The producer of Resident Evil 5 has insisted that no changes were made to the horror game after accusations of racism were levelled at Capcom for its portrayal of black Africans in a trailer.
Speaking in an interview with Eurogamer TV earlier this month, Masachika Kawata said: "I don't recall modifying the game in any way after the controversy of racism." Kawata-san reiterated that the team had been taken aback by the reaction, adding: "Actually it was a little bit of a surprise for us as obviously the game is set in Africa and so depicting native Africans was a natural thing to do."
With the game exactly a month away from release, the producer, who was answering through a Capcom translator, argued that criticisms had faded after more of the game was revealed to the public.
"One thing I remember is that after the introduction of the character Sheva, who is half-African, half-European, everything died down and we're quite happy with that," he said.
The row erupted following the release of the E3 2007 trailer, which prompted fierce debate about the implications of the imagery Capcom had used. Newsweek's N'Gai Croal brought widespread attention to the issue during an interview last year, which prompted Capcom to speak out in defence of its title.
You can watch the full interview with Masachika Kawata over on Eurogamer TV. And you can read our own take on whether the final game is likely to put to bed, or inflame further, the controversy.
Resident Evil 5 hits PlayStation 3 and Xbox 360 on 13th March.