Hidetaka ‘Swery’ Suehiro has taken to Twitter and apologised for the offensive treatment of a transgender character in Deadly Premonition 2: A Blessing in Disguise.
Released last week as a Nintendo Switch exclusive to a mixed reception from critics, many picked up on its mismanagement of diverse themes: including a transgender character who is repeatedly deadnamed (addressed with the name used prior to their transition) and misgendered by the game’s protagonist.
It wasn’t a particularly good look, and as a transgender person myself, the character in question was treated in a way that could prove offensive. Even as I reviewed the game, I didn’t think she was written with any intentional malice, something which the Deadly Premonition 2’s writer has now confirmed.
“I realised by pointed out from friends, I might have hurt transgender people in my scenario,” Suehiro said on Twitter. “It wasn’t intentional. I am really sorry for that.”
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Suehiro continues by saying that he will “rewrite the scene” as soon as possible and will ensure it is checked by diversity experts. It’s surprising and heartening to see he is aware of the flaws and is willing to correct them, especially since his last project was heavily praised for its positive treatment of LGBT themes.
It remains unclear exactly how the changes will be implemented, since much of the negative treatment is intricately linked to the overall narrative. Could we see entire voicelines re-recorded, or even fundamental elements of the plot changed to reflect a more progressive angle? Only time will tell.
Here’s what I thought in my 3/5 review of Deadly Premonition 2: “It’s both strikingly ambitious and laughably imcompetent in every regard, which is somewhat fitting given the iconic status of its predecessor. But all the campy brilliance aside, it’s difficult to overlook its monolithic performance problems and decrepit approach to game design.” Rising Star Games has also confirmed it will be addressing technical issues such as the game’s long loading times and horrendous performance.