“Decensor” mod restores Guilty Gear Strive’s original China-related lore entry

Technology

A modder has restored Guilty Gear Strive’s original China-related lore entry following a backlash to developer Arc System Works’ decision to stealth remove it.

As Eurogamer reported last week, a recent Guilty Gear Strive patch stealth removed reference to Uyghur, Tibet and Taiwan in a China-related lore entry.

Neither Guilty Gear Strive publisher Bandai Namco nor developer Arc System Works have commented, despite repeated requests from Eurogamer.

Strive includes an in-game glossary, which itself includes a large number of lore entries to help players understand its convoluted backstory.

The lore entry in question, “International affairs after the Crusades”, originally mentioned Korea, Taiwan and Singapore, and Uygher, Tibet, Inner Mongolia, Mongolia and Siberia in its text.

Two sentences were altered. Here’s the first in original form:

“Countries that had high population density and tended to import their foods, such as Korea, Taiwan and Singapore could not solve their nation’s problems with the availability of energy alone.”

This became:

“Countries that had high population density and tended to import their foods could not solve their nation’s problems with the availability of energy alone.”

The second sentence in question was originally:

“China has further expanded their borders to encompass Uygher, Tibet, Inner Mongolia, Mongolia and Siberia – regions with lower populations but a lot of natural resources.”

This became:

“The Federation of China has further expanded their borders to encompass nearby regions with lower populations but a lot of natural resources.”

Without comment from publisher or developer it’s impossible to know the true reason for the change, but many have suggested it was influenced by the Chinese market.

As Chris Tapsell reported as part of Eurogamer’s sweeping investigation, Video games in China: beyond the great firewall, under Chinese law, video games can’t contain anything that “threatens China’s national unity, sovereignty, or territorial integrity”, harm “the nation’s reputation, security or interests” or include anything that “harms public ethics” or China’s “culture and traditions”.

Why these countries specifically? China has been accused of committing crimes against humanity and possibly genocide against the Uyghur population. China has also been accused of “coercing” hundreds of thousands of people in Tibet into military-style training centres. And the Chinese government sees Taiwan as a breakaway province that will, eventually, be part of the country again, whereas many Taiwanese disagree.

Now, a modder known as KingKrouch has stepped in. Their mod restores the original log in Guilty Gear’s glossary, including the mention of Uyghur, Tibet and Taiwan.

The “GG-World Log 311 Decensor” mod is “for those who pre-ordered the game and already played enough to where they can’t refund it to protest against corporations that support the human rights violations and colonisation that the P.R.C has been doing”, KingKrouch wrote in accompanying text.