Fortune’s Run: A Delayed Launch and Content Controversy

Fortune’s Run, an indie sci-fi FPS, has been highly anticipated by gamers despite mixed reviews of its demo. The game takes inspiration from popular titles such as Deus Ex and DOOM, offering players a thrilling experience of high-jumping, sword-wielding, and bullet-pumping action. In a world reminiscent of Dark Forces, players navigate through imperial bases and sewers, taking down pixelart sprites with precision parries, grabs, combos, headshots, and more. But Fortune’s Run offers more than just combat. Players can also engage in activities like basketball and leave messages for other players through a Dark Souls-style messaging system. With its unique blend of gameplay elements, Fortune’s Run promises to be an exciting adventure for gamers.

Originally scheduled for an early access release on Steam, Fortune’s Run faced an unexpected delay. The Valve testers responsible for approving games on the platform rejected the launch, much to the disappointment of the developers at Team Fortune. This rejection marked the third time the game failed to meet Valve’s standards. The initial setback occurred when testers couldn’t locate a specific combat level in the game. However, the developers quickly resolved this issue by providing console commands, resulting in a week’s delay. Unfortunately, Valve’s concerns extended beyond level design.

Controversy Over Content

The heart of the controversy surrounding Fortune’s Run lies in the game’s content warning for sexual assault. In a statement on the Steam page, Team Fortune explains that the protagonist’s journey is motivated by a past traumatic event involving sexual assault. In an effort to handle this sensitive subject appropriately, the developers included an in-game warning and an option for players to opt out of explicit references. These references include a sequence in the current early access build where the player witnesses the assault from a first-person perspective. The developers intentionally portrayed the scene as disgusting and revolting to condemn such acts rather than gratify or arouse players.

Valve’s Rejection and Developer Frustration

Team Fortune expressed disappointment with Valve’s rejection, as the company failed to acknowledge the developer’s intent behind the content warning. Valve deemed the depiction of sexual assault as insufficiently explicit to warrant such a warning, leading to another rejection of the game build. In response, Team Fortune made the difficult decision to remove the content warning entirely, despite believing it was the right thing to do. However, even without the warning, there is no guarantee that the build review will pass before the intended launch day.

As a small indie development team consisting of only two members, setbacks like this have significant consequences for Team Fortune. The developers have poured an enormous amount of effort into meeting deadlines, making delays particularly burdensome. In their statement, the team expressed their apologies for the delayed release and their hope that players will continue to support them throughout this challenging process. The situation highlights the immense pressures faced by indie developers working with larger platforms like Steam.

The controversy surrounding Fortune’s Run and Valve’s rejection of the game’s content warning aligns with Valve’s historically inconsistent approach to policing “adult” content on Steam. This situation is not an isolated incident but part of a broader pattern. Valve’s lack of clear guidelines regarding the handling of sensitive content has left developers uncertain about what is deemed acceptable on the platform. While Valve has made efforts to address community concerns and update its policies, instances like this demonstrate the ongoing challenges faced by developers when navigating the world of Steam.

Fortune’s Run, a highly anticipated indie sci-fi FPS, has faced a delayed launch on the Steam platform due to Valve’s rejection of the game’s content warning for sexual assault. Team Fortune, a small development team, has experienced significant setbacks and frustrations as they strive to meet Valve’s requirements. The situation highlights the challenges faced by indie developers working with larger platforms and raises questions about Valve’s approach to content policing. As players eagerly await the availability of Fortune’s Run, the controversy serves as a reminder of the complexities surrounding mature content in the gaming industry.


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