VOID Interactive have released a statement defending a planned school shooting level in Ready Or Not, saying they want to honor “those who have been impacted by real-life tragedy”
Sharing a lengthy post on Twitter, VOID developers admitted “There is no easy way to address this issue without creating strong emotional responses from one group or another, but we will do our best.”
They then shared a quote from their original company document that read: “Void Interactive has a clear commitment to deliver high quality, impactful content that other mainstream software developers may shy away from due to cultural conventions and norms.
“At its core, the game honours the work of dedicated law enforcement officers across the world and in no way intends to glorify cowardly criminal acts.”
— VOID Interactive (@VOIDInteractive) December 24, 2021
After that, the statement continued: “We are dedicated to promoting a level of authenticity and realism in our video game, Ready Or Not, that carries with it difficult subject mater.
“We understand that this requires a certain responsibility — to our fans and community, yes, but also to those who have been impacted by the traumatic events law enforcement all too often responds to.”
“Rest assured, our aim is to handle all of Ready Or Not‘s content with the level of weight and respect that it warrants,” they wrote. “We have recently had to remind certain team members of the required care in discussing this material now and on an on-going basis.”
The statement came after a developer at Void Interactive responded to a Reddit thread asking if Ready Or Not would feature a school shooting level in its single-player campaign by saying “You better believe it’s gonna”. The post has now been deleted, as has the user.
However, the following day (December 20) VOID announced a mutual split from publishers Team17.
VOID Interactive and Team17 have mutually agreed that Team17 will no longer publish Ready or Not. We are confident that this is the right path for the future of Ready or Not, and we thank Team17 for their partnership and wish them great success with their spectrum of games!
— VOID Interactive (@VOIDInteractive) December 20, 2021
In the statement, devs then went on to explain that ‘School’, the planned school shooting level “is not just a part of the fabric of Ready Or Not‘s story, it is part of the fabric of thousands of people’s stories worldwide.
“It is the story of those who have died too soon at the hands of a deranged gunman, the story of family and friends waiting for a phone call that might never come, the story of the first responders who do everything they can only for it to not be enough,” they wrote. “It is a look at an uncomfortable reality that has become all too common, and we hope that we can play some small part in honoring those who have been impacted by these real world tragedies with a portrayal that does not trivialize their experiences.”
Ready or Not is an intense, tactical, first-person shooter that depicts a modern-day world in which SWAT police units are called to defuse hostile and confronting situations.
The game is currently available in early access on Steam.