Tag Archives: S2 Games

If you thought S2's racist CEO was bad enough, wait until you see their community.

[Trigger warnings for extreme racism]

A few days ago, I mentioned how the CEO of S2 games seems to be a blatant racist, some people who see this information, react with a “who cares” attitude, as if the behaviour of the most important person in the company doesn’t affect anything else. Well, today I noticed a thread on the Heroes of Newerth fora, titled “This game needs a black hero” and I pretty much expected what I found inside. You can take a look for yourself but I’ll post some of the “best” comments to give you an example (and in case the whole thread is taken down)

Definitely Black: , and Kongor

Probably Black:

Black because they’re in the jungle:

Problem OP?

The small images here repressent different heroes. you can probably distinguish the “race” of each if you look closely1. The last hero on the top row is an anthropomorphic simian and “Krongor” refers to the “Big Boss” of the game who is a huge gorilla. I shouldn’t really need explain this.


Looks like some kind of ape and he always steals my kills….

Self explanatory

No thanks. I don’t like heroes with base speeds of 375.

But it would be balanced because the base int and int gain per level would be extremely small.

Again, pretty explanatory (“int” refers to “intelligence”)

If Empath isnt a negro, I dont know what to say.

For reference, this is what Empath looks like.

Whoever the new black hero/alt avatar is, he or she will be the bloodlust kill every single game.

Ha ha. Get it? Because the token black guy always dies first.

A true black hero?He would need shitty skills, and be totally worthless for a team, kinda like gladiator, succubus noobs, blood hunter Brazilians.

His skills and name would of course be somewhat along the lines of

Blackster

1. Poor- Blackster is from the inner city and gets no clothes until he levels this skill up, clothes grant him extra attack damage to creeps.
2. Jump- Blackster is able to jump huge lengths at a time, does no damage, and has a %chance to twist his ankle.
3. Blackwalk- everyone knows black people walk slow as **** for some reason, probably to piss white people off, Blackster can enable blackwalk to move 150ms slower and take 50% reduced damage for 4 seconds.
4. ULTIMATE ABILITY- RACK EM’- Blackster breaks into song and dance also known as the Funky Chicken, he becomes intoxicated and flops around helplessly damaging nearby enemies with holy spirit spit.

Wow, just…wow.

they play the most important role in hon already, they dont need a hero(arguably they already have some)

try playing a game without a courier and see how far it gets you

The “courrier” is a little monkey that you buy from the shop and it serves to bring you items you buy in the map.

Honourary mention:

Game needs a kitchen for all you ladies.

Because what would the HoN community be without at least some explicit sexism.

And then of course, we have the vigilant underdog fighting against political correctness.

The multicult is never satisfied, S2. If you added a black hero who fit in the game, he wouldn’t be black enough. If you added a black-enough hero, he would ‘racist’ and stereotypical. If you carefully added a Black Superstar who is acceptably not black enough, you would now a ratio of 1:hero-count, and the multicult will complain about tokenism. If you added black alts and voices for every single human hero, you would have trolling uses of these alts, the alts would have to be free, you would be racists for defaulting to not-black.

Slam the door in the face of this proposal, at least internally, or you’ll never hear the end of it. The most rabid will already be turned away by screencaps of Maliken’s ‘racism’. The real thorn in the paw of the multicult isn’t that you don’t have black heroes, but that you have any heroes who are white, and you neither can nor want to ‘fix’ that.

You know, because respect and repressentation of other cultures, skin types, and genders/sexualities is a slippery slope…or something. Those “multiculturalists” will never be content until the white race is extunguished. White Pride!

Oh sorry, I got carried over in my in-character sarcasm there…

Some egregious comments have been deleted now that I’ve reported them, several hours later after they were posted. Unfortunately, my comment calling out people on their racism and S2 for tolerating it has also been deleted. And naturally, the reactionary bullshit is still there, as are much of the egregious racist filth that I didn’t have time to report yet. So S2 is just doing the bare minimum on this issue, putting more effort into avoiding any criticism of themselves (they’ve naturally deleted any mention of Maliken’s racism), than preventing racist shit from fermenting in their fora.

The kind of filth posted in there rivals the bigotry one finds in 4chan boards but from what I’ve seen, it’s par for the course given the nature of S2 senior staff, the people they try to market to, and the environment they foster through their (lack of) moderation practices and implicit support.

Honestly, I can’t recommend this game to anyone anymore. If you are not a straight white cis male without disabilities, you will be insulted and marginalized routinely. You will be reminded constantly that most other players of HoN consider you a sub-human, while S2 will  ignore you at best, or join in the denigration at worst. You have been warned.

  1. if you can’t see, it’s not really that important, they’re all obviously caucasian except the last one []

Some reactions from HoN neckbeards. Racist Apologia Gallore!

Racism happens ALL THE TIME. it's just that people are making a huge deal about it because it's S2 So my post about the racist CEO of S2 Games grabbed the attention of a lot of people in /r/Heroesofnewerth. Unfortunately, the reactionaries had by far the upper hand in the comments, forcing most of my comments to be downvoted to oblivion. The amount of racist and sexist apologia there was stupefying and betrays the classic shitty consistency of the HoN community. Below I’ve gathered some choice comments of the ShitRedditSaid for your enjoyment. I’ve compiled comments from the three threads on the subject. [1], [2], [3]

First of all, the argument that was repeated in some form over 9000 times: “He didn’t really mean it!”

EDIT: I also think maybe it’s worth acknowledging that using a racial slur, and being a racist, are two entirely different things altogether. Using a racial slur in a derogatory way is something entirely dependent upon context, that is, it must be used with intent and directed at somebody who can be demeaned by it, to be an act of hatred. Saying nigger, or kike, or spic, or any of these words, without context, and without this intent, is not a locutionary act worthy of being called a racist act, I think.

Now you know people, feel free to start calling black people “niggers”. If you really really don’t mean that they are an inferior race, it’s OK.

Racist? What has he done to suggest he’s racist?

NIGGER NIGGER NIGGER

There, I said that, does that automatically mean I think black people are genetically inferior to white people?

This is sensationalist bullshit.

People on the internet say shit like queer, nigger, fag, cunt, whatever; all the time. It doesn’t mean they’re homophobes, racists, or misogynists.

Ooh, that reminds me…

b.) Are you a minority or something man? I’m Hispanic too, and apparently we were raised differently. Everyone calls us spics and wetbacks all the time dude, they’re just words man. Half of the time, they don’t even mean what they say. Maliken calls this guy a nigger, does he really think that dude’s black? Or has nigger just become another insult in videogames like faggot and cocksucker.

Ah, another topic I need to write about. Apparently some think that because the insult has been trivialised by bigots, it’s not bigoted to use it anymore. And this is so frustratingly common too…

So when fighting the war against racism, fight the war against actual prejudice and actual discrimination. Don’t fight the war against people using words they don’t actually mean… fight a war against people using racist words when they do mean them.

Because, we all know that intent is fucking magic. (Funny trivia, the last comment was an actual response to the post I just linked)

And then, there is the “don’t you have more important things to talk about?” derailment.

As long as they dont fund or support gay bashing or hate crimes then who fucking cares? Chik Fil A funds groups who are anti-gay so I don’t eat there. S2 has an employee who is a nerd rager. Big difference.

Because racism is just about curbstomping PoC (or funding curbstomping groups) amirite?

Besides, the company could be doing much worse things, as I’m sure you know dbzer0. I prefer minor racism from the founder to Valve’s destruction of the concept of owning your games.

The comparison of implicit support for systematic racial oppression with questionable business practices is what really got me.

Precisely! These are the real concerns, not bullshit like him being a racist or homophobe.

That was in reply to someone reminding them that Maliken also abused his powers. That’s the big issue here people, not racism!

That’s true, I guess you and ysondre are both right. Raging is fine, racial slurs..meh internet. But banning someone to cover it up afterwards is just dirty. And I guess you’re right that it does drive people away from S2, and thus the success of S2. Mali’s a lil bitch.

Same as above, but more cringe-worthy (emphasis mine).

There’s the all too favourite: “We’re all racists anyway”

It’s not a false dichotomy. We are all racists in some way, but I don’t shun you because you’re not a perfect person. Obviously Maliken’s behavior is inexcusable in polite society, but out of all the bad things he could be doing, calling someone a few objectionable names in a game famous, rightly or wrongly, for its rage levels, is not really that severe.

Fuck you, speak for yourself.

Everybody on this planet is racist in some minor way or subconsciously, sorry you can’t defy human nature and you weren’t born color blind.

Fuck you, speak for yourself!

Right. So let me ask you this. In the middle of the night would you be more afraid if a black man in a hoodie and sweatpants came walking down a dark alley you were in or a White man/Asian man? Yeah…I thought so.

FUCK YOU, SPEAK FOR YOURSELF!

Of course, many were stumped on why we cared so much about racism.

Some asshole was being a douche so he was trolled by Maliken? Unprofessional but I don’t really care. It’s their game, their servers. Be an asshole in the presence of the developers, what a great idea.

It’s like hating a band because the lead singer punched out a drunk that got on stage. As if a single player can have any affect on my overall gaming experience.

Yep, like hating on a band alright…

99% of the HoN community is like this. Why do we care if Maliken does it?

Why indeed.

I’m pretty aware, i don’t care and i also find it amusing. I’d rather have a game developer that plays his game and is on the same mindset as 99% of the community.

Racism is amusing y’all!

Like… what does it even matter…

It seems like all people really want is for each member of the S2 staff to have a secret subaccount

Yes. That’s why people are annoyed. Damn those smurf accounts…

Racism happens ALL THE TIME, it’s just that people are making a huge deal about it because it’s S2. I really don’t see the rage about this, their job is to make video games, what they say in games is their own business.

That being said, stay classy, S2.

Racism is normal, people, why do you make such a big deal out of it?

I agree. People care way too much about this. I’m all for equal rights for everybody regardless of race, sexual orientation, gender, etc, but damn if you can’t have some fun.

Wait, wat?

And finally, honorary mention for the “But they make good games, so it’s OK” argument.

You are trying to take down an indie video game company. 😐

Because we all know that being indie absolves one from all bigotry.

I don’t really care. S2, founded by Maliken, makes good games. Having an abusive founder is pretty minor. He misuses his power once and there’s this huge of a furor? If he’s going to mismanage his company he can do it himself. I don’t need to help him along in his demise, which I don’t actually think will be coming; he must be somehow competent, considering that S2 has released three very good games.

Combining the “I don’t care” for a two hit combo. He proceeds to make a “Don’t you have more important things to talk about?”, and later on a “we’re all racists anyway” argument. Bingo!

It “doesn’t matter” because I don’t pay these people to not be racist.

It’s like how I don’t pay actors to not be against jews. It’s similar to how I don’t care that Britney Spears got married to whoever and is now pregnant.

If these S2 staffers were my personal friends, I’d care. If they were people who I paid to keep a good public image, I’d care. In this case, as far as I’m concerned, it’s just a bunch of random guys talking shit online. It doesn’t prevent them from making video games, and I don’t care what their personal beliefs are.

So unless we personally know the one being a bigot, we shouldn’t really mind. Got it.

Depressing ain’t it. Fortunately I wasn’t alone in the storm this time and there a few other voices speaking with me, but you just can’t get through the privilege denying white dudes like that. However this is a good example of the strong correlation between a game company with bigoted tendencies and the attitude of the people who play their games.

PS; Do make some privilege denying dudes out of these quotes and distribute them. Do it for the lulz.

The S2 Games CEO is a blatant racist?

S2 Games logo
Image via Wikipedia

I just saw this on reddit. Apparently the head honcho of S2 games (going by the alias of Maliken) has been outed as a racist with a trend of power abuse. The evidence is not certain but it is pretty damning.

  • This Teafragger character was playing with 4 other S2 employees but wasn’t an apparent S2 himself. That player has a history of playing with other S2 players, so it’s not a single coincidence of a pubbie.
  • His previous gaming stats were the same as Malikens (i.e. same choice of heroes)
  • Once he got upset by an opposing player, that player got mysteriously temp banned from the game.

Those by themselves are damning enough, buit the reaction of the company is the clincher. They have gone into full blown damage control. Threads mentioning this are being deleted. The name of the original player has been changed in the match stats. The Teafragger player has disappeared. It’s a fairly blatant attempt of DELETE FUCKING EVERYTHING!

Well, given their history of sexism, this isn’t such a great moral drop, but it is quite worrying that the manager of a whole gaming company would have no problems not only being a racist scumfuck, but use his power to cover up his tracks when he does. From what I saw before he’s fairly blatant in his homophobia as well so he seems to touch base on all bigotry.

Unfortunately given how this bigotry is not only tolerated by S2 staff, but actively perpetuated by their CEO, it’s no wonder that their community is full of the same bigotry. It’s fairly impossible to play Heroes of Newerth and not encounter insults (usually from teammates) that are at best ableist (“retard” or “tard” is extremely common) and at worst, racist (as you saw in the example above). S2 seems to be doing almost nothing about it and their “Report a Player” function seem to be kind of a joke as well (see second comment). Given the attitude from S2 senior staff themselves, this is not surprising.

At the moment, the only place you can discuss this is in reddit, given that threads on this subject are being deleted from their forums on-sight, so if you’re as dismayed by these acts as I am, come there to express it. I would also appreciate that you spread the news around, especially if you have any contacts within established gaming journalism. S2 needs to be called out on their shit and as long as it’s just a small subreddit that does it, S2 Games will ignore any dissent, delete all awareness in their own fora, and wait until the storm blows over. And then do it again and again. I hope we will not let this happen.

Aside from that, I’m seriously considering switching to DotA2 now because I refuse to support bigots. I don’t know if they will be better at it, but Valve has an OK history so I’m willing to take the chance. Sad things is that I am fairly happy with Heroes of Newerth as a game and wasn’t planning on switching, but I can’t just let this behaviour stand.

S2 Games continues to fall short on addressing their sexist tendencies.

Another Female Hero for Heroes of Newerth, another disappointment. True, at least this time it’s not straight up tittilation, I mean, she does wear pants at least…

Is it sad that one considers this an improvement?

Unfortunately either S2 didn’t listen, or they completely missed the point that several people raised. So I’m going to say it again, in the hopes that perhaps it will get through to someone (fat chance, I know).

Dear S2, the problem is not just that most of your females characters are little more than male tittilation, the problem is that apparently for you concept designers, a female cannot be an interesting character unless she is sexually appealing to a horny teenage male audience. Whereas your male heroes are kickass in their own right, whether they are human-looking or disgusting monstrocities, the overwhelming majority of your female characters, are presented as sexual fantasies.

Creativity in female design does not start and end with how much suggestive skin you’re showing. Start being as creative in your female characters as you are with males. As much as you don’t feel the need to make all your male characters show bare chests and wear strip thongs, so you shouldn’t feel the need to make all your females wear chainmail bikinis, have a supermodel’s looks, or have porn-star boobs.

tl;dr: More Wretched Hag and less Empath plz. kthxbai

So it seems S2 Games continues with the proud tradition of sexism in gaming

One of the things I liked in the MOBA game Heroes of Newerth is that it had some female heroes which were more than just cleavage and suggestive show of skin (even if those were never far away). The game was still as sexist as most others, what with a multitude of monstrous or fully clothed males and a minority of females, primarily fregile wizards and archers and overwhelmingly suggestive.

I wasn’t really paying a lot of attention to that until now however, and the reason why I started was when their latest hero was revealed in a leaked newsletter and her concept art looks like this:

A "Bikini" robe with patently ridiculous (for someone going into battle) beach panties

Now generally this is not something to get particularly worked up about. Just S2 Games caching on titillation for their primarily teenage/young adult audience. I was content to stay and perhaps argue a bit on the thread on reddit about how patently ridiculous this outfit and character is for the battlefield. However, others brought this issue up in the fora and against my better judgement, I felt compelled to leave a few comments and links there as well.

That went as well as one might expect, as the audience for which S2 is based on is rightly considered to make up the worst community of any game ever. And in one such community, sexism, homophobia and ableism are never below the surface but rather blaring in your face 24/7. So if you want to see the results and possible bash your heads against the keyboard as well ,because of the sheer stupidity and how much S2 will allow crass ableism and homophobia to shine in their official forums, go check them out.

Thread 1 | Thread 2 | Thread 3 (good points, see what replies it gets)

Of course, all the classic derailment and logical fallacies that one might expect have been presented and supported, at times by S2 staff themselves.Here’s some of the most common samples

  • “But every other game is doing it!” – Frequently used fallacy. Actually repeated by a couple of S2 staff. Most people outgrow this in kindergarten.
  • “Don’t you have more important things to worry about?”Classic Derailment
  • “The audience asked for more boobs, and we delivered” – FSM forbid that you might not indulge your audience’s sexism. Again, actually said by S2 staff.
  • “Sex Sells” – Yeah, for some reason I do not see an equal representation of “sex” for female and LGBT consumption…
  • “S2 is being sexist against males too!” – Repeated Ad Nauseum. Fortunately I only had to link here.
  • “U gay?” (In various expressions) – Not even worth a reply, but mentioned just for the sheer popularity of it.
  • “There’s not so many half-naked chicks and those that are, have a back story which explains why they need to be so.” – Against commonly used and I’m going to expand on this particular a bit more, with pictures, to show just how ridiculous it is.

Part of the last argument is to argue that compared to the overall cast (or other even more sexist games like League of Legends), the amount of “hot” female heroes are not a lot. This argument falls flat on its face when one does even a cursory look at the heroes cast.

  • There’s currently 74 heroes (including Empath)
  • Of these, only 13 (17%) are clearly females (There’s a bunch of characters that are not clear due to their form, but for most of those, their body type and voice pitch is also clearly male)
  • Of these 13, there is only 1 (7%) that is fully clothed (iirc it’s Wretched Hag for which I couldn’t find the concept art) which means showing no cleavage or trying to get some kind of sex appeal [EDIT: I might be wrong here, it may be the case that another hero is fully clothed, valkyrie, as a reddit commenter points out. I seem remember her model as not fully clothed however and I can’t find any official concept art]. All others, including the monstrous females, have a clearly feminine body displaying sexually appetizing forms. Yes, even the monstrous ones. Examples:

A ghost with appetizing cleavage. YumA spider-woman, who still retains a human belly and curves.

And these are the absolutely least sexy females one can find in the game mind you. There’s one more, Moon Queen, for which I don’t have a concept art but only the model, which seems even less suggestive than these, but I can’t tell if her human torso is naked or not.

  • Of the human-form females (in which I’m including “non-humans” who just have a pair of horns or wings to separate them), all of them are suggestive, by which I mean that cleavage and/or naked body/legs are shown. That’s 100%. And while some of them are acceptable (at least in concept, like Valkyrie), most others, by default are absurdly dressed, even for most other games’ standards. (Click for larger images)
Almost naked except for a strip of fabric covering her breasts, a g-string/loincloth on her legs and an absurd hat.
Ophelia is supposed to be one with the beasts and therefore needs to go butt-naked. Of course that means a beach-bikini style cloth and a supermodel body.
Blue skinned assasin female handling a scythe. Her hair and clothes are fading into smoke. She is wearing an elaborate bikini-mail
Fayde is supposed to be a shadow assassin, able to "fade out". I guess that means that anything other than mail bikini is faded out permanently.
A grey-skinned female notching an arrow and riding a skeletal beast powered by green energy. She is wearing practically nothing except a hood and some skeletal bone armor covering her breasts and back
One can only assume that the Forsaken Archer needs to armor towards her front, as she is always running away. Zing!

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Mind you, I am not cherry picking my examples, these are literally the only concept art I could find for the human heroes, with the exception of Valkyrie, which looks like this, which unfortunately does not accurately represent the actual model.

  • If we consider the characters that received an alternative model (through the goblin shop), things become even more sexist. You see, various male and female character are getting alternative models people can buy with real world money or by grinding the game’s currency. When a male gets an alternative male model, it always is something cool. Gladiator (a whip wielding hero) becomes Indiana Jones. Magmus (A burning rock hero) becomes a giant fire scorpion. Kraken (a water-based hero) becomes a giant crustacean.

    But when males become females, or females get an alternative female model, guess what it happens…They become sexier.You remember the spider woman before?

A spider-woman with 6 extra (non-used) legs on her back spread as wings, who still retains a human belly and curves.

Well, she becomes like this.

The spider-woman receives a supermodel body and a face.

And there’s also two male wizards, one of ice, and one of fire. Their transformation from male to female is kinda like this.

An ice-wizard, wearing a long blue robe covering his whole body
Normal for a wizard huh?
The female version of the fully clothed fire wizard. The red robe became a robe-bikini.
Apparently females in Newerth by default can only choose bikini-styled robes.

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Because everyone knows that women can’t compete with men on skill alone. They need to show some cleavage and supermodel looks in order to be their equals. Sigh. Now compare the females with the wide array of looks and builds for the male heroes of which most are not even remotely suggestive, even if they are nominally bare skinned (Because of course the trolls of the forum were all to eager to point to Kraken and complain that he’s too naked as a sarcastic counter-point). You’ve got fat heroes, truly monstrous males, disgusting males, macho males, punk males, mad males, sneaky males and so on, and most of these don’t even need to be remotely suggestive to a female audience to be liked.

And finally of course, the last ditch argument is that all those females are wearing bikinis because their story demands it. Ophelia is “one with the nature”. Nymphora is a nymph (and we all know how those dressed). Valkyrie is a Valkyrie (and Norse concept art shows them as wearing veils and bare breasted) and so on. This argument of course ignores some very important parts. First of all, Valkyries and Nymphs and other historical archetypes were not generally going into battles. When humans do go into battles, they are generally well armoured.

Secondly if all the concepts for your female heroes somehow end up requiring them to wear (chain mail) bikinis in battle, perhaps one should reconsider those concepts because as sure as fuck one can think concepts for heroes which do not end up with them being a titillation product. The fact that S2 seems to be able to think or or choose concepts which require suggestive females shows that their sexism starts from very early on in the design process.

It’s unfortunate that S2 is going this way, when practically both of their competitors are just trying to outdo each other on who can objectify females the most in their games. But I guess one shouldn’t expect better from them anyway given how they treat other similar subjects.

On a last note, I’m going to leave you with an image which shows how the HoN concept artists think of the females in the game. This doesn’t say much but it does display the mentality behind the designers of the game.

5 of the female characters of Heroes of Newerth. All of them showing ridiculous amount sof cleavage and gravity defying boobsTop right to bottom left
Top right to bottom left: Succubus, Ophelia, Andromeda, Dark Lady, Nymphora