Little Devil Inside developer Neostream Interactive has issued an apology in response to concerns that the game’s enemies depict racial stereotypes attributed to black people and indigenous tribes.
As reported by Kotaku, a number of people took to social media following Little Devil Inside‘s reveal at the PlayStation 5 event, pointing out that the bad guys feature a dark skin with bold lips and dreadlocks among other caricatures. Yesterday, Neostream penned a lengthy apology claiming that “racist stereotypes of any kind were absolutely not intended,” and promised to make some immediate changes to address the concerns.
The note reads:
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.
Little Devil Inside will release on the PS5, Xbox Series X, and PC.