Skull girls update changes controversy depicting the game's title.

Skullgirls Update Controversy

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Updated Jun 29, 2023 at 02:19PM EDT by Adam.

Added Jun 28, 2023 at 01:55PM EDT by Adam.

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Overview

Skullgirls Update Controversy, also known as Skullgirls Censorship Changes Controversy, refers to the discussion surrounding a June 2023 update to the indie fighting game Skullgirls that altered or removed some suggestive imagery and themes, including the sexualization of an underage character and symbols reminiscent of real-life Nazis. The changes were met with vocal protest and review bombing on Steam, though some longtime fans of the game argued the changes were minor and that those upset were protesting perceived political correctness rather than how the changes affected the game.

Background

On June 24th, 2023, Skullgirls director Charley Price posted in the Skullgirls forums[1] about an update that addressed some of the game's edgier elements. The key adjustments included the removal of some symbols from the villainous Renoir family and Black Egrets group that bore a resemblance to Nazism (like red armbands), the toning down of some sexually suggestive elements (including the groping of an underage character and an upskirt shot of said character) and adjusting some racial content believed to be in poor taste. The full list of adjustments was posted in a separate thread.[2]

On June 26th, YouTuber LalitoTV posted before-and-after comparisons of the original and adjusted artworks and scenes in the game (shown below).



Online Reactions

The changes on June 24th, 2023, quickly led to review bombing on Steam,[3] as the game's overall "Very Positive" rating on the platform was tempered by a "Mostly Negative" rating from recent reviews. Most of the recent negative reviews complained about the update and the developers removing or adjusting some of the game's contentious elements.

Some users criticized that the changes were not in line with the original creator's vision, alluding to the collapse of Skullgirls original studio Lab Zero after its head Mike Zamont joked about the killing of George Floyd and was accused of alleged inappropriate workplace behavior.[4] Since the collapse of Lab Zero, the studios Hidden Variable, which worked on the mobile port of the game, and Future Club, a studio founded by ex-Lab Zero developers, have been working on Skullgirls.

As word spread of the update on Twitter, several users denounced and complained about the changes. For example, on June 27th, user ItsClaptrap[5] decried the changes as a form of censorship, gaining over 590 retweets and 3,700 likes in one day (shown below, left). Also that day, user @SavedYouAClickFGC[6] voiced support for those complaining, gaining over 370 retweets and 2,100 likes in a similar timeframe (shown below, right).


Claptrap @ItsClaptrap if youre defending the SkullGirls censorship due to Filia and the Black Egrets, reminder the devs are - altering the art book - deleting the police brutality Big Band experiences - censoring/covering ALL fanservice, not just Filia - deleting the Soviet Announcer voice pack 1/2 2:16 PM Jun 27, 2023 593 Retweets 22 Quotes 3,720 Likes 259 Bookmarks Tweet your reply! 22 2/2 Claptrap @ItsClaptrap. 23h it always reveled in fanservice, it was refreshing during a time of overtly clean media that hardly did anything daring C 口 censoring fanservice is removing a piece of SkullGirls identity, and not only that, removing CONCEPT ART from the art book is removing its history as well 100 Reply 4740 ⠀ Back Saved You A Click FGC @SavedAClickFGC If you disagree with all the changes made to Skullgirls related to character designs, artwork, etc., let me say this: Don't be discouraged. You're 100% in the right. Your anger and disappointment is justified, and I support your criticisms all the way. :

In contrast, others argued the backlash to the changes was overblown, noting that many were perceived by them as minor and served to make the game slightly less graphic. For example, on June 27th, 2023, Twitter user @GaeleyFGC[7] posted a Home Movies parody of people complaining about the changes, gaining over 2,500 retweets and 13,000 likes in one day (shown below, left). On June 26th, user @arkei_mgtg[8] posted a collage from the Steam review page, which implied that those review-bombing the game had not invested any time into it and were not sincerely upset about the tweaks.


Gaeley - Yuri Indulgence @GaeleyFGC "What's wrong, coach?" "They're censoring the panty shots in Skullgirls, Brendan" "Oh, I didn't know you played fighting games, Coach. Who do you main?" "I don't play fighting games, Brendan" "Oh. Then why do you care?" "Let me teach you about culture wars, Brendan" J 30 : 34 Bad news Skullgirls. You p----- off all the people who've logged more more hours on gelbooru than they have in-game. HOW are you going to recover from this RECENTLY POSTED Coconattsu Not Recommended 0.2 hrs on record ruined Alex Ahad's legacy. Not Recommended 0.2 hrs on record BaneBruja POSTED: JUNE 26 arkei :3 :D @arkei_mgtg Rawmax POSTED: JUNE 26 Roma POSTED: JU POST Blackgun Not Recommended 0.9 hrs on record so this is censored game now? big disappoint... 0.5 hrs on record Tequila Sunset POSTED: JUNE 2.1 hrs 7.4 hrs POSTED: JUNE 20 0.3 hrs 8.5 hrs They removed everything that made the game what it was. 5.1 hrs on record POSTED: JUNE 20 0.2 hrs on record 26 6hrs Twitter is a disease Toyosatomimi no Miko 1.7 hrs d 7:26 PM Jun 26, 2023 Not Recommended on record : Not Recommended 2.5 hrs on record desecrated by insecure individuals, Not Recommended

Another point of controversy was the removal of four pieces of guest art from the gallery of the game, which was accessed as paid DLC. For example, on June 26th, Twitter user @LumpyTheCook[9] criticized the move in a tweet that gained over 1,000 retweets and 6,400 likes in two days (shown below, top). Also that day, noted animated pornography creator ZONE-sama (who created some art for the game) chimed in, saying he wouldn't be offended if Skullgirls developers wanted to remove his art from the game[10] (his work has not removed from the game at this time). This statement subsequently irked those who were upset about the changes (shown below, bottom).


Lumpy @LumpyTheCook Only real opinion on the Skullgirls stuff is that patching a $10 in-game artbook to remove concept art and guest art is shockingly stupid WEDS Commons NO TVV- CONTAINS 100S OF IMAGES! POSTER IMAGES, MODEL SHEETS, ANIMATION FRAMES, AND MORE! 125 CONTAINS 100 OF IMAGES! ₁ CONTAINS 100% OF IMAGES! en u Add to your wishlist Ignore Downloadable Content This content requires the base game Skullgirls 2nd Encore on Steam in order to play. 11:56 PM Jun 26, 2023 L ART ADJUSTMENTS ed 4 illustrations from Gallery > Guest Art bul Poster" (Gallery > Posters) pul and Black Egret" (Gallery > Parasoul) pul and the Egrets" (Gallery > Parasoul) r Drive - Parasoul and Valentine" (Gallery > Productio e's Action Shot" (Gallery > Double) oster - Original" (Gallery > Key Art) Background" (Gallery > Key Art) e Arcade Stick" (Gallery > Arcade Sticks) trip Blue" (Gallery > Arcade Sticks) s Arcade Stick" (Gallery > Arcade Sticks) al Cast Arcade Stick" (Gallery > Arcade Sticks) Peacock 1" (Gallery > Key Art) : s Lineup Art" (Gallery > Lineup Shots) Lineup Art" (Gallery > Lineup Shots) faust's Lineup Art (Gallery > Lineup Shots) ZONE @ZONE ... : It's their game and they can change it however they like. Even if they removed every part of the game that was in any way connected to me, I wouldn't be upset. It was an honor to be a part of it in any way and nothing can take away from that <3 10:50 PM. Jun 26, 2023

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