IGN Apologizes for IGN France Stellar Blade Comments

I guess anyone can be shamed sooner or later. If you’ll remember, IGN France published a review of the Stellar Blade demo that was released on March 29, 2024. While pretty much all games journalists are having conniption fits over the lead character, Eve, being rendered as a very attractive woman with sexually appealing attire (which cancels out her combat prowess because it’s too much fun), the author of the IGN France article, Ben Ossola, took it a step further than simply decrying curvy features, saying Eve was “a doll sexualized by someone who has never seen a woman.” The egg on his – and, by extension, IGN’s – face came not from being the miserable crybaby all games journalists are but because Eve is a 1:1 body scan of an actual woman, a Korean model named Shin Jae-eun, and she was designed by Jiyun Chae, one of the developers who worked on Stellar Blade. When the backlash ensued, that line wPreview (opens in a new tab)as amended, and a new intro was added to the article in which IGN France blamed the gamers who told him that he’d made a mistake:

(This last sentence has been slightly edited for french speaking people pretending not to understand what we meant, and the english speaking mob who google translated the initial text.)

That must have resulted in even harsher backlash – which was well-earned because their response was awful – because IGN has now issued a formal apology, which appears above the article. You can see a screenshot below:

IGN apology

That’s much better. IGN is attempting to distance themselves from IGN France, saying that their various international branches pretty much operate independently of the parent company. And that’s probably true; why would the French arm, or any other, check in with IGN for every article it writes? So, while it does seem a little desperate, it’s probably fair for IGN to say it wasn’t their decision to run with the article or the insulting non-apology that addressed the concern. But the response from gamers must have been overwhelming for IGN to step in and try to smooth things over. While the apology is directed to Stellar Blade developer Shift Up and its employees, as it should have been (although it would’ve been nice if they named Jiyun Chae and Shin Jae-eun), the real target is their readers, who appear less than pleased. And it didn’t have to be this way; a simple, “We didn’t realize Eve was a rendering of an actual woman and designed in part by another woman, and we’re sorry for our thoughtless comments” would have been perfectly acceptable. But games journalists are too drunk on their own smugness to admit they did something wrong, even inadvertently, and people who weren’t even directly involved have to step in and be the grown-ups. I wonder what will happen when Stellar Blade is released in full; will the response from the rest of the entertainment media be softer after this? Not that it matters; I don’t think anyone believes they’ll review the game solely on its merits.

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