Ready or Not Studio Says Planned Level of ‘Shooting in School’ Has Not Caused a Break with Publisher


We loved what we saw of the SWAT-style shooter Ready or Not when we first saw it in 2019. Set in a crumbling and corrupt near future, it features gameplay inspired by the original Rainbow series Six and SWAT that challenge players to “defuse hostile and conflictual situations”. At the time, it was slated for release in late 2020, but instead it debuted in Early Access on December 17 of this year.

Days later, however, developer Void Interactive announced that it had parted ways with publisher Team17. “Void Interactive and Team17 have mutually agreed that Team17 will no longer release Ready or Not,” the studio tweeted. “We are convinced that this is the right path for the future of Ready or Not, and we thank Team17 for their partnership and wish them every success with their range of games!”

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The reason for the split was not given, but it happened just days after a user on the Ready or Not subreddit asked if the game should have a “school shooting mission.” In response, a developer from Void Interactive replied, “You better believe you’re okay.” The response has since been deleted, but can be viewed through the Wayback Machine.

The widely held assumption is that Team17 didn’t think a school shooting level was a suitable idea, and Void Interactive didn’t want to let it go. A representative for Void Interactive, however, denied any connection between the split with Team17 and the expected level of school shooting.

Void Interactive addressed the issue in a statement shared on Twitter:

There is no easy way to approach this problem without eliciting strong emotional reactions from one group or another, but we will do our best. I would like to start by mentioning a quote from the original documentation of our company that we have always believed in, that we continue to believe in, and that is known to all who have done business with our company.

“Void Interactive has a clear commitment to delivering high quality, impactful content that other consumer software developers may avoid due to cultural conventions and norms. At Void Interactive, we value the voice of our customers and partners. and while that doesn’t dictate our direction, we will allow it to intelligently influence what we do. At its core, the game honors the work of law enforcement officers around the world and does not no case intends to glorify cowardly criminal acts. “

We are committed to promoting a level of authenticity and realism in our video game, Ready or Not, which features a difficult subject matter. We understand that does require some responsibility – to our fans and our community, yes. But also to those who have been touched by the traumatic events to which the police respond too often. Rest assured, our goal is to handle all of the content on Ready or Not with the level of weight and respect it deserves. We recently had to remind some team members of the care required in discussing this material now and on an ongoing basis.

“School” is not just a part of the story of Ready or Not, it is part of the fabric of thousands of stories from people around the world. It’s the story of those who 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 it all. what they can so that it is not enough. It’s a look at an uncomfortable reality that has become all too mainstream, and we hope we can play a small part in honoring those who have been touched by these real-world tragedies with a portrayal that doesn’t trivialize their experiences.

We will continue to follow our vision, we will continue to listen, and we will continue to work on Ready or Not every day. Thank you.

To be clear, that level of school shooting doesn’t actually exist at this point – it’s all entirely speculative at this point. And if that ever happens, players will likely interfere with a shot, without committing it. As we’ve already seen in Six Days in Fallujah, designing a game around a sensitive real-life storyline is perhaps the clearest way for a developer to communicate their worldview, which will be scrutinized and criticized. . And, in general, video game recreations of actual tragedies will provoke a strong reaction. School shoots are regular topics for movies and TV shows, but interactive medium is a whole different matter.

In a follow-up Tweeter, Void Interactive reassured fans that it remains committed to its vision of “Ready or Not as a Hardcore Interactive Tactical Shooter”. So far, gamers seem to like it: Ready or Not currently enjoys an “extremely positive” rating on Steam on over 8,300 user reviews.

I contacted Team17 for a comment and will update if I receive a response.

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