Developer Void Interactive will have to look for a new publisher for its game Ready or Not after a bad choice of comment. Team17 has officially pulled out of their agreement with the company and will no longer publish the game due to a comment made about school shootings. On the game’s Reddit page, someone started a thread asking whether or not the game should have a school shooting mission in its main campaign. In a now-deleted comment, one of the devs chimed in and said “You better believe you’re okay.” The comment caused a ton of backlash in the comment thread, with responses ranging from calling it tasteless to promoting violence in schools.
Shortly after the comment went viral on social media, the company posted this announcement on its Twitter feed, announcing that Team17 was stepping down as the game’s publisher.
A few days later, Void Interactive released a longer statement about Twitternot only by claiming that they were crossing a threshold in Ready or Not this would depict a SWAT team responding to a school shooting in the game, but essentially doubling down on the idea that they would go ahead with that vision, even after losing their editor. Here is the full statement.
It also seems, based on the statement above and several social media posts, that the company will most likely move forward with self-publishing the game rather than looking for a new publisher. Whether or not the game finds its way to online stores and retail after that is an entirely different question, one that we likely won’t see answered for several months as the game is still in development. Currently, it can be played in Early Access on Steam, but Grade Level is not currently part of that release.
As of this writing, there have been 34 school shootings in the United States in 2021.