Spiritfarer Dev Apologises for Ableism in its Writing

Spiritfarer ableism isn't a topic many expected to come up, but its been an issue for players who've encountered a certain story issue in part of the indie management sim's writing. Developer, Thunder Lotus, took to Twitter to apologise, addressing the concerns by pledging to do better.

Spiritfarer Dev Apologises for Ableism in its WritingSpiritfarer, the cosy management sim that takes a heartfelt approach to dealing with death, was met with criticism towards part of one of the game’s storylines. A character who was in life bound to a wheelchair, was suggested that they could only be free in death. Some players interpreted that the narrative was telling them it’s better to be dead than disabled, making Spiritfarer ableism a surprising subject on social media. 

Thunder Lotus Games was quick in issuing an apology on Twitter, along with pledging to correct the lack of sensitivity and good judgement that they said was demonstrated. Whilst they added that the ableist language used was unintentional, the developer fully takes blame given by critics, saying that it fully undermines the empathetic spirit of the game, a failure of which they regret. 

Not only have the Spiritfarer narrative team vowed to fix the error in the game, but they’ll also be re-examining their other works for examples that go against the all-inclusive values that they’ve built the company and design their games around. Fans on Twitter have responded well to this apology, saying it’s a shining example of a company owning up to its mistakes and pledging to do better. 

Spiritfarer - Launch Trailer - Nintendo Switch

This is an interesting comparison to Square Enix and Crystal Dynamics when it comes to controversy in recently released games and the messaging around them. Due to aggressive microtransactions and with what’s said to be a lack of original content to balance the scales, more are concluding that Marvel’s Avengers is everything wrong with the games industry


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