need to clarify some claims posted in an article today. We do not, nor have we ever, had plans to add a toggle to hide other ethnicities or “disable characters that aren’t white” in Mordhau. Any claims to the contrary are false.”
In a follow up statement, the developers aid the people interviewed had little PR experience and effectively shot their mouths off.
“First and foremost, Triternion does not, nor have we ever, had plans to add a customization option that would force a white male default. This is an absurd idea that stems from a misunderstanding in a recent interview by PC Gamer with two of our artists. These artists, both uninvolved with character development went into a verbal interview with minimal PR experience and ended up answering some of the questions in a misleading way, which combined with a lack of context, led to some very controversial statements. Again, we at Triternion do not, nor have we ever had any plans to implement any kind of ethnicity toggle on potential future character ethnicity customization additions.”
As far as moderation goes, the developer will basically be doing nothing – because, they say – they can’t.
“In regards to community toxicity, we do not have prior experience managing communities of this size, nor the manpower or resources that established studious can leverage. Our team consists of 11 first-time developers working remotely and volunteer moderators who try their best to curb this toxicity and behavior across all platforms, including in-game. At the moment we are stretched thin with major important content additions and unfortunately we do not have the staff nor systems in-place to moderate everything to our intended level of standards.”
This, I feel, is their biggest mistake. Large communities of people, given anonymity,
“We plan on improving in this regard. We hope our players understand our situation and will continue to place their faith in us, as improving these things will take time.”
Last Updated: July 4, 2019