Wed. Jul 17th, 2024

Guilty Gear Just Made A Big Mistake

The Guilty Gear Disaster
The Guilty Gear Disaster

Guilty Gear announced they would comply with global standards, and fans were unhappy. Arc System Works is the creator behind this fighting game, and to appeal to a bigger audience, they will be bringing in changes that many feel are unnecessary. Let me explain if you need clarification about what meeting global standards means. When developers agree to comply, they censor certain portions of their game. This includes removing any offensive language and images. Any attractive woman in revealing clothes will have to cover up. Under global standards, they will emphasize representation more and ensure they have no offensive storytelling.

At face value, the changes do not feel bad at all. Empowering women instead of sexualizing them is undoubtedly a net positive. Equal representation of more marginalized groups is something that most people agree with. Unfortunately, most of the time, global standards accomplish none of these goals. The fighting game community is driven to comply more with these guidelines. Skullgirls just last week announced that they would be removing everything they deem offensive from their game.

Mortal Kombat 11 also chose to be more cautious about the outfits of its female characters. Street Fighter followed the same trail when they announced their fighters would also be censored. This comes only weeks after Capcom updated its ESG policy. More developers and publishers are becoming socially aware of the content they produce. While some are in support of these changes, many deem them unnecessary. People prefer to avoid censoring entertainment to comply with those who typically are not the market demographic. Let’s look at who Guilty Gear is, what global standards they need to meet, and why.

The Legacy Of Guilty Gear

Guilty Gear has a long history behind them, dating back to 1998. While Arc System Works is the developer and publisher of this series, they also have a long-standing relationship with Capcom. Capcom updated its ESG policy to remove offensive content from its games, if you remember. Surly, this move by Guilty Gear makes more sense now. Despite the changes, the IP remains a staple in the gaming community. They released their latest installment in 2021 to much internet and critical acclaim. Their latest iteration sold over 1 million copies, which is no small accomplishment.

The fighting game space is a challenging market to break into. Within today’s landscape, these games are no longer the staple they once were. While it was once a profit leader for many studios, today, they simply no longer want to take the risk. There are only a few successful mainstream fighting games remaining. Despite this uphill battle, Guilty Gear has remained successful. All of this success can be due to the excellent reputation they have built up over two decades. In 2021, they won the Fighting Game of the Year award, proving how great they still are.

Guilty Gear Global Compliance
Guilty Gear Global Compliance

Like any fighting game, they have a wide range of playable characters. Many of these playable characters are women, and this is where global compliance will focus the most. Many of the female characters within this game are extremely beautiful and also not shy about showing some skin. Over the years, mass debate has been about the type of clothes women wear in video games. Some argue that their clothes are too revealing and inappropriate for what they are doing. Some push back and state that there is nothing wrong with fan service.

Complying With Global Standards

Regardless of where you fall on this debate, there are many reasons why companies choose to make these unpopular decisions. In the case of Arc System Works, they state their desire for global competition as a reason for why they need to make these changes. The Guilty Gear developer said, “Of course, over time, technology, accessibility, game size, etcetera., have improved. “However, the highest priority concept for Guilty Gear has been ‘ensnare your attention at first sight’ and ‘the more you engage, the more you discover.’ The changes to expression and plays are the result of each era’s attempt at protecting those concepts. However, as a creator, I have had several changes to the way I think about games.”

When speaking about their decision to tune back certain portions of the game, they stated, “I don’t believe the definition of esports is fully shared by people, countries or organizations yet. But if there is to be a future where video games are treated on the same level as physical sports, then at the very least, they should not be in violation of global standards of compliance.” No rule currently states that esports is beholden to physical sports standards. They would still lose the argument if a law like this were in place. 

They have never seen what people dress like in competitions. Covering up revealing clothing within video games because you want to be more in line with actual fighting or even staged fighting holds no value if you have ever watched any real or scripted sport. However, it is still their game, and thus, they can make changes where they deem appropriate.

Guilty Gear’s History With Global Compliance

When most people hear Global Compliance, they think of political correctness. Guilty Gear has a long history that many deem political pandering to a woke crowd. In 2022, the developer came under scrutiny when he released that a long-time female character, Bridget, was transgender. He dropped this news unexpectedly in an interview; as you can imagine, many were confused. Until this point, there were no indications that this character was ever male before making the transition.

However, the developer insisted they always intended Bridget to be transgender and more inclusive to minority groups. Fans quickly called out the developer, stating that this was a transparent lie. There were never any indicators that suggested this character was anything other than female. This, of course, is not the first time a creator tried to change the origin of an existing character. JK Rowling recently did a very similar thing with Dumbledore and Hermione. She first insisted that Dumbledore was gay. She went as far as to say that this was always part of his character.

She later came out and stated that Hermione was black. She once again insisted that this had always been her intention. In 2016, JK Rowling came out with a two-part screenplay called Harry Potter and the Cursed Child. In this play, she cast a black lead to play Hermione. She defended her decision by stating that the actress got the job because she was the best. I can certainly respect that decision. However, I can’t entirely agree that this was always her intention. Guilty Gear is trying to do the same thing with their character.


They are changing a fundamental part of the person and then pretending that it was always their intention. They do this despite all the evidence proving something different. They will call you every nasty name in the book when you question them. I do not know why they chose to do this, but I can only imagine that they think the audience is stupid. If you want to make these changes, you are within your rights. Just complete the changes that you want to the characters that you created. There is no need to make up a false backstory and gaslight your audience.

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6 thoughts on “Guilty Gear Just Made A Big Mistake”
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