Paradox Interactive has pulled a Stellaris mod from Steam, amidst concerns that it promotes racism.
The “European Phenotype and Names Only (White Humans)” mod removes all non-white human characters from the game. By default, Humans in Stellaris are represented by a diverse mix of races and skin colors.
The mod’s description simply read “no multiculturalism here” – a statement which, Paradox says, made it clear that the mod was created with a particular political agenda in mind.
Paradox COO, Suzanne Meza Graham, took to Twitter to explain the reasoning behind the mod’s removal.
“We have a few rules of conduct that have been in effect for the better part of a decade where racial slurs, among other things, are not allowed,” explained Graham. “We interpreted this particular mod as breaking those rules of conduct, however it would appear that the comments surrounding the mod, rather than the mod itself, were the biggest problem.
“We welcome everyone to create all kind of mods for us as long as they comply with our rules of conduct and we expect our modders to help us keep the comment sections free of any racial slurs or other things that do not comply with these same codes.”
Her words suggest that it isn’t the content of the mod that is necessarily the problem, but rather the intent behind it, as expressed in the mod’s description.
Despite the mod’s removal from Steam, it continues to be available for download via popular Modding site ModDB.
Graham has confirmed that Paradox is also currently investigating a second mod titled “Separate Human Phenotypes”, which splits Humans into four different races separated by skin color.