Nice! Developer Announces That His New Game Will Become Less Political With Each Copy Sold
Small-time indie game Colonialism Simulator, offering a unique combination of 4X mechanics, highly stylised graphics and an adorable soundtrack, made headlines recently after some players began to take issue with the way it “explores some highly-charged political issues” in a “not-so-subtle way”, despite being “a videogame, which should just be fun and nothing else.”
Now solo developer Hestley Frunwick has hit back at his critics, suggesting that Colonialism Simulator is not only completely devoid of politics, but that it will actually “become less political every time someone buys a copy of it on Steam, or direct through my website”.
During a terse interview with one of those wanky games journalists we all love to hate, Frunwick pushed back against the idea that the core gameplay loop of Colonialism Simulator – finding new lands, murdering half the native people, enslaving the other half and forcing them to extract the resources that belonged to them in the first place – was “a political statement”.
“It’s part of a broader story containing what I like to call ‘themes’, and also ‘motifs’, which I invented” Frunwick explained. “That’s all. I didn’t set out to make a political statement, but I will make this statement now: every time somebody purchases a copy, the game will become slightly less political. Guaranteed.”
How does he plan to do it? According to Frunwick, he will personally “inspect and replace” each pixel in the game with a politics-free version of it, using another proprietary technology that he himself invented – but he warns that the process of going over his code with a magnifying glass looking for politics is “very time consuming” and so he will need help from concerned gamers to make sure he doesn’t miss anything that could be misinterpreted as political.
“A lot of gamers are very unhappy about having politics shoved down their throats, whether it’s by developers themselves, or by games journalists looking to find something to get outraged about,” Frunwick concluded. “I’m taking a stand against that by finally publishing a truly apolitical game and I need your help to make it as apolitical as possible.”
Just to be on the safe side, Frunwick has also vowed not to vote in any upcoming elections, and to remain silent on any and all political issues, including human rights, labor issues, and unionisation. Phew!
Frunwick would later take to his official social media to provide a helpful infographic showing exactly how political the game will be at various sales levels, with measurements ranging from “not political at all” at 50,000 copies sold, all the way up to “so apolitical that it will actually remove the politics from all nearby titles on the Steam Store” at 2 million copies.
“That’s the sales point where I start talking to Ubisoft about them publishing a sequel,” he says.