Before detailing what the investigation reveals, we prefer to warn you that certain quotes clearly display sexual innuendoes which may offend sensitivities. IGN contacted Game Science before this investigation was published, but the studio declined to comment.
Comments that don’t go through
Game Science may not be very popular here, but in China it is known as the white wolf. The studio quickly gained many fans with the first images of Black Myth Wukong and while its public image has been relatively healthy so far, many women working in development in Japan have a completely different opinion of this team. Most of those interviewed by IGN asked to remain anonymous, but all point to the fact that Game Science has a bad reputation, particularly in terms of sexism.
The article first returns to the genesis of the project by focusing on one of the co-founders of the studio, Feng Ji, who is described as someone who does not have his tongue in his pocket and who can show rude. IGN highlights a post broadcast on the Weibo network, in which Feng Ji makes his self-criticism following the posting of the first video of Black Myth Wukong. He indicates here that the studio must recruit more people, with particularly visible sexual innuendo such as “I want to expand my circle and hire more people, get licked until I can’t get an erection “, or ” I got wet after watching it several times…the pressure in my crotch is immense! “.
Raw and unfiltered comments, which did not necessarily shock the Chinese public but which caused a reaction in the industry, given that this would only be the showcase of the ambient sexism which would reign within Game Science. And it all started when several of the co-founders were still working on the MMO Asura Online. In 2014, faced with the probable failure of the game, several studio members reportedly produced a video in which they mocked the likely future of certain employees, with men being caricatured as porn actors or rapists, while women were reduced to becoming hostesses. Before that, in 2013, Yang Qi (one of the co-founders and lead artist) also created controversy with a long post which claimed that games were designed differently for men than for women, because of their biological differencesbecause for him, when a man dreams of “ holding a heavy machine gun and shooting at governments, what women dream of are bags that would make their friends jealous. »
A culture which therefore continued at Game Science, with very suggestive recruitment posters, which were seen and verified by IGN. It must be said that the studio doesn’t really hide it, like one of the technical artists on the project, who recently posted an image of a snake demon with a female face, on which “ it is possible to masturbate “. A comment now deleted.
A much broader problem, not to say national
And if this hasn’t been pointed out much before, it’s becausedespite feminist progress in China, there remains a historically sexist culture there who considers women to be inferior, according to the testimony of several women working in the video game industry. Because it is in this environment that inequalities are most visible, particularly on social networks or in the various video game communities, where harassment is not at all condemned despite complaints.
The article returns to Chinese policy which aims to ensure that games primarily target a male audience, which leaves little room for women in the video game landscape. A situation which is gradually changing thanks to the success of certain games (Mr Love: Queen’s Choice is cited by Elva Tan, who works in the Chinese video game industry), but which makes the inclusion of women in the game development process very difficult. To summarize, Rui Zhong – who works within the feminist collective NüVoices – indicates that women are “ invisible » in the tech world, and therefore in the video game world.
An unbridled sexism that is not only found at Game Science, since the investigation also highlights the case of Duoyi Games, behind the recent Gunfire Reborn. The sudden dismissal of 11 employees by the studio’s CEO, Xu Bo, was allegedly caused by the latter’s desire not to have to deal with “other feminist bitches”, according to an anonymous testimony from an employee. A remark to which the studio did not want to respond after being contacted by IGN.
It is in this particularly heavy climate that Black Myth Wukong, which is one of the most important games in the Chinese industry. And it is because he is a spearhead of the country that women’s voices are not heard, given that fans of the studio minimize Game Science’s comments in the face of the impact and the problems that the game for Chinese video gaming as a whole. But since the game is now aimed at a global audience, much more sensitive on the subject, Game Science’s future actions will be particularly closely monitored. Many are simply waiting for the studio to acknowledge the comments of some of its employees and apologize for them (which could help educate a certain part of the public, particularly in China), but its reaction is still awaited. The IGN article will undoubtedly move the lines, and we invite you to read it in its entirety to better understand the ins and outs of this affair.