Sony Changes an Image in Stellar Blade Amid Controversy

Games journalists have found a new way to attack Stellar Blade. Their outrage over the lead character, Eve, being a curvaceous woman didn’t hurt the game’s sales – it actually may have helped them – but this time, they got Sony to relent. At one point in the game, Eve comes across some graffiti on the side of a building that, translated to English, says, “Hard.” But next to it is a neon sign of the letter “R” above the word “Shop.” The problem is that, if read together, they form the phrase “Hard R.” If you don’t know what the problem is, I understand because I had to search the term to find out what it meant. (I figured it wasn’t the way I’ve always seen the phrase used, which is to refer to an R-rated movie that’s particularly graphic in its depictions of violence or sex.) My first thought was “retard,” but it’s… not that. You can see the screenshot below in a post from Lance McDonald, which Grummz says looks like the origin of the controversy:

So, why is it phrased this way? According to IGN, the word “Hard” shows up in graffiti throughout the game, and the R Shop is the location of a character named Roxanne, who acts as “one of the game’s information brokers.” It’s a total coincidence, and it’s already been removed in a day-one patch that changes “Hard” to “Crime.” Here is a screenshot of the new version, courtesy of X user Ahmadkb:

I understand why Sony changed it; this is the kind of hornet’s nest you don’t want to kick, and since it probably doesn’t change the gameplay or story, it’s easier just to remove the word. But the other side of it is that the perpetually offended still aren’t happy, and they’re determined to make hay of this. A bunch of games journalists and the self-righteous online zombie hordes are still crying racism and using this nonsense as an argument in favor of employing DEI consulting firms like Sweet Baby Inc.:

Anyone who believes developer Shift Up did this on purpose is an idiot; I don’t think most Americans even know this new version of a racial slur, let alone the Korean developers who made Stellar Blade. But I think the people braying on about this know that; this is about sticking it to Stellar Blade and the developers who dared to make a game for gamers instead of games journalists. They finally got one on the evil game with the pretty lady, and they’re savoring it the only way these freaks know how: by calling everyone a racist and basking in their feigned moral superiority. I hope they can take solace in that as Stellar Blade climbs the sales charts while people check in with Kabrutus on his Steam curator and his new website to avoid DEI games like the plague.

Comments (4)

April 25, 2024 at 9:32 am

I’m with you, Alex, I’ve only ever related “hard R” to the context of movie ratings. I don’t know how anyone makes the leap to a racist connotation without being a racist themselves.

    April 25, 2024 at 3:36 pm

    Seriously, who would’ve even noticed it? It’s like they were on the lookout for something to attack the game over, which I think is exactly the case.

April 25, 2024 at 4:31 pm

I don’t think this so-called “controversy” is going to hurt the game’s chances of reaching big sales. In fact, I believe it might increase sales overall. Maybe I’m wrong, I don’t know. I know for certain that up until recently, I never heard the term ‘hard R’ until the moronic journos brought it up. I also know that this doesn’t change my intentions of grabbing my copy and playing through.

    April 25, 2024 at 4:33 pm

    Yeah, I agree. People see this for what it is, and excitement for the game is too high to be canceled out by something as manufactured as this.

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