3. Transphobic Content - Ion Fury
You can probably imagine where some of the controversy arose with this one.
Ion Fury was developed by Voidpoint and published by 3D Realms in 2019 as a prequel to the 2016 release, Bombshell. A cyberpunk-themed first person shooter, the game won a Player's Choice Indie of the Year at IndieDB in 2019 and received a series of pretty solid ratings upon release thanks to its Doom-esque look and slick controls. Metacritic gave it a score of 78/100 and PCGamesN's Chris Capel called it "probably the best Build engine game ever".
Despite all of its promise however, Ion Fury was blasted away by a plethora of controversies before it was even launched.
The game was subjected to intense scrutiny following the leaking of Discord conversations between developers who were overheard making trans and homophobic remarks. This forced 3D Realms into an apology, donating $10,000 of sales to the Trevor Project, as well as going back to the game and removing two lines of dialogue that implied a similar sort of offensive speak. They beared the brunt of criticism from fans and critics on all sides of the debacle.
This undoubtedly cast a black cloud over the release of the game, putting plenty off. However, the revelation that only one of these offensive snippets had been removed by the developers firmly buried Ion Fury's chances of being a mainstream success.
On top of this, the famous rock band Iron Maiden took issue with the game's original name, 'Ion Maiden' and the striking similarities between it and the game 'Iron Maiden: Legacy of the Beast', and filed a lawsuit against the developers.
The lawsuit would cost the company over $2 million and led to the game being given the name it has today.