StudioFOW, the developers of Subverse, a Kickstarter funded Adult Game, made the curious decision to partner with a known far-right YouTuber known as Arch for promotion.
Now, either they knew exactly what they were doing, and enjoy this far-right person’s work, or they made a mistake. Going out on a limb here, I’m suggesting they knew exactly what they were doing.
Their community manager FOWChan’s first response (as reported by Kotaku) was that they were:
“not aware at the time that [Arch] had made racist and other controversial statements in the past,”
“Our personal beliefs and politics could not be further from his,”
“We are now and have always been an inclusive community, which is reflected in the rules of our Discord and the work of our moderation team.”
This was subsequently deleted and replaced by the following statement:
“Hello my darlings.
I am going to make this short, because we’ve taken up enough of your time with what has happened recently regarding Arch.
To start, lets keep Subverse as a game for getting off on sex and not politics, it’s best for everyone.
In terms of the previous statement regarding Arch, we were bombarded suddenly with posts from different political groups, and as a result we acted in haste. After all, we are only titty software developers but suddenly we found ourselves in a political debate.
We would like to make it absolutely clear, we have no problems with Arch personally. We simply wanted him to showcase some of our gameplay together, which Arch did professionally and he was very gracious with his time.
We appreciate his time and want to say we are sorry for jumping into a politically charged situation so quickly. Subverse has no political affiliation, it’s a game to be enjoyed by everyone.
We did not want to offend any fans of Arch, he provides a platform for independent games creators like us to showcase our games.
We love all of our fans regardless of political affiliation and we hope in due time you can forgive us for this unfortunate misunderstanding.
That switch in messaging hints at somebody telling FOWChan that they were wrong to come out against Arch and his views.
The fact is, when they say “we have no problems with Arch personally” they’re tacitly supporting him and his far-right views. So this statement isn’t so much an apology as a victory lap for a gamble that has done exactly what they needed: add publicity to their game, and to a far-right YouTuber’s brand.
This is about as far from politically neutral a statement can get while remaining polite, and that’s the fallacy. There is no way to remain politically neutral when partnering with someone on a political extreme. If the development team there were interested in remaining neutral, they would have chosen better.
And when it comes to the politics of hate, tacitly approving it is the wrong way to go.