[Update 6-5-2018:] Hi-Rez Studios has walked back their stance on censorship, allowing players to play as both a covered up and uncovered version of Furia. Both versions of Furia will be avialable in update 1.1.
[Original article:] Hi-Rez Studios recently introduced a new champion named Furia to the Paladins MOBA community. A small subset of the community complained that Furia’s thighs were exposed. Hi-Rez decided to acquiesce to the demands of the subset, opting to censor Furia heading into the public test realm.
The news was originally posted on June 1st, 2018 by the Paladins executive producer Chris Larson, who claimed that after receiving feedback they would be taking a more conservative approach to Furia.
Hi all! Just wanted to say that we have heard the feedback on Furia and her art direction and are looking at ways to go a bit more conservative with her visual design to hopefully hit the mark better! Thanks for your passion for Paladins and making the game great. @ThunderBrush
— HirezChris (@HirezChris) June 1, 2018
This was followed up with a tweet by Paladins‘ art director, who also acknowledged that they would be making some last minute changes to Furia, putting her on some spandex pants to cover up her lower half. A concept of the new Furia was posted in the tweet below.
Hi Paladins community, We have heard the feedback on our latest champion and are making some quick last minute changes before she goes live to the world. Thanks everyone, we can’t wait for you to play our new content! pic.twitter.com/gqTXWARGFG
— ThunderBrush (@ThunderBrush) June 1, 2018
Many gamers in the Twitter threads for both the art director and the executive producer expressed anger and discontentment with the censorship of Furia, who was originally introduced wearing an armored leotard with garter straps, as showcased in the video below by Eye Candy Detective on June 2nd, 2018. The comparison starts at the 1:11 mark.
As noted in the video, in the comment section, on the Twitter threads, and the sub-reddit for Paladins, many gamers are hoping that Hi-Rez Studios does not start caving in to SJW demands for censorship.
However, many were disappointed when Hi-Rez Studios doubled-down with a tweet from the official Paladins Twitter account, which acknowledged that they listened to the concerns of those who wanted a more conservative skin for the character.
We’ve decided to take a different art direction that speaks more to the character of Furia. While we still want to have fun with skins and convey different aspects of our Champions through them, we shared some of the same concerns of our community regarding Furia’s base skin. https://t.co/bJVbDgz4kA
— Paladins: The Game (@PaladinsGame) June 1, 2018
The amount of fanart I have seen already for our newest Paladins event is insane! Awesome job community.
— ThunderBrush (@ThunderBrush) June 3, 2018
Typically, gamers were not entirely enthused about this decision, and continued to express disappointment, as well as mocking Hi-Rez for pandering to the “vocal minority”.
Since you guys are pandering to the vocal minority now, Are you gonna censor these skins just because someone got offended? pic.twitter.com/paX6vpSjer
— KingOfBlades (@KingOfBlades38) June 1, 2018
The issue became widespread enough that complaints began circulating heavily across social media, including the game’s official sub-reddit.
This caused executive producer Chris Larson to hop into the Paladins sub-reddit on June 1st, 2018, and state that the company wasn’t caving in but had already discussed censoring the character before the showcase was aired, writing…
“This is not about caving, this has been something that we were discussing even before the Showcase was aired. We want to make sure our base character design hits the mark with as many players as possible. We can always do a skin that is a bit more on the sexy side.”
Some are hoping for a sexier alternative skin, while others believe that Hi-Rez Studios is pulling a Blizzard Entertainment and attempting to court the Social Justice Warrior community.
Gamers attempted to retaliate by forming a petition to bring back the old skin for Furia, where more than 2,000 people have already signed it over on Change.org.
The petition was started by Spanish gamer Jose Flores, who wrote…
“The voice of thousands of people who loved the design of the new champion were overshadowed by a dozen people called “Justice Warriors”. Those who are responsible for ruining everything that does not fit their ideals. I have not met anyone more selfish than that kind of people. Why are you listening to the screams of a few people? “
For now, it looks as if Furia’s design will appeal to the people who prefer the conservative, more covered up version as opposed to the louder majority who seemed to like her original design.
(Thanks for the news tip Kyuryon)