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RE5 producer: “There are black members in the development team”

Monday, 21st July 2008 16:48 GMT By Patrick Garratt

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Speaking to MTV, Resident Evil 5 producer Jun Takeuchi has yet again answered questions on the subject of racial stereotyping in the game, and has said that members of the development team are black.

Newsweek’s N’Gai Croal had previously opined, “Clearly no one black worked on this game,” again in an MTV interview.

“We were quite surprised by the reaction that came out. I think everyone understands that we never set out to with the intention to make anything that was racist — that was never our intention. We think it was a bit of a misunderstanding when we published the first images of the game back in the day,” said Takeuchi, speaking at E3 last week.

“And we think that as we move along and allow people to see more the game and more of what’s going on and more of the story, people will get a better idea of the game. I think you can see that that reaction has started to die down a little bit. To answer the question that was posted on your blog, there are black members in the development team. We do have staff working on the game, who are aware of the historical background and we are constantly checking these kinds of things with them.”

Full thing through the first link.

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24 Comments

  1. Psychotext

    Oh you have to be kidding me, why even justify that shit with a response?

    I also have a number of jokes I could use here… but they’re wildly inappropriate. \o/

    #1 6 years ago
  2. trav

    Well, I hope that the newer screenshots and trailers show that they are not regular people and are actually infected with a mutanting virus.

    Or are we not allowed to shoot people who have giant mouths coming out of their faces that eat people? You know, in case we hurt their feelings.

    #2 6 years ago
  3. El_MUERkO

    “I’m calling you Matthew Perry, you Matthew Perry mocha bitch!”

    #3 6 years ago
  4. G1GAHURTZ

    Sure! We have black members in the development team, and the cleaner is black too!

    #4 6 years ago
  5. wz

    Oh my, I have played loads of games where I’d only shoot white people. Clearly, I’m a racist too.

    Girls, it’s only the freaking color of skin. Get over it.

    #5 6 years ago
  6. Panipal2005

    I read the headline and thought, ‘oh no not this again!’

    Then I read further and thought, ‘well, N’Gai, smart as he is, does need to be told on this issue’, his comments ran a little too close to ‘hysterical’,

    #6 6 years ago
  7. Syrok

    No one ever complaints if white people get killed in games.
    I sense a black, jewish conspiracy (possibly funded by Al-Quaida (they are fund-a-mentalist after all))

    #7 6 years ago
  8. mightyhokie

    Dude, try living in America. Here there are a large percentage of the black community who have been conditioned to think about their skin color every second of the day. It is messed up and wrong. Most whites I know never even think about it unless it is brought up. The irony is that the same people that claim to think skin color doesn’t matter are the exact same people who can’t stop focusing on it or pointing color out! I just ignore them since political correctness is dead in most sectors. Hey, if you are going to get your nose out of joint so easily, perhaps it’s time to worry less about the color of your skin and more about it’s thickness.

    #8 6 years ago
  9. wz

    Btw, isn’t that Michelle Rodriguez, aka Ana Lucia from Lost, or (shocking!) the girl from /BloodRayne/?

    #9 6 years ago
  10. el Croux

    It amazes me that people are focusing attention on Resident Evil 5 for it’s potential racial overtones when there’s the hugely dubious Far Cry 2 coming up which just looks dangerously naive when attempting to cast it’s own reflections on African states and their troubles.

    Just wait until any decent journalist from outside this embarrassingly insular industry gets hold of it. They’ll rightly rip it to pieces while we get the same confused bleeting about how unfair it is that games aren’t considered art.

    #10 6 years ago
  11. mightyhokie

    “They’ll rightly rip it to pieces”…?

    Are you trying to say that the leaders in Africa are not corrupt? By that I mean more corrupt on average than other politicians…hehe.

    If anyone trys to defend the evil overlords that oppress their people in Africa I imagine they will have a hard time defending it even against a 5 year old. I mean, can anyone justify African warlords? To me it seems that the African leaders love to keep their people starving and dying of AIDS while they keep their power and wealth. I really don’t think it is the same issue (as the accused racism). Matter of fact, I think they are both non-issues. Do you really think any game designer would set out with the attitude of ‘lets try and make blacks look bad’? I don’t.

    #11 6 years ago
  12. el Croux

    The thing that Far Cry 2 needs to be called up on is glorifying mercenary action in African states to solve it’s problems. Read up on the history of any ex-colonial African country and you’ll see forgein mercenaries played a huge part in the suffering the people have endured. In fact at certain points in the Congo’s history for example the number of forgein mercenaries actively fighting in the country has outweighed the number of native milita fighters.

    What’s especially common with military action in Africa, focused around what little built up areas there are is what simple ammenities the country has left get destroyed or abandonded, so that even after ‘the job is done’ a few years later and some ‘side’ has finally caved in, the people are left with nothing to survive on.

    And from what Far Cry 2 has shown so far there’s blowing up of buildings, oil pipes and such. Things that the local people in any African country have been made completely dependant on by the same people that are now deciding to destroy for tactical advantage in another bloody conflict.

    Read something like the recent Blood River by Tim Butcher and you’ll be slapping your hand on your forehead watching the Far Cry 2 trailers and dev diaries where they talk more about the setting of the game and try and justify shooting untrained 18 year old African militia in the face with a huge gun.

    Also read up on people like Mike Hoare, the most uncompromisingly evil mercenary prick you could hope to come across.

    #12 6 years ago
  13. mart

    zzzzzzz

    #13 6 years ago
  14. el Croux

    I fail to see anything boring in one of the industry’s biggest publishers (Ubisoft) completely failing to see the obvious moral duplicity in serving up a naive, irrespoinsible view of solving Africa’s problems (Far Cry 2) to a target 4 million teenagers at an OBSCENE $60 a pop.

    The Odeon cinema chain here in the UK refused to show the recent Rambo film for it’s tasteless advocation of using violent mercenary tactics to solve current political issues and presenting it as entertainment.

    Good on them.

    #14 6 years ago
  15. Blerk

    Does Africa have a very big zombie problem, then?

    #15 6 years ago
  16. Psychotext

    You sicken me Blerk. Why are you ignorant to the plight of the African people?

    #16 6 years ago
  17. mart

    Chill out Croux, I wasn’t z-ing at you. Just this whole general issue.

    #17 6 years ago
  18. el Croux

    Even so, this controversy surrounding Resident Evil 5 and the controversy that SHOULD be surrounding Far Cry 2 over alleged racism should be a chance for the industry to respond confidently and with sound reason.

    Instead they’re using the bizarre ‘but if a black person indirectly supports it, it can’t be racist!’ angle.

    It just reeks from all angles like an industry embarressingly out of touch with the real world, and I really hope the national press somewhere takes someone to the cleaners over it.

    Ubisoft more than Capcom on the content front no doubt, but Capcom’s flip-flopping shouldn’t be ignored either.

    #18 6 years ago
  19. Syrok

    Maybe people should just stop screaming RACIST! everytime a person with slightly darker skin then your average person of European background has dies in a movie, game and what-not.
    Alternativly light coloured people could start calling it racism everytime a character of their skin colour dies in games, movies, etc.

    #19 6 years ago
  20. G1GAHURTZ

    I don’t know about racist, but the game (RE5) was certainly heading towards displaying what could be considered nonchalant insensitivity.

    Having worked in the games industry for almost 8 years, I know that there are many design decisions that are taken so that the game doesn’t cause offence to any group/individuals.

    Just take a look at FIFA manager for example. When setting up your character you can choose to be involved in a ‘same sex’ relationship instead of a having a wife.

    To be perfectly honest. If the developers of this game looked at the concept of a white alpha male killing nothing but black zombies, then they’re a bit careless to say the least.

    Fair enough, the game is set in Africa, in some place where you’d expect 99.9% of the population to be black, but a little common sense says that some people could interpret it the wrong way.

    Anyway, they seem to have taken the criticism on board now and changed the game, so surely that’s a sign that they didn’t intend any offence initially…

    However, as for this ridiculous ‘blacks worked on the development’ rubbish, then what does that mean??

    Is there a black guy in external QA??

    Did they employ a black photographer to get resource material from the place where the game is set??

    It’s gibberish that smacks of the old, ‘I’m not recist because my butler’s black’ nonsense. They’d have been better off just saying nothing and getting on with making a good game.

    #20 6 years ago
  21. GordonR

    “The Odeon cinema chain here in the UK refused to show the recent Rambo film for it’s tasteless advocation of using violent mercenary tactics to solve current political issues and presenting it as entertainment.”

    Did it bollox. The cinema chain didn’t show the film because of a financial dispute between it and Sony Pictures.

    You can easily verify this with a Google search, but why let the facts get in the way of polemic?

    #21 6 years ago
  22. Psychotext

    “Fair enough, the game is set in Africa, in some place where you’d expect 99.9% of the population to be black, but a little common sense says that some people could interpret it the wrong way.”

    Why should we be so overly sensitive to it? It’s not a big step from there to changing the main char because it offends fat people or single mothers etc etc. Why is the gaming industry not afforded the same creative freedom that the movie industry is for instance?

    #22 6 years ago
  23. Whizzo

    To save the terminally lazy from effort, Variety reports the real reasoning here. I don’t think anyone has ever stated that it wasn’t down to a spat between the two companies until this thread.

    #23 6 years ago
  24. G1GAHURTZ

    Why should we be so overly sensitive to it?… …Why is the gaming industry not afforded the same creative freedom that the movie industry is for instance?

    I’m not saying that we should be hyper sensitive about everything that may be personal to us. What I’m saying is that from a developers perspective, if you want to maximise sales and make a game that doesn’t suffer from this kind of negative publicity then you have to take the hyper sensitive people into consideration.

    You have to put your brain into gear and think about the reality that there are people who will jump on your back given the slightest chance.

    Look at the Haitian uproar that happened with GTA. Look at the trouble Ubisoft got into with Venezuela.

    It’s all just unnecessary aggravation that will impact your sales, your brand and your company image.

    As for the movie industry, then films are certainly not free from criticism if they go down a similar kind of controversial route. Just take a look at rottentomatoes and see the amount of negative press that most films get these days if they try and take on a political issue in the wrong way.

    #24 6 years ago

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