Those that have wandered onto Steam’s front store page in the last week or so have likely seen Ready or Not, a tactical shooter similar to the Rainbow Six games that puts players in the role of SWAT officers. Currently one of Steam’s top sellers, early access community reviews are “overwhelmingly positive.” However, despite its initial success, Ready or Not has lost its publisher over a possible controversial mission.
First reported on by Kotaku, Ready or Not split ways in a mutually agreed-upon arrangement. While the announcement of the split doesn’t contain specifics about the reasons for the break, a recent comment from a Ready or Not developer on Reddit may explain why publisher Team17 decided to part ways with VOID Interactive, the studio behind Ready or Not.
The Reddit post in question was published by u/Busterbroin, who asked whether Ready or Not would feature a school shooter mission. A comment from a developer going by the screen name Gruntr, which has since been removed from the post by a moderator, affirmed that there would indeed be such a mission. The comment read “you better believe it’s gonna,” more or less confirming that something to that effect is planned, if not currently in the works.
Responses on the subreddit have mostly been positive about the depiction of a school shooting, many drawing comparisons to Modern Warfare 2’s controversial mission “No Russian,” which depicts a mass shooting at an airport that players are able – though not encouraged – to take part in. More broadly, the response has been far less positive, as many believe that putting a school shooting in a video game, even as a hero, is taking things too far.
School shootings have haunted the United States for decades, becoming a hot-button topic for discussion as more incidents occur. America’s rate of gun violence far exceeds the rest of the developed world’s according to data published by the BBC, a fact that has kept the country divided over the topic of gun control. With school shootings being an all too common occurrence, it’s an issue that many feel shouldn’t be depicted in entertainment.
VOID Interactive is now independently developing Ready or Not, so the content contained within is fully up to the studio. It’s controversial, though the possibility of depicting a school shooting doesn’t appear to be having an effect on its reception. That may change when the level is added, though.
Ready or Not is available now on PC.
Source: Kotaku, Reddit, BBC