Wargroove developer Chucklefish has issued an apology after receiving criticism for whitewashing its cast of characters from the strategy military sim. The developer says that it will aim to do better in the future.In November, Wargroove revealed the voice cast for its upcoming DLC pack ‘Double Trouble.’ There will be four new commanding officers in the DLC, three of whom are people of color. However, the three characters in question are all voiced by white voice actors.
Although the announcement was made nearly a month ago, the issue only really came to a head in the last 24 hours. Now, Chucklefish issued a statement on Twitter that explained how the situation around the casting came about, and a promise to do better in the future.
Thank you for your feedback everybody. We have an update here: pic.twitter.com/qM4eY4HrL8
— ⚔️ Wargroove (@WargrooveGame) December 6, 2019
“We want to be honest about what happened,” Chucklefish writes in a statement published on Twitter. “During our casting process we knew that we didn’t want our own unconscious biases to impact who we hired to work on Wargroove.”
Chucklefish said that it attempted to combat this by working with an external casting management team, and also that the developers made an effort to not look at actor “profiles, back catalogs, headshots, etc.”
However, these efforts ultimately resulted in an all-white cast for the DLC characters.
Chucklefish acknowledged that posting photos of its voice cast next to characters of color “without acknowledgment of the systemic problem of representation in the industry was insensitive and poorly communicated.”
“We sincerely apologize for the harm we have caused. We will be more sensitive in our future casting decisions and will continue to support the work of all those pushing for better representation fo people of color in the industry.”
The discussion around casting people of color in acting roles is nuanced. In recent years, there has been a push for color-conscious casting versus colorblind casting, and this isn’t the first time this conversation arose in the video game industry.
In 2015, Naughty Dog was criticized for casting white voice actor Laura Bailey as a black, South African character named Nadine Ross. Director Neil Druckmann defended the decision during a panel as reported by Kotaku.
Wargroove’s Double Trouble DLC doesn’t have a release date yet, but you can read our previous Wargroove coverage here.
Matt Kim is a reporter for IGN. You can reach him on Twitter.