Harebrained Schemes decided to pull a BioWare. The Harebrained Schemes’ crowdfunded Battletech game is receiving some criticism for adding a gender neutral pronoun option in the character select screen, as well as some criticisms for purposefully not adding blonde hair to the character creation tool. The biggest complaint, however, is that the developers are censoring discussion around these topics.
Gamers quickly noticed that when it was time to make their characters they were unable to make blonde-haired characters. YouTuber Christopher Odd attempted to make a light-haired character, but the option for light-blonde, bleach-blonde, and strawberry blonde were not available at all. You can see it at the 13:15 mark in the video below.
While some people would have been okay with the lack of blonde hair, they quickly noticed that there were options for blue hair, red hair, brown hair, and gray hair, but there are no options for blonde hair.
This was brought up in a Steam thread, where a gamer asked why he was unable to make a blonde-haired character. Some people attempted to deflect by saying it was part of the lore, but others pointed out that blue and pink hair isn’t lore specific either.
One user attempted to post evidence claiming that you could make blonde-haired characters, but the lightest the hair can get is actually just sandy brown, as pictured in the image below.
Many other gamers also pointed out how there was no option for bleach blonde hair, and noted that this was likely a deliberate attempt from Harebrained Schemes to interject their SJW politics into the game. Before the thread could go any further, a community manager popped in and locked the thread, stating that they would forward the feedback about a lack of blonde hair to the development team…
“A blonde(er) option not being available in the game is valid feedback, this thread however has derailed too far into insults. Locking this thread but we’ve taken note of the discussion!”
What’s more is that you can change the hair roots and hair tips colors, but despite having options for gray, black, brown, blue, red, and pink, there’s no option for blonde.
Other gamers also pointed out that there’s a distinct lack of being able to customize the portraits and names of their company mercenaries. As shane757 pointed out, he didn’t want characters on his team with Middle-Eastern names, and that he preferred his German characters to have German names and portraits. He stated that the virtue signaling of Harebrained Schemes was immersion-breaking for him…
“Huge fan of the original material, read the books and stuff in the 90’s religiously. These characters are not battletech characters, they are soulless virtue signals sent up by the dev’s. “Ahmed Kowalski”, “Mohammed Benitez”….. These characters aren’t connected in any real way to the source material OR the very real culture’s/people that is the source material for that…… Don’t force me to have a Latina woman representing the German’s in my party…… I simply can’t get immersed in the world I know and I don’t care how much you call me a Bigot.”
Shortly after making the post, the moderators also locked the thread.
The moderators also nuked threads from gamers asking about the pronouns. Frumpylumps wrote…
“How ironic and disgusting that my topics are being deleted as “trolling” for trying to understand this pronoun SJW thing. Are the developers/mods really so petty and intolerant that you want to silence discussion? Respect is a two way street.”
Other threads were also locked criticizing people for being anti-SJWs.
Another user attempted to make a thread over on the official Battletech forum page about the game’s politics. User unicurse made a thread titled “I want to ask a question about the politics of this game”. He proceeded to write…
“Am I going to get banned and deleted like I’ve seen people on the Steam forums being banned and deleted?
“Am I allowed to ask my questions, which is respectful and not aggressive?
“Or have the BattleTech developers decided that all discussion on the subject is to be erased?
“Edit: I’d like to add that aside from optimisation issues I think the game is actually very good, but there are certain aspects of it that leave a strange taste in my mouth and I want to discuss that.”
Within minutes the thread was deleted.
Concerned gamers began contacting One Angry Gamer about the censorship happening on the Battletech forums and the Steam forums, as Harebrained Schemes seems to want to prevent people from discussing the sociopolitics they forced into the game.
BioWare attempted to do something similar with Mass Effect: Andromeda, prohibiting gamers from creating white characters, as well as forcing gamers to make unattractive female characters. Their anti-gamer, anti-white stance eventually spread around enough that it cost them greatly in sales. We’ll see if Harebrained Schemes attempts to take a similar path with Battletech.
(Thanks for the news tip “Gamer”)