Klei Entertainment recently removed one of the playable characters in the Early Access game Don’t Starve: Hamlet. They posted about the issue over on the Klei Entertainment forums on about the removal of the character on February 7th, 2019.
One of the developers, Jason, initially explained that they didn’t think Warbucks was very interesting, hence they decided to remove him, writing…
“We weren’t very happy with how Warbucks was working out. While trying to find ways to make him work, we decided that he just wasn’t as interesting as we would like, and so we’ve made the decision to start from scratch with a new character. You can still continue your Warbucks saves as his files will not be removed from the game, but he will no longer be in the official lineup of starting characters. “
Some people thanked Klei, others were left confused, some questioned why the option would be taken away completely when they could have left Warbucks and just updated/changed him over time with patches. Some also argued that it seemed like false advertising to showcase Warbucks in the trailer but then remove him from the game. You can view the trailer for yourself below, which was published on November 8th, 2018.
Eventually the thread devolved into debates about the minutiae of Warbucks’ characterization, where people began to proclaim him to be racist and a “colonizer”, to which charges of cultural inappropriateness was leveled at the fictional character in the fictional game.
On February 9th, 2019, Joe Wreggelsworth, the head of live operations and marketing, made a follow-up post explaining the real reason why Warbucks was taken out of the game.
If you’re unable to view the image, Wreggelsworth stated…
“Ultimately we felt Warbucks was both culturally problematic and not also very interesting to play so we decided to start over. We understand some people may like aspects of him, and perhaps we will bring some of those aspects back one day. In the meantime, we’ve decided to move on.
“In general, we throw away a lot of our work in order to make something we’re happy with, but generally that’s before it gets released even in Beta. […]”
Some people complained that they enjoyed the character and that they didn’t like that Klei was retroactively deleting an already released character.
Wreggelsworth countered by saying that they delete characters and content all the time, writing…
“We’ve had, what 5 or 6 different characters in the DS universe that were scrapped so far? I don’t recall. It might do us some good some time to kind of peel back the curtain a bit about how iterative we are as a studio. But we’re always so busy that gets a tough. But, thanks for the feedback.”
Of course, this still doesn’t address the fact that it literally doesn’t hurt existing gamers to let them have the choice in whether they want to play him or not.
In fact, even ResetEra disagreed with Klei’s decision to remove Warbucks, and they’re an extremist community filled with Social Justice Warriors.
Oddly enough, a few of the members even defended his “problematic” aspects.
On the upside, at least there’s a mod available that allows you to re-download Warbucks and keep playing as him in the game.
If you own Don’t Starve: Hamlet, you can re-download Warbucks from the Steam Workshop by subscribing to the character mod made available by sudura. There’s also a second mod that allows you to enable or disable characters in the game, so you can pick and choose who you want to play. Don’t Starve: Hamlet is currently available on Steam in Early Access.
(Thanks for the news tip zac za)