Spiritfarer Developer Apologizes for Recent Controversy


Game developer Thunder Lotus has issued a statement after indie video game Spiritfarer came under fire after recent controversy.

The game came under fire recently after some players found out that one of its storylines contained ableist writing. Thunder Lotus quickly issued an apology for those who got offended.

According to Wikipedia, here is what ableist is:

Meaning of ableist in English treating people unfairly because they have a disability (= an illness, injury, or condition that makes it difficult for them to do things that most other people can do): An ableist society is one that treats non-disabled individuals as the standard of “normal living”.

So for those who are sensitive with their disabilities, the storyline was offensive to them. The story goes that a character in the wheelchair could only be free in death. This kind of made people think that “being dead is better than disabled.”

Thunder Lotus agreed to what the critics have pointed out and have made a statement to address the problems with the writing:

It has been brought to our attention that some of the writing in Spiritfarer is ableist, especially in the case of one character’s description of their own wheelchair. We, the developers of Spiritfarer, would like to offer a sincere and heartfelt apology, and pledge to correct the lack of sensitivity and good judgement we demonstrated.

The game developer has pledged to make corrections soon and fix “any similar or parallel perspective or words that run counter to the inclusive values that we’ve built our company around.”

In my honest opinion, it looked unintentional but it does look offensive if you put yourselves in the shoes of a disabled person. At least Thunder Lotus acknowledged this mistake and promised to fix it as soon as possible.

Spiritfarer is now available on Nintendo Switch, PlayStation 4, Xbox One, Google Stadia, and PC.

Thanks Eurogamer!