Sun. Jul 14th, 2024

IGN’s Weird Response to Black Myth Wukong After Extortion Claims

It is another day, and with it comes another drama. This time, at the front of it all is Black Myth Wukong. Then, to their right, we have IGN, and to the left, there is Sweet Baby Inc. If you do not know who either of these companies is, then consider yourself lucky. However, sadly, if you have ever played any games, chances are that you have crossed paths with both. So, let’s break everything down. A couple of days ago, I covered a video about Black Myth Wukong and Sweet Baby Inc. While I am not going to go over the full details again, here is a quick rundown.

When Black Myth Wukong was announced, everyone was extremely excited about the game. Then overnight, opinions started to change. Certain outlets started to report that the developer behind the title was sexist. These claims were then coupled with articles highlighting poor first impressions of the game. While this seemed strange, no one seemed to know much of it. At the front of these claims was IGN. They wrote an extremely vague article that had little to no detail. As the internet started to investigate, they started to realize that some of the bigger claims of sexism were nothing more than poor translations.

That is where most people left the situation until recently when news broke that Sweet Baby Inc approached the Developer behind Black Myth Wukong. They offered their services for an unconfirmed amount of $7 Million. While the amount is unconfirmed, we know that Sweet Baby Inc. did, in fact, approach them. Now, Sweet Baby Inc has been very honest about their tactics. They have a policy of join us or else.

Black Myth Wukong
Black Myth Wukong

Sweet Baby Inc Vs. Black Myth Wukong

This led people to speculate that Sweet Baby Inc. was the reason behind the recent negative press. Now, this is a wild jump, and there is no proof of any of this. It is more likely that they saw the negative IGN article and tried to reach out afterward instead. While people use the word extortion because of how the CEO of the company describes her tactics, I do try to be a bit more careful. After all of this news broke, IGN did private their original article on Twitter, at least for a while. They have also now came out with a statement that reads as follows.

The IGN Statement Written By Rebekah Valentine

Last year, we published a comprehensive report on IGN detailing a number of sexist and inappropriate remarks made by multiple developers of Black Myth: Wukong, including those in leadership roles at Game Science. As of the publication of this preview, Game Science has yet to provide any response or statement addressing our report or their past remarks.

Like Mitchell, I had the opportunity to see Black Myth: Wukong at Summer Game Fest, though my appointment was admittedly a little strange. I was told as a part of my invitation that Game Science would have a statement “related to the reports of sexism.” I arrived at the appointment and saw the game as planned, but when I asked for the promised statement, I was told by a PR representative, “Game Science is focused on the demo during Play Days and will only answer questions related to gameplay.”

Mitchell’s preview doesn’t need my validation, but for what it’s worth, I fully back everything he’s written here. Black Myth: Wukong looks like it’ll be a great game. It’s gorgeous, with snappy combat, fantastic monster design, and some really interesting boss fights. It is also true that several of the people who are making it have made disparaging remarks about women, and don’t seem to be interested either in retracting their past statements, or in supporting the numerous women who are being harassed in online conversations about Black Myth: Wukong purely for expressing their discomfort with those statements. Both of these ideas can exist simultaneously – what audiences want to do about this conflict is ultimately their choice.

IGN's Weird Response to Black Myth Wukong
IGN’s Weird Response to Black Myth Wukong


One last note – I didn’t see any women or femme-coded characters in the demo, and I was able to confirm from Game Science that there were none present in the section of the game presented to the press. There will be women in the final game, but for now it is impossible to really comment on whether or not Game Science developers’ expressed beliefs permeate Black Myth: Wukong in a meaningful way.”

The Aftermath

It is worth pointing out that IGN obviously has different writers. In addition, if a company has a sexist culture, it is important to highlight that. A good example of this would be Blizzard. However, when they were exposed, an extensive investigation was conducted. There were also many witnesses and a massive lawsuit. The claims against the Black Myth Wukong developer are shaky at best, and the claims against the CEO are outright lies due to mistranslations.

Just the fact that the developer pushed back against Sweet Baby Inc is already a step in the right direction. While I will reserve my final opinion until the full game is realized, I am, at this moment, excited to play it.

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