Monster Hunter: World is getting review-bombed on Steam over a racist joke in the Monster Hunter movie.
The Paul W. S. Anderson-directed Monster Hunter movie launched in China this week - and it has not gone down well there.
Niko Partners analyst Daniel Ahmad tweeted a clip of the movie that shows an American soldier ask another American soldier: "What are my knees?... What kind of knees are these?... Chi-knees."
Ahmad points out the joke is being linked to the phrase "Chinese, Japanese, dirty knees - look at these?", which has been called a racist playground chant in English-speaking countries used to mock children of Asian origin.
According to Ahmad, the subtitles mention a Chinese idiom as the joke is spoken in English. Rather than slip through unnoticed, this difference has just contributed to the controversy, Ahmad points out.
In China, Monster Hunter developer Capcom was forced to issue a statement on Weibo distancing itself from the movie, saying it was the work of "different companies", and that it had reported the feedback to the movie makers.
However, as has been pointed out by fans, Capcom recently launched a Monster Hunter movie crossover with Monster Hunter World: Iceborne, adding film star Milla Jovovich's Artemis as a playable character in the game. Artemis is even voiced by Milla Jovovich herself.
Unconfirmed reports suggest the movie is being pulled and recut to remove the offensive clip before being re-released.
Meanwhile, Monster Hunter: World is being review-bombed on Steam in response to the movie. The game suffered over 1000 negative reviews on 4th December, and so far today, 5th December, it's had over 500. Almost all mention the clip from the movie, but there's a lot of awful racism in there. It's a big old mess.
The Monster Hunter movie was set for a 4th December UK release but was delayed as a result of the coronavirus pandemic. It's now due out during the first quarter of 2021. I suspect when Monster Hunter finally launches in the west, it'll do so without this "joke".