Horizon Forbidden West Dev Says It's "Pretty Easy To Ignore" Negative Backlash
Narrative director Ben McCaw accepts valid criticism but will ignore the "blatant negativity."
Horizon Forbidden West's narrative director Ben McCaw and lead writer Annie Kitain have responded to the negative backlash regarding Aloy and Seyka's romantic relationship in the Burning Shores DLC.
In a recent interview with VGC, McCaw and Kitain discussed the release of its Burning Shores DLC, which continued Aloy's story and introduced a new region to explore and characters to meet. One of those characters is Seyka, who goes on to become a major character in Aloy's journey, and by the end of Burning Shores, their relationship had blossomed resulting in an optional kiss between the two.
While there was positivity around the inclusion, the kiss also came with online homophobic backlash, as well as review bombing of the game on Metacritic. When asked how the developers personally reacted to the negativity, Kitain said, "We’re always looking to make something that’s compelling, something that’s emotionally engaging, so for people who have actually played the game, we were always interested in hearing about those experiences and those thoughts and feedback.
"But for people who didn’t play the game, or who are just trying to be negative online, we find that pretty easy to ignore."
McCaw went on to say that the team loves getting feedback from the fans, as well as constructive criticism in regards to any aspect of the game, but "when there’s just this kind of blatant negativity, I personally find it pretty easy to just compartmentalize and realize that this is a mindset I can never really jive with, and that sort of thing."
"But overall, we’re just enormously pleased with the reaction, because I feel like when we’re making this, we worry over every detail, and then to see that we’re getting such a positive reaction is really great," he added.
Horizon Forbidden West: Burning Shores launched on April 19 for PS5. Guerrilla has confirmed that a new game in the series is already in development and will once again star Aloy.