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CD Projekt Red Dev Gets Bullied Into Changing Stance On Yasuke

The Silencing of Dissent in the AAA Gaming Industry: The Case of Michal Kalisz and Assassin's Creed

The gaming industry, particularly within the realm of AAA development, has been renowned for its creativity, innovation, and ability to transport players to fantastical worlds for decades now. However, beneath this veneer of imagination and freedom lies a pervasive culture of conformity and fear, where expressing dissenting opinions can lead to professional peril.

The recent experience of Michal Kalisz, a Senior Lead 3D Weapons Artist at CD PROJEKT RED, underscores the immense pressure developers face to align with the dominant narrative or risk being ostracized.

Kalisz, who is known on social media as @veezen3d, initially voiced concerns about Ubisoft's upcoming title, Assassin's Creed Shadow. He tweeted:

"The concerns and criticism around Assassin’s Creed Shadow are valid and I personally think it might disrespect Japanese culture with the provided historical inaccuracy. People, especially Japanese people, have full right to oppose trends like this."

His statement echoed a sentiment shared by many fans and critics who felt that the game's portrayal of Japanese culture and history was problematic.

However, the response to Kalisz's tweet was hit with the hate mob. The backlash he faced from industry peers forced him to retract his statement. In a follow-up tweet, Kalisz apologized and expressed that he was not qualified to discuss such topics, stating:

"I've noticed criticism regarding my recent comment about AC Shadows. After reflecting on it and reading your responses/retweets, I realize I owe you an apology. First of all, I acknowledge that I am not qualified to share statements or discuss such topics. Your feedback has highlighted the importance of being more informed and respectful in my opinions."

This abrupt shift in stance raises significant concerns about the environment within the AAA gaming industry. Kalisz's initial comments were measured and respectful, highlighting a valid issue of cultural representation.

Yet, the pressure he faced to conform suggests that developers are not free to express their opinions, especially if those opinions deviate from the prevailing industry sentiment.

The silencing of Kalisz did not stop there. When asked by another user, Elcs_Gaming,

"How is Yasuke inaccurate though?"

Kalisz replied:

"Because there is not enough good historical proof or sources that he was samurai"

This response, grounded in historical fact, was also met with criticism, pushing Kalisz further into a corner where he felt compelled to self-censor...

The interaction between Kalisz and Krausser12577 further highlights the issue. Krausser12577 expressed gratitude for Kalisz's courage to speak out, to which Kalisz responded with caution:

"Don't treat my words like oracle; I'm speaking for myself 🙏 I'm not sure I'm the right person to discuss this, nor does this issue affect me directly, but I see that some people might felt disrespected."

Kalisz's experience is not an isolated incident. Many developers within the AAA industry face similar pressures. Speaking out against popular opinions or questioning the direction of major projects can result in professional consequences, ranging from social media backlash to potential job loss.

This culture of fear stifles creativity and discourages open dialogue, ultimately hindering the industry's growth and evolution. Since researching this information, Michal has now taken his Twitter account private, as I could only presume in the best interest of not being written up at work for having an opinion. YIKES.

The case of Michal Kalisz serves as a harsh reminder of the need for greater freedom of expression within the gaming industry. Developers should feel empowered to share their perspectives without fear of retribution on BOTH sides of an issue. Only through open and honest dialogue can the industry continue to thrive and create truly innovative and respectful content.

The modern-day silencing of opinions in the AAA gaming industry is a troubling trend that needs to be addressed. The industry must foster an environment where diverse viewpoints are welcomed and respected, ensuring that the voices of those who create these incredible worlds are heard and valued.



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