The Developers Behind Medieval Hack ‘N Slash Game Mordhau Hope To Get Over Racism, Sexism Controversy

The Developers Behind Medieval Hack ‘N Slash Game Mordhau Hope To Get Over Racism, Sexism Controversy
Credit: Triternion via YouTube

The developers behind popular medieval hack and slash game, Mordhau, were accused of racism and sexism this week after it was revealed they had plans for a ‘toggle’ feature that would disable female and non-white characters. In the same report, the team winded up exacerbating that controversy when they showed a complete lack of concern about the community’s toxicity.

Mordhau‘s developers at Triternion later released a statement saying the ‘toggle’ had been discussed only as an option for female characters and not for non-white characters. Furthermore, they claim the team decided not to implement the toggle feature because it would have affected character customization.

Triternion’s statement is surprising because the team only has 11-members. Two of whom were unaware of the rejection of the in-game toggle feature when they made their initial comments to PCGamer.

The toggle likely would not have been as serious of a concern had it not also come out that the Mordhau community was rife with racist sentiment and toxicity. In one instance, the community had a forum thread titled, “Post your kniggas,” where players would post pictures of their characters. The popular thread had been up since 2017 at the time. Developers were not concerned.

“It is one of our longest and oldest… [and] among the most active threads on our forum,” said Andrew Greach, a developer at Triternon, to PCGamer.

The news about the forum also came with several claims about individuals being racist or sexist without being immediately banned.

A tweet from Triternion’s official Mordhau account said they would like to clean-up the racial slurs both in-game and on their forum but unfortunately lacked the human resources to do so. Due to their small staff, the group needed every hand to focus on development.

While Triternion might be serious about their disdain for racism and sexism, their lackadaisical approach to community moderation is actually what is at issue in this controversy.

For instance, Mordhau does not have chat filtering or an auto-moderation system in place. Instead, players can only mute other players or take a screenshot to send to the development team manually. Staff at Triternion originally suggested that they prefer it like that—”…people might say we’re censoring,” said artist Mike Desrosiers. “So we’d rather put the power in the player’s hands.”

Triternion’s cavalier attitude, along with the clear evidence of Mordhau‘s toxic community—like the “Post your kniggas” thread that has been around since 2017—is precisely why the recent uproar is likely not going away anytime soon.