Triternion Release Statement Regarding Mordhau’s Race & Gender Customisation Options and Community Toxicity
In a recent article by PC Gamer, Triternion — developers of the multiplayer medieval hack-n-slash game Mordhau — caused controversy with recent comments surrounding diversity in their game. The comment in question is about the possibility of a gender/race "toggle" to turn off certain ethnicities and genders.
During the interview, artist Mike Desrosiers was asked about plans to increase the diversification of the characters players can create, specifically being asked about adding females and the ability to change character skin tones. Currently, players can only build white male characters.
Desrosiers told PC Gamer: “Whatever stance we take officially, some group of people are going to be upset with us. And so, ideally, we’d put the power in the players’ hands, and give them the option to enable and disable different things.”
When asked again about the option to disable character customisation environmental artist Andrew Geach told PC Gamer: “It’s not set in stone, it depends how our community is in the future. Maybe if it calms down in the future, the game still has a lot of players, a lot of toxicity, a lot of racism, a lot of politics, everything, people argue in chat about all sorts of nonsense."
Triternion has also come under fire due to Mordhau’s toxic community that it has garnered. In-game chat is often filled with racist slurs and toxic behaviour that has so far gone largely unchecked by the developers.
In a Steam discussion post about the addition of female characters — which is something that was promised post-release — a member from Triternion confirmed that they were indeed thinking of adding a “client-side toggle (for both female and male characters) which would let you disable them.” The reasoning for the toggle is down to “realism”.
However, Triternion has released an official statement surrounding the controversy to help clarify their position. In the statement, it says, “Triternion does not, nor have we ever, had plans to add a customisation option that would force a white male default.” Triternion also said there was a “misunderstanding” during the interview conducted with PC Gamer and that the two artists involved in the interview are uninvolved with character development and there are no plans to add any kind of ethnicity toggle on potential ethnicity customisation additions.
In regards to the Steam discussion post on gender, in the statement, Triternion said the responses given were based on an “old gender toggle idea” that would allow players to play exclusively as one gender or both. This was due to a large number of debates regarding the topic of realism. Triternion said, “The idea to give players this ability was simply a theoretical solution to a difficult problem and was never intended to be the official stance of Triternion on this topic. This is a lesson for us that we must be excessively prudent with the wording we use in the future as it can be easy to misconstrue an individual’s opinions and ideas as officially sanctioned.”
In the statement, Triternion also said that in regards to Mordhau’s toxic community, they “Do not have prior experience managing communities of this size, nor the manpower or resources that established studious can leverage. At the moment we are stretched thin with major important content additions and unfortunately, we do not have the staff nor systems in place to moderate everything to our intended level of standards. We plan on improving in this regard. We hope our players understand our situation and will continue to place their faith in us, as improving these things will take time.”
Triternion's statement can be read here in full.