ATLANTA, VANCOUVER, Dec. 9, 2019 -- DriveThruRPG -- Last week, while most of our staff were heading to the PAX show, a customer reported a title on our store, citing inappropriate content. The title was a short RPG wherein players are meant to assume the role of police officers who harass innocent victims such as “person of color” and “queer person.”
The work in question was arguably satirical, its author perhaps attempting to make a statement against police corruption; however, our initial review determined that the work warranted a more considered review. A game that has players take the role of police oppressing minorities simply warranted more than a quick look. So, as is our policy in such a situation, we suspended the title from public sale until all of our staff could return from PAX and we could then review the work more carefully. In the interim, we notified the publisher that the title was being temporarily suspended for internal review.
Over the weekend during the PAX show, the publisher then undertook a number of questionable actions, including deactivating their other titles and then using DriveThruRPG tools to email prior customers messages falsely blaming DriveThruRPG for having removed those titles.
The publisher also made use of a tool that allows publishers to customize the appearance of their storefront page on DriveThruRPG; with this tool, the publisher created a false version of events, making it seem as though DriveThruRPG had banned the publisher, and then posted a screenclip of that falsified message in several places online. The clear intent of the publisher was to create outrage against DriveThruRPG. It is difficult to see this series of actions as anything but slander.
Screenshot of the error message created by the publisher that spread on social media
|Screenshot of publisher's category header tool (through Manage Publisher Page) showing the message in an editable text box.|
We do not want to work with any creator who uses our platform to falsify reports against others, nor do we want to maintain a relationship with anyone who undermines the integrity of public discussion in the hobby. As a result of this publisher’s slanderous actions against us, we have decided to stop doing any business with the publisher. DriveThruRPG celebrates and supports difference. We believe that a variety of opinions, beliefs, and lifestyles, as expressed both among our customers and publishers and within the titles we carry, is the sign of a healthy hobby and a healthy society.