A new update makes changes to Skullgirls, such as altering character appearances, removing voice lines, and other content.
On June 26th, the Skullgirls Twitter account made a post about the next game update, in which they have changed art assets on Skullgirls Mobile, Skullgirls 2nd Encore, and the Digital Art Compendium on all platforms. They left a link to a forum post that explained what was changed and their reasons behind the change.
The first change addressed is the removal of the Black Egrets’ red armbands and flag. Though the Black Egrets are meant to be portrayed as an oppressive military regime, they feel that they resembled hate groups, specifically Nazis. Due to this resemblance, the armbands have been removed and the red flag was changed to black in the concept and story mode art.
All quotes are directly taken from the Skullgirls Mobile forum.
ALLUSIONS TO REAL-WORLD HATE GROUPS
While the Renoir family and the Black Egrets were always intended to evoke imagery from an oppressive militant regime, we felt that the way that manifested (most notably via red armbands, flags, and symbolism) was too close for comfort - especially given the unfortunate reality that some of these hate groups are still active in various respects to this day.
As such, you will notice that Egret soldiers no longer feature armbands and that the heraldry of the Black Egrets organization has also been adjusted. This is a holistic pass that applies to in-game frames, concept art, story mode art, and more.
Skullgirls is known by its player base for fanservice, but the publishers have decided to tone it down for the younger characters. They choosing to adjust Filia’s art assets by changing the color of her panties on her default and other color palettes to make them less visible and cover her panties in the opening of her story mode. They have also altered some scenes that reveal too much skin, removed the “barely legal” eighteen-hit combo label, and two intro lines from Peacock and Big Band’s alternate voice packs.
CHARACTER SEXUALIZATION & AGENCY
While Skullgirls is no stranger to characters that confidently express their sexuality, there are instances in the game where characters are fetishized and/or have sexualization imposed upon them. This includes a few depictions of unwanted predatory behavior, particularly towards younger characters.
While alluding to some of this can be narratively meaningful, we have made a number of small adjustments throughout the game to ensure that this content is less exploitative (e.g. the opening of Filia's Story Mode).
The final explanation given for these changes is racial sensitivity. Some content that they believe was in poor taste or depicted stereotypes was removed from the game or altered. To remedy this, they have chosen to remove the Soviet Announcer voice pack, the comb from Filia’s burst animation, and the police brutality scene in Big Band’s story mode. In order to not show any racial violence, they removed one illustration of Big Band being beaten by cops and altered another one so his mangled body won’t be visible anymore.
While there are numerous playful references to pulpy themes that we feel respectfully allude to certain stereotypes (e.g. the Saxploitation VO pack), we have made adjustments to some content that we believed to be in poor taste (e.g. references to racial violence in Big Band’s Story Mode).
In the closing statements, the publisher has said they are aware that members of the Skullgirls community will disagree with this decision, but they have already discussed this amongst themselves and do not plan to change their minds. They have also locked the comments on the forum.
You can find the tweet on Skullgirls Twitter account and the reasons for the changes on Skullgirls Mobile. If you wish to see a full list of alterations brought with the update, check out the post on Skullheart.
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