A controversial scene from indie shoot-’em-up Hotline Miami 2 has been removed from the game’s demo following fan outcry. According to people who played the demo, the scene in question involves an attempted sexual assault on a female character.
In an interview with Rock Paper Shotgun, Denis Wedin of Dennaton Games, said “We were really sad that some people were so affected by it, because maybe they had been through something like that of their own. Maybe they had a terrible experience of their own that was triggered by the game. That was not intentional at all.”
So far, the scene hasn’t been removed from the full game, but Wedin says that it’s not out of the question. “We removed it for the demo. We’re going to work with it, see if we can fix it,” said Wedin. “You get a bigger picture when you play the whole game, which is lost in the demo, of course.”
Past previews have clarified that the scene in question is a staged performance as part of an in-game film shoot. As PC Gamer’s Cara Ellison explains, the dialogue surrounding the scene suggests, in fact, that Dennaton Games wants to offer (admittedly blatant) social commentary on why society is OK with gratuitous combat violence but sexual violence gives us pause.
One complaint people cited for the scene itself was the fact that the character who is about to be sexually assaulted is the only female character in the entire game. Wedin claims that this is not true, and that eventually there are playable female characters; nevertheless, the scene itself is controversial, during a time when gamers are becoming more concerned about the portrayal of female characters in the medium.
“I think sexuality is so much more intimate and personal than violence,” said Wedin. “We respect everyone’s opinion. We felt like we might have to have the whole game for that scene to work, or maybe we were doing it wrong. It didn’t come out the way we wanted it to. So that’s why we took it out.”
Hotline Miami 2 is set to be released sometime in 2014 for PS4, PS3, and PS Vita.
Excited for Hotline Miami 2? Concerned about its sexual controversy? Let us know in the comments below.