Devolver Digital and Gamepires have removed Nazi-related tattoos from prison survival game, Scum, just days after it came out of Early Access.
Assets made available via Scum Supporter Pack DLC gave players the chance to further customise their characters with tattoos. Whilst based on real-life convict inking, the publisher states it was not aware that some of the designs - such as the numbers "14" and "88", and the iron cross - are frequently utilised by neo-Nazi groups.
In a statement to Polygon, publisher Devolver Digital said it did "not agree with use of this symbology or any hateful content, regardless of intention" and while "the use of the tattoo was intended to assist in portraying a realistic element of prison culture and the horrid elements within it [...] this content has been patched out".
Devolver further added that it apologised "unreservedly" and will be conducting "a full review of all assets and content in the game with Gamepires".
The developer itself, Gamepires, added: "Recently we patched out content from Scum that included neo-Nazi symbols. Our intention was to create an atmosphere of the worst of the worst criminals in Scum, and to portray the horrible type of people who would find themselves in a 'fight to the death' situation for a futuristic reality show where the worst criminals are pitted against one another.
"Since our initial response on our forums we've discussed this as a team and with our publisher and agree wholeheartedly that this content was unnecessary, should not have been included, and have removed it. We apologize for this misstep and promise to our fans that we will take more caution in our approach moving forward."
Taking to the Scum community pages on Reddit, some players have reported their dismay at the decision, suggesting that as the game is about prison life and not "cool carebears and hippies", the tattoos, in context, add a layer of realism to the gritty survival game.
"Nazis suck, but this is a prison game," said one Redditor. "The Aryan Brotherhood exists, and not having such people present in the game would just be jarring, especially if there are other gang-related symbols and groups within the game."
In other Scum news, the developer has now rolled out Anticheat, promising it will "continue to upgrade it, and keep SCUM as cheat free as possible".