Hotline Miami 2: Wrong Number developer Dennaton Games is currently reviewing a scene of sexual assault in the game after some early players rose concerns about its place in the top-down shooter.
"We were really sad that some people were so affected by it, because maybe they had been through something like that of their own," Dennaton Games' Dennis Wedin told Rock Paper Shotgun.
"Maybe they had a terrible experience of their own that was triggered by the game," he added. "That was not intentional at all. We didn't add the scene just to be controversial. There is a meaning to these two characters. There's a lot more to them than just this scene."
Wedin explained that the scene has been removed from the newest version of the Hotline Miami 2 demo while the developer works out a way to potentially alter its content.
"We're going to work with it, see if we can fix it," Wedin said. "You get a bigger picture when you play the whole game, which is lost in the demo of course."
Wedin added that a trend in horror movie remakes is for a new entry to "take the next step up" in terms of shocking content relative to the original just for the sake of drumming up controversy. This is not what Dennaton Games wants to do with Hotline Miami 2, Wedin said, noting that's why the sexual assault scene stops before it goes too far.
"So almost doing that with the illusion of an assault but then having the game stop you, that's us saying we're not going to go the whole way [toward that exploitative next step]," Wedin said. "That's not Hotline Miami. Some might think that would be the way for us to do the sequel. Like, 'OK, they did the violence. Now do sexual assault to be controversial.' That's not what we're about. So instead, it just stops."
Overall, Wedin said Dennaton Games is undecided about keeping the scene or cutting it. The studio will wait until it can gauge player reactions based on the context of the full game before making a decision, he said.
"We'll see. We're gonna see how people react to it when we test the whole game," Wedin said. "We'll get opinions and stuff like that. We'll see how we can present this in a good way, in a way that we want it to come across. Not just as provocative. That's not our meaning at all."
"I respect people's comments and the fact that people voiced them," he added. "That's how they feel. Our scene made them feel this way, so we have to think about why and if there's something we can do to make it better. I don't think it's right to just say, 'You're wrong. You're just looking at it wrong.' That's not the way to go."
Hotline Miami 2 will debut in 2014 first on the PlayStation 4 and PlayStation Vita.