Little Devil Inside was one of the titles showcased during the PS5 reveal event last Friday. The game’s trailer, among other things, featured certain dark-skinned creatures with dreadlocks and bold lips. Within 24 hours of Sony’s show, the devs received comments, such as this one, suggesting “stereotypical connotations” of the design of these characters.
While the game has been in developement for ages, once intended to ship in 2015, some of the content, including the characters in question, was shown for the first time. Neostream, the team behind the title, took to Facebook to explain that they did not intend any racist stereotypes. However, the studio apologized to people potentially offended by the design of the creatures and said they would change it or even overhaul it completely.
Below is the team’s letter in its entirety:
In answer to a series of inquries made in the last 24 hours regarding certain character deign revealed in the PlayStation PS5 Reveal Event showcase trailer yesterday, the LDI team wish to make the following announcement.
Racist stereotypes of any kind were absolutely not intended, we were not aware of the stereotypical connotations and wish to apologize to anyone who may have been offended by the character design.
In addition, no one (not just limited to team members) has ever commented or hinted on the character designs. However, these characters have not been revealed publicly elsewhere prior to the event.
The design intention was to create characters who are protectors/guardians of a particular mystic region in the world of Little Devil Inside. We were not producing character designs referenced on any real African and/or Afro-American human tribes.
The focus was on creating colorful masks and our designers were researching masks from all various cultures. As characters in the game, they move in groups and use blow darts that paralyze when hit. We wished to add character to the mask design and give it life to it – something like the little Kakamora characters in Disney’s Moana.
However, regardless of our intentions, if any people were offended in any way, we sincerely apologize.
We will be making the following fixes to the current characters but if it ends up not being suitable to the game as a whole, we may change the design entirely.
1. Remove the Dreadlocks.
2. Change the bold lips.
3. Change skin tone.
4. Tweak the dart blower so it looks less like a joint.
On a minor note, this is our first game title and we are still quite naive in many areas.
As always, we thank you all for your support!