Sweet Baby Inc. Does Exactly What Gamers Think They Do

The Sweet Baby Inc. story isn’t going away, and now, gaming journalists are putting their shields up around the consultants. Earlier today, Kotaku published an article defending Sweet Baby Inc. and claiming to set the record straight and educate video game fans who don’t understand what Sweet Baby Inc. does. The author, Alyssa Mercante, spoke with Sweet Baby Inc. CEO and co-founder Kim Belair and her fellow co-founder David Bedard, who said that Sweet Baby Inc. does not force DEI elements into the games on which they consult but that the game studios that hire them are the ones who want those things. Belair also says they offer “cultural consultations or authenticity consultations,” meaning they consult on an already diverse character to make their presentation in the game more authentic.

Some of this is true, as I pointed out the other day. A consulting group like Sweet Baby Inc. isn’t in charge of a game’s development, exactly; they’re brought in to do what the game studio wants them to do, which generally seems to be making things more DEI-compliant, or however they want to phrase it. (There are exceptions, like God of War: Ragnarok, on which Sweet Baby Inc. consulted.) The problem is that CEO Kim Belair herself said that one of Sweet Baby Inc.’s tactics is to get game developer employees to go around their bosses who don’t want to inject diversity in their games and “terrify” the company’s marketing team. You can see that clip below thanks to GamesNosh:

So, while it’s true that they’re technically doing work they’re contracted to do, their CEO admits that they are trying to force their agenda into video games whose developers initially don’t want their help. It’s actually much more insidious than just coming in and taking over because Sweet Baby Inc. tries to get people to push their companies into hiring them. And this is what they’re admitting publicly; who knows what they get up to behind closed doors. Also, Sweet Baby Inc. is far from alone in using coercive tactics like this, as Mark Kern demonstrates:

The Kotaku article also describes the members of the Sweet Baby Inc. Detected Discord, which the author describes as posting about Anita Sakeesian, “Marcus Aurelius quotes” (the horror!), “idealized female bodies” (the Eldritch horror!), and other such undesirable discussions, as well as fear of the group being infiltrated – which Alyssa Mercante’s presence there validates. But don’t take my word for it; here’s what Mercante said when sharing her article on X (she set her account to private, to the surprise of no one, but here’s a screenshot of her post courtesy of X user Pancaked Brick, Fried by Koroks):

She uses the word “infiltrated” while mocking the members of the Sweet Baby Inc. Detected Discord for worrying that they’ll be infiltrated. If this is the way a gaming website talks about gamers, it’s not surprising that they’re going through tough times. The replies to her post make it even worse, though; one X user asked if her article mentioned that the Sweet Baby Inc. CEO “is a full blown racist,” and this was Mercante’s reply (since her account is now private, here’s the screenshot by The Quartering):

The community note is hilarious, and her comment on the nature of racism is self-explanatory, but this response is indicative of the bias informing the article. And, to be fair, biases are always at play – not necessarily in a bad way, just in the way we all have predilections and opinions – and that doesn’t invalidate any facts about Sweet Baby Inc. (such as they are) in itself. But do you think for one second this person went into the Sweet Baby Inc. Detected Discord with anything resembling an open mind? Or is it more likely she started with the conclusion that they were evil, stupid racists and sought confirmation of her opinion?

And speaking of things she left out of the article, when she claimed Sweet Baby Inc. employees were being harassed, she failed to mention this:

Shocking, isn’t it? As far as I know, no one has presented evidence of anyone harassing Sweet Baby Inc. Employees. That doesn’t mean it didn’t happen, or that evidence doesn’t exist, but there isn’t any in this article, which seems like a glaring omission that would’ve helped cast the consultants as victims. Yet there is clear evidence of a Sweet Baby Inc. employee calling for the mass reporting of Sweet Baby Inc. Detected and its creator, and that is left out, too. In other words, it’s hard to see this as anything but a quick, biased, inaccurate (to be kind) puff piece to help out Sweet Baby Inc. and tarnish its detractors. Good luck.

Comments (13)

March 7, 2024 at 4:54 am

Disturbing how much of the money we put into gaming is being used to fund organizations that mock and undermine users who just want to act in good faith. The sheer scope of the subversion is insane!

    March 7, 2024 at 5:02 pm

    Yeah, and it makes you wonder what they’re up to that they don’t admit publicly.

March 7, 2024 at 10:18 am

Great piece. Is there a way to share it on social media?

March 7, 2024 at 10:26 am

Forced inclusion not only causes more division than anything else. But also makes it easy to question why people are hired. That is really sad for the actually talented people. Sweet baby and kotaku causing more harm than good to the people they claim to support. Major grift! Also F blackrock and vanguard.

    March 7, 2024 at 5:11 pm

    Yep. And they don’t care; anything that happens gives them fuel for their phony arguments, which is how you know they’re full of it.

March 7, 2024 at 1:40 pm

GamerGate 2.0

Buckle up, boys. The ride never ends. A summary from /pol/

DEI-gaming consultants “Sweet Baby Inc” exposed for harassment and coercion to insert wokeism into video games (example: CEO talk admitting to their coercion tactics
Issue mostly ignored by Media/Gaming “Journalists” for at least a week
A group on Steam forms with a list of games that employed Sweet Baby to consult on their creation, along with a discussion board and chat about the issue
Group swells to just under 200k users as of the time of this post
Kotaku and other gaming “news” start posting articles over the past 24 hours to start calling the group and users a bunch of wayciss chud nazis
Alyssa Mercante, “Journalist” who wrote the Kotaku article, starts taking heat for defending the Sweet Baby company and CEO for her own racism vs whites
“Journalist” then hauls off her mask to obliviously spout critical theory talking points after posting said article denying that Sweet Baby pushes critical theory agenda. “hi! you can’t be racist against white people! thanks for tuning in!”

I think we all know who is going to win the 2025 Hugo Award for Best Related Work now. I’m a little surprised Kotaku is still around, to be honest, given the fact that no one who is actually interested in or plays games reads them anymore.

    March 7, 2024 at 5:20 pm

    You can tell; they’re calling the people who should be their readers racists and whatever else. But, then, they did just have a bunch of layoffs, so they may not be around too much longer. Maybe this whole situation will be one last cannon blast before the ship goes down.

    It’s funny that they’re even invoking GamerGate. I know it’s a buzz word with them, but it didn’t work out too well for them the first time.

March 7, 2024 at 4:27 pm

I’m disgusted by the Twitter posts from this Alyssa Mercante. To claim that you can’t be racist against white people just shows the twisted reality that she lives in.

Still, I’m glad I’ve found this site – it’s about the only place I’ve found that has well reasoned and sensible commentary on the entertainment industry.

    March 7, 2024 at 5:20 pm

    Thank you very much; I sincerely appreciate that, and I’m glad you like it here.

    And I agree, she sounds like an awful human being.

March 9, 2024 at 5:20 am

I hear even Pacific Drive is going to have rainbow flags in it‍♂️ I was REALLY looking forward to that game, too.

March 9, 2024 at 5:20 am

That symbol in my comment above was supposed to be a facepalm. Don’t know why it came out that way.

March 14, 2024 at 2:43 am

I hate to be the one to say this but I just wonder how much of their startup money has come from BLM

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