Just one day before Balan Wonderworld was due to be released, players with early access to the game found a bug that could potentially trigger seizures in those with photo sensitive epilepsy, as reported by Game Informer. I was also reported that the sequence was inducing some nausea and headaches in those without a history of epilepsy. Developer Balan Company claims the bug has been fixed with a day one patch, but those who suffer from seizures should be especially careful when approaching the game’s final boss.
In pre-release footage of the game, during the final boss fight there is a rapid succession of white flashes over the battle in the background. The speed of the neurological triggers in that scene can certainly cause seizures in those with photo sensitive epilepsy, but they are so disorienting that there are even reports of them causing issues in people who have never had problems with neurological triggers previously. We’ve chosen not to include footage of the affected scene, although it can be viewed here (at the 11:35 and 12:40 and 14:57 marks) with caution if you’re curious. Balan Company has issued a statement saying this is a bug rather than a deliberate design decision and the issues have been fixed in the Day One patch:
Please ensure that you install the Day 1 Patch before playing. We have received reports of a photo-sensitive epilepsy risk from a potential flashing bug if playing the game un-patched. The Day 1 Patch prevents this issue as well as enhances the overall play experience.
While the developer assures players the issues are fixed, once again we’d like to say those who suffer from seizures should approach the scene with caution. There are no patch notes for what else has been fixed in the Day One patch, but publisher Square Enix had previously confirmed there would also be changes to “movement controls, camera movement, and rebalancing of the difficulty”. Although these changes are being made, not all of the issues players reported with the demo will be fixed by today’s patch as it wasn’t “feasible to reflect every piece of feedback into the game”.
Balan Wonderworld is available today on PlayStation 5 and PlayStation 4.