Gamers review bomb Monster Hunter World on Steam over Monster Hunter film

    
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There’s a clip from the current Monster Hunter film that’s drawn a lot of ire particularly from Chinese audiences, which has resulted in some outcry aimed in the direction of Monster Hunter World.

In the scene (footage of which has since been taken down due to copyright), a soldier played by Asian-American actor and rapper Jin Au-Yeung yells to another soldier, “What are my knees? What kind of knees are these? Chi-knees!” This was taken to be a reference to an old racist playground rhyme as pointed out by Niko Partners senior analyst Daniel Ahmad. He further breaks the matter down in an expanded thread, which also points out that subtitles accompanying the scene exacerbated the situation, referencing a Chinese idiom about kneeling down and leading Chinese audiences to believe that the disconnect was intentional.

For the time being, the Monster Hunter film has been pulled from Chinese cinemas. According to reporting from Deadline, Tencent, the film’s distributor, is working with the Chinese government to remove the scene and bring the film back, while backlash over the scene is reportedly coming as a surprise to the makers of the film, particularly since all films are carefully scrutinized by the Chinese government before release.

Capcom has also issued a statement, effectively deferring to the producers of the film and distancing itself from the situation while also stating the company is aware of the matter — a reaction that some are considering to be hollow considering Monster Hunter World is running a collab event with the film.

All of this has resulted in Chinese players taking to the game’s Steam version, shellacking it with just over 1,000 negative reviews this past Friday. As of this writing, the review bombing appears to have abated somewhat, in part by positive reviews countering the negatives and wondering aloud why there’s a problem. Which, as Ahmad succinctly points out, is missing the point entirely.

sources: Twitter (1, 2) via Kotaku, Deadline, Steam
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Turing fail
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Turing fail

Truly stupid, when there are so many valid reasons to troll the People’s Republic of China- like for crushing democracy in Hong Kong and throwing their Muslim citizens in concentration camps.

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Oleg Chebeneev

priorities first

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Rndomuser

This is one of the reasons I don’t usually care for user reviews or any kind of reviews for games and prefer to play games myself or at the very least watch game being played on Twitch – there’s always a possibility of group of people getting outraged at something (regardless of what it is and how justifiable the outrage is) and bringing the game’s review score down, or boost the game review score because the game has expressed something in the way they liked (despite game being awful in every other way for other people).

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Grizzlolzchaos6969

How about bashing the director and the craptastic “ARTEMIS” main character that never existed until capcom decided to use the same crap tastic director and actor who ruined resident evil movies

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Bryan Correll

OK, I’m stumped trying to imagine the context where this line wouldn’t be stupid (even without the racism.)

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Schlag Sweetleaf

“What are my knees? What kind of knees are these? Chi-knees!”

godzilla face palm.jpg
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Kickstarter Donor
Java Jawa

wtf that’s psycho, other than name the two are different things

Leo
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Leo

this is definitely one of those ‘Why was this line in the movie in the first place? And how did no one, along the whole chain, take that line out of the movie?’

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Utakata

With this logic, if they left that Warcraft movie to the direction of Uwe Boll, it would of been the WoW killer. o.O

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Flávio Gomes

comparing bad film with xenophobia is very sad

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Utakata

I agree. Save for the fact no one was doing that here. Wrong thread? o.O

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SmiteDoctor

Why review bomb the game, the Devs didn’t make the movie; this just makes me have no respect over the issue.

Leo
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Leo

one of the reasons I have seen is that the game has cross-promotional content from the movie

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Leiloni

That doesn’t mean the game devs have to suffer for something movie producers did. It’s not fair to them.

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Tanek

The evidence of the past few years seems to indicate that game devs (especially at bigger companies) rarely benefit from a game’s financial success. It is the investors, the executives, the publishers who gain. Those also tend to be the people behind decisions like cross-promotions, PR, and covering their corporate backsides.

Plus, in a case like this, I’m not convinced review bombing will have a wholly negative effect on the game anyway. It gets the game in more press. the reasons for the reviews are known and it is not the game itself, and Steam has already put in place measures to mitigate the effect the spike will have (I’m going off past news here, I have not seen whether it is kicking in for this case).

All in all, the reviews might be one of the better ways to spread the news about this scene in the movie.

EmberStar
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EmberStar

Yes, Valve actually made quite a big deal about putting in a system where if The Algorithm sees an usual spike in reviews it will surpress *all* user reviews for a period that not only includes the spike, but a few days on either side to be sure they catch any outliers. Those will be entirely discarded for the “normal” score. There’s a checkbox somewhere that allows a user to opt in to seeing “unusual activity,” but even then it gives it a separate score with the note that “This game has unusual review activity. Here’s the “real” score, and here is the theoretical score if we included that anomaly, which we don’t.”

The “anomalous activity” won’t contribute to the game’s overall score, and won’t even be visible now after 30 days when it drops off the “recent reviews” feed.

Leo
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Leo

yeah I certainly do hope Valve goes through and deletes all those that are obviously not a review of the game, but the graph feature they now have is pretty handy to see when things are review bombed

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Arktouros

Often times simply expressing disgust at a terrible thing (and it is terrible) is not enough for some people. So they look back to fight the “good fight” in any way they can. Simply complaining is rarely rewarding in this scenario because at best you’re going to get some empty corporate messaging about how sorry they are. So often times people will do things like review bomb related products, promotional video content, and otherwise because it’s really all they can do.

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SmiteDoctor

Not a good way to earn respect and awareness though.

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Arktouros

They already achieved that however. Most people are “aware” that most things with racist origins are generally unwelcome. That’s why if you read the rest of the comments there’s bafflement at the idea that this could get through people reviewing it at Monster Hunter or through heavily controlled media policies from China. And immediately as a result they pulled the film and will make edits and of course the companies involved are all very sorry.

However people want more than that. They want the companies involved to be hurt for putting such things in their products. People can go to social media and complain but simply put that’s all really empty. You’re just another voice screaming into the void at a company who’s just going to apologize. However by going to user reviews and putting in negative reviews it has a more tangible feel to it. You can visibly see your anger and the anger of others as the scores plummet.

EmberStar
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EmberStar

The line itself is inherently stupid. Even if it was *just* stupid, it shouldn’t have been in the script. It should never have made it *onto* film, let alone *into* the film.

So yeah, the fact that the line is an issue in the first place seems to indicate that there’s a pretty major chain of lapsed judgement.

As someone who had been willing to wait and see about the quality of the movie though, this is helpful. It indicates that I would be completely wasting my time, because of someone thought *that line* was okay then the movie is clearly at the same level of “who the hell cares” quality control as “Attack of the Five-Headed Anglerfish!” (The even cheaper knockoff of “Attack of the Five-Headed Shark,” which doesn’t even have the tongue-in-cheek self awareness to cast Danny Trejo as some kind of bounty hunter to boop their cheap muppet of a monster prop in the snoot and say something badass.)

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Arktouros

I pretty much have zero expectations for any kind of transmedia productions. I also wouldn’t at all be surprised if someone told me this was some reference to a line from the original game made 16 years ago that’s no longer culturally appropriate. If you tell me a video game movie is terrible and full of bad writing and dialogue that’s just my expectation for it all. However I grew up with games like Duke Nukem 3D which probably would make some people’s heads’ explode (or at the very least get a bored, aloof reaction out of them).

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Greaterdivinity

Internet. Same reason people review bombed BL2 when BL3 came out on EGS, I imagine. People are righteously angry and they want to take out their righteous anger somewhere to “send a message” or something. I dunno, it all makes more sense when you’re righteously furious.

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Vanquesse V

This is a good reminder: Most internet trolls consider themselves holy warriors for a righteous cause. It’s the “we’re all protagonists in our own stories” of the Internet Age

ihatevnecks
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ihatevnecks

They don’t really care either way. If that character had just said the word “Taiwan” instead of making that stupidass racist joke, I guarantee you the outcome would have been the exact same.

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Vanquesse V

How else are they gonna get their voice heard?
And hopefully nobody cares more about the review scores than the owners of the franchise.
I get that it’s irrelevant to the game but if you want change it seems like a pretty good attack vector