The game received criticism recently on Twitter for its art style that some users considered to be “pornographic”, and concern over the game’s potential to “encourage violence”. According to Top Hat Studios, the team behind Sense, the company received messages alleging the game “breaks the law” and requires censorship.
Amidst thee messages regarding Sense: A Cyberpunk Ghost Story, Top Hat Studios claims there were death threats and a promise to “review-bomb” the game by spamming the store page with negative reviews. The team said in a statement on Twitter: “The game will not be censored. We categorically refuse.”
OFFICIAL STATEMENT REGARDING CALLS DEMANDING CENSORSHIP OF SENSE – 不祥的预感: A CYBERPUNK GHOST STORY
Our commitment to our audience and to developers is we will never infringe on creative freedom or expression. pic.twitter.com/VV5IcGbJ7P
— Top Hat Studios, Inc (@TopHatStudiosEN) January 1, 2021
The statement also hit back at critics for being “threatened by what essentially boils down to an aesthetic decision of how pixels are arranged on a screen.”
They added: “Let us be clear on this – we will not censor the game because of self-centred crowds who care solely about grandstanding. We categorically and absolutely refuse to restrict creative expression.”
Several users on Twitter questioned the statement as a publicity stunt, with one writing: “Who is actually demanding censorship of this game? I’ve looked though several articles… and the closest I can find are a handful of people saying the size of the characters’ breasts are silly which… isn’t a call for censorship?”
…Who is actually demanding censorship of this game? I've looked through several articles and Twitter threads and the closest I can find are a handful of people saying the size of the characters' breasts are silly which…Isn't a call for censorship?
— World-of-Dymmir (@dymmir) January 2, 2021
Sense: A Cyberpunk Ghost Story‘s synopsis describes it as being inspired by games such as Clock Tower and Fatal Frame. The developers argue that their art style is purely a reflection of the cyberpunk game genre, detailing a “hyper-commercialised, over-commodified” world.
The game is now due for PS4 release on February 12, with a PS Vita release to follow on an unspecified date. Sense: A Cyberpunk Ghost Story is already available on PC and Nintendo Switch, and has been rated PEGI 18.