[Update: Nexon has responded to requests for an SJW Mode, declining it on the grounds that it would negate their efforts to censor the game.]
[Original article:] Cwavesoft’s Hyper Universe has entered into Early Access on Steam for $15.99 in North America. The South Korean game is being published by Nexon America, and it was covered here a few times in the past for a couple of reasons: First, the game is a side-scrolling, beat-’em-up MOBA, which is quite unique. Second, the game features typical hero characters but we noted that unlike a bunch of other games Cwavesoft made their female characters actually appealing by making them have sex appeal, including boob physics and having alluring outfits. Well, that’s all changed for the North American version of the game.
In a forum post where players noticed that the female characters had some significant breast reduction, and that the female character boob physics were toned down, they decided to make a compilation about the effects and then address Nexon about it.
They also posted up some of the comparison images between the original Korean version and the English version.
A Nexon community administrator named Raz responded in a forum thread about the issue, explaining that during one of the demonstrations at PAX, some people privately mentioned to them that the females were too sexy and unsuitable for all ages, so they decided to compromise by making some reductions to the breast, removing the physics and adding more clothing to some of the characters, with the admin stating…
“In alpha, there was a pretty hot debate in a forum thread (which ended up being our longest forum thread for alpha) about how the females are presented in the game, 5 forum pages later a few people agreed that a compromise between super busty/skimpy and covering up might be for the best. This is what we are attempting to do. We want to keep the appeal of the female characters (and males for that matter!) while not offending anyone. We want to keep the artist’s integrity in-check, but make the game inviting to not only play, but watch as well.”
He mentions that in the future they will be modifying the characters on a “case-by-case” situation. He also mentions that not every new character and skin will get the censorship treatment.
As you can see, just about all of the characters with any sort of sex appeal had to have it dialed down and dialed back.
Some people argued that this was likely the work of Social Justice Warriors, censorship happy individuals who have made it their goal over the last couple of years to desexualize fictional female characters in games and ultimately disrupt what they believe is a cis-hetereonormative marketplace.
Raz, however, retorted in a separate post that to him “SJW” is just a buzzword, and that this was about people with kids and people who are pro-censorship who have been attacked in public forums by anti-censorship people, which is why they decided to listen to the feedback privately and make the decision….
“The feedback we have gotten are from people who HAVE played the game and WANT to play, but due to things like having young children present or other reasons, don’t feel comfortable playing the game at home”
Obviously, after seeing that response, those over on Kotaku in Action questioned why isn’t there an SJW mode for those who wanted the censored content and a normal mode for those who want the uncensored content? A mature filter, if you will.
According to Raz, this was the best compromise that they could make and that they’re thinking about the long term effects, writing in a post…
“Trust me when I say we are not thinking short-term with this game, we are thinking long-term and about the side effects of the changes. We are not just “knee-jerking” to react to a “couple” of complainers. I realize these changes will not make everyone happy, but I hope you can at least see it from our point of view when it comes to marketing of the game, overall enjoyment, content creators, and more.”
Well, Nexon may not care about an uncensored filter, but gamers do.
Modders have already cooked up a guide on how to restore Hyper Universe to its uncensored state. King Arthur has a full guide on how to do it.
- First up, go grab the uncensored image pack from Dropbox and the Unity Assets Bundle Extractor.
- Extract the Asset Extractor and go to the HyperUniverse_Data folder. Open up the resource.assets file, and then find the file you want to replace and click on “Edit”. Load in the image you want and press “OK”.
- Rinse and repeat those steps for each of the censored images you want to replace.
(Thanks for the news tip Lyle)