Tue. Jun 18th, 2024

Skullgirls Doubles Down On Censorship As Game Gets Delisted

By Baiting Irrelevance Oct9,2023
Skullgirls-backlash-continues-5
Skullgirls-backlash-continues-5

The original Skullgirls was just delisted from the Xbox store, and fans are unhappy. Over the last few months, Skullgirls have come under heavy fire from some fans over what they deem to be censorship. The internet reacted quickly when Encore announced that they would change their game. If you are unaware, censorship in video games has been a hotly contested topic for many years. There is an ongoing trend within the gaming community where certain publishers update and remove or censor offensive content. Typically, this type of content involves that of a suggestive nature.

Most publishers who censor their games call it updating for a modern audience. This is a widely unpopular phrase, and most people know exactly what it means. Skullgirls, in particular, showcases certain types of imagery that some find problematic. Revenge Labs made a statement recently in which they revealed that they would be removing overly sexualized content and specific imagery that hate groups inspire. The decision from Encore and Revenge Lab was met with mostly negative feedback on Steam. However, the developer and publisher decided to stand firm in their decision.

Skullgirls Doubles Down On Censorship As Game Gets Delisted
Skullgirls Doubles Down On Censorship As Game Gets Delisted

The first point of contention was the red armbands that certain characters wore. Some stated that these were World War II-inspired armbands. The second piece of content people took exception to was a few unflattering skirt shorts for a female character called Fillia. Some pointed out that Filia was sixteen, so this was inappropriate. While most people were against this decision, a few people also thought these changes were a positive. Others stated that it was a minor issue being taken out of proportion. Before I break down each of these arguments, let’s just take a few steps back.

Skullgirls And Xbox

The issue of censorship is once again showing its head. Recently, it was revealed that Skullgirls will be removed from the Xbox 360 store. While this might not sound like a major deal, it does hold some significance. The Xbox 360 version of this game is currently the only place where you can still play this title unedited. The current Xbox Series consoles have backward compatibility, and thus, many chose to play the 360 version instead of the current gen one. Since the Series consoles also have FPS boosts and backward compatibility optimization, the Xbox 360 version plays precisely like any current-gen game.

The fact that this version of the game is being removed from the Xbox Store is making plenty of fans uncomfortable. Many feel that the old-gen version of the game is being discontinued to prevent fans from playing the original. It is uncertain if this is the case, but given their track record, you can’t put it past them. When the censorship debate started, the publisher and developer were very clear. If you have an issue with the changes, you are the problem. This issue became even more heated when reviews on Steam were removed.

Skullgirls And Xbox
Skullgirls And Xbox

To express their frustrations, some fans updated their positive to negative reviews. Steam regarded these as unrelated reviews and locked all of them. Fans considered this as a step too far as viewing your displeasure of these changes is related to the game. If you change the game’s visuals, it is clearly related to the player experience. Preventing fans from voicing their displeasure will not help the censorship allegations.

The Skullgirls Reaction

While there are plenty of people against what Skullgirls are doing, there are also those defending the decision. These defenders state that the changes to the game are minor and should not matter. Defenders of these changes will often question why it is so important for you to be able to see certain characters in revealing positions. Furthermore, they will point to the characters’ ages as justification for the position. As stated earlier, it is believed that Filia is sixteen. Thus, if you do not like the game’s censorship, it is because you are creepy.

It is worth noting that these same people complain about every video game girl who wears a skirt. Only in this case can they use the age as an excuse. To point out the obvious, it is worth stating that these fictional characters are not real. While it does not give you an excuse to be creepy, these made-up ages are less relevant to your argument than you might think. That is not to say that oversexualizing a clearly underage video game character is not creepy. However, the red armbands are probably a far worse overreaction.

The Skullgirls Over Reaction
The Skullgirls Over Reaction

While we can all agree that they are obviously referencing World War 2, that should not matter. These characters are portrayed as evil, and the red armband is there to drive that point across. It is no different from a Call of Duty game, which has even more direct imagery. While Skullgirls has the right to make any changes to their games, they need to at least understand where some of the concern is coming from. While the complaints might feel silly to you, many fans simply do not like what it represents for content moving forward.

Justification Or Reaction?

As stated, there are plenty of people who are stating that minor changes like this should not matter. In all honesty, these people are correct. However, the opposite can also be said. If these changes are so small that they should not matter, then why are you calling for these changes to be made? Most people simply do not like any changes to games due to political or social reasons. In all honesty, if the developers made these changes without announcing them, most people likely would not have noticed. Those who did notice would have been ignored.

However, when you release a long statement about how stunning and brave you are for making these changes, it is then when people push back. They do this because they know what it means. When you say you are making minor changes in order to be more sensitive for a modern audience, it tells people how you think. Small changes now give people an indication of what your content will look like in the future. Any new content that Skullgirls brings out moving forward will likely be riddled with certain messaging.

Justification Or Over Reaction?
Justification Or Over Reaction?

In fairness, this is all speculation on my side, but it is hard not to jump to that conclusion. However, I will say once again that they have the right to push this game in any direction they want. If I, as a player, do not like the changes that they make, I will simply move on to a new game. However, there is still a sense of sadness for fans who are long-time players. It is not always that easy to just move on.

Conclusion

While Skullgirls being removed from the Xbox 360 store is not the end of the world, it does close a certain chapter for the game. The uncensored version of the game no longer exists. Most people have already forgotten all about this situation. Those who wanted to leave did, and the rest of the people stayed.

FAQ

QuestionAnswer
What is Skullgirls?Skullgirls is a 2D fighting game developed by Lab Zero Games, known for its unique art style, fast-paced gameplay, and diverse character roster.
On which platforms can I play Skullgirls?Skullgirls is available on PlayStation, Xbox, PC, and Nintendo Switch. Check the specific digital store for availability on your chosen platform.
How many characters are there in Skullgirls?The roster includes a diverse set of characters, initially starting with 8 and expanding through DLCs.
What makes Skullgirls stand out?Unique features include hand-drawn art, a customizable tag-team fighting system, responsive controls, and deep combo mechanics.
Are there single-player modes?Yes, Skullgirls offers Story mode, Arcade mode, and a Tutorial mode for solo players to enjoy and learn the game.
Can I play Skullgirls competitively?Yes, Skullgirls has a dedicated competitive community with online multiplayer modes, ranked matches, and tournaments.
Are there updates or expansions for Skullgirls?Lab Zero Games releases updates and DLCs, including new characters, stages, and balance adjustments. Stay tuned for official announcements.
Is Skullgirls beginner-friendly?Skullgirls provides a robust tutorial system to introduce players gradually to its mechanics. Beginners can find resources online and within the game to improve their skills.
Frequently Asked Questions

Table Of Information

AspectDetails
Genre2D Fighting Game
DeveloperLab Zero Games
Release DateVaries by Platform (Initial Release: April 10, 2012)
PlatformsPlayStation, Xbox, PC, Nintendo Switch
Art StyleHand-Drawn, Unique Aesthetic
Character RosterDiverse Cast (Expanded via DLCs)
Gameplay MechanicsTag-Team Fighting System, Responsive Controls, Deep Combo Mechanics
Single-Player ModesStory Mode, Arcade Mode, Tutorial Mode
Multiplayer FeaturesOnline Multiplayer, Ranked Matches, Tournaments
Updates and ExpansionsRegular Updates, Downloadable Content (DLC)
Learning CurveModerate to High (Robust Tutorial System for Learning)
Community EngagementActive Competitive Community, Online Resources for Beginners
Official ChannelsLab Zero Games’ Social Media (Twitter, Facebook), Gaming News Websites, Community Forums, Discord
Local MultiplayerSupported for Local Co-op Play
Skullgirls

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