Friday, December 10, 2010

Heroes of Newerth Flamboyant Pack

Heroes of Newerth Flamboyant Pack

Kalamazoo, Michigan - Heroes of Newerth will be getting a huge update on December 13, 2010 with the HoN 2.0 patch. One of the new features introduced in Heroes of Newerth 2.0 is the custom announcer voice which can be bought at the new in-game shop. (List of features in HoN 2.0)

The flamboyant soundpack has raised a little bit of controversy fueled by Brian Crecente's article on Kotaku. on the HoN 2.0 Flamboyant Soundpack:

2 sides of the coin:
Paranoia's views:
I *get* that it’s supposed to be a joke but you know what? This is just puerile and insensitive. The whole announcer schtick was meant to humiliate and taunt the other player and then they also decided to use an effeminate male voice, rainbows, glitter and an oversexualized gay stereotype. Why not just call it the “faggot” pack instead of the flamboyant pack? It’s pretty clear what you’re trying to make fun of. Calling it flamboyant doesn’t hide anything.

In my head, this is really no better than them releasing an “Exotic” pack and having the announcer say “ROR YOU GOT OWNED” or “CHING CHONG CHANG MOTHER FU**A’” or having a “Negro” pack and having it play “Song of the South” clips then putting a sad black face versions onto the other person’s avatar. It’s the cheap, easy but insensitive laugh that just plays on outdated stereotypes and just pisses all over your minority fan base. As a gamer, it’s all too often an occurrence to be called “fag” or “gay” online as a synonym for being bad at a game and this just officially endorses that behavior. You have to draw the line somewhere and I draw it here. This is completely inappropriate for any modern game company.
Raiden's views:
I don’t really take much issue with this and I think we have to examine exactly what the product consists of. The “announcer packs” are in essence intended to be taunts – something designed to annoy a fellow player as they lose – and having listened to the brief sample, this particular pack consists of an overly affected and obnoxious voice, which in my estimation fulfils its purpose rather well. I personally would find it grating after around the third time of being subjected to it.

The next aspect, which seems to be the contentious one, is the choice of name, the “Flamboyant Pack.” The question I have to ask gay people who see this as a swipe at them, is when did we start defining ourselves as flamboyant? For a community as diverse as ours, why are we trying to take offence to something that we know not to be representative of us? You can argue that straight gamers might be ignorant and perceive things differently, but as soon as a gay person makes an issue of this we are buying into our own outmoded stereotype, and reinforcing it in the minds of others, which only hampers and reverses progress.

There’s nothing explicitly anti-gay here, and do we really want to become those people who try to infer prejudice from everything, as though being offended was our hobby? This pack is something we can love or hate without bringing our sexuality into the equation.
S2 Games on the HoN 2.0 Flamboyant Pack:

Pu Liu (Senior Game Designer, S2 Games):
Hey guys,

My name is Pu Liu, Senior Game Designer here at S2 Games. I'm the guy speaking with Giant Bomb in the video that has caused quite a stir, and I'd like to engage in this discussion if you'll allow me to. To preface my statements, I'd like to give you guys open permission to quote and reference anything I may post. My main purpose is to clarify what S2's intention was in the creation of the "Flamboyant Pack," how we perceive of the product and ourselves, and assure you guys that we are not targeting the gay community or anyone else with it.

I'd like to start off with myself. I'm a straight guy, and I use DivA as my game handle, because well, I'm a freaking diva. I'm loud to the border of obnoxious, and I like to sing- poorly, but often and boisterously- anything and everything from Shania to Disney. I guess I'm an example of the "flamboyant straight guy" that some of you have mentioned throughout your discussion. I find the Flamboyant pack to be hilarious, and I select it for use because when I get a "Legendary" streak (5 kills in a row) and it says "DIIIIIVA!" I can go, "YES I AM!" I guess what I'm trying to say is that I have never perceived of the pack as "gay," but rather an awesome, fun, and flamboyant alternative to the really dark and hardcore classic announcer sounds. I'm totally okay with being called flamboyant; I'm a happy, optimistic, loud person, and I'm proud of it and I like to show it off. I am not alone on this at S2; a lot of my fellow employees are almost as awesome as I am, although they aren't as loud as I am. We do not take ourselves too seriously, and the flamboyant pack is a testament to our willingness to have fun with things.

We're a fun loving bunch- we thought this would be fun, and that- and ONLY that- is the reason why the Flamboyant pack will be a part of Heroes of Newerth. We are not in a smoke-filled room going on about how awesome and "manly" we are, and the Flamboyant pack is certainly not a jab at a stereotype that we feel is "below" us- if anything, Flamboyant IS us.

If you have questions for me on a personal level, I'd be happy to answer any and all of them.

About Heroes of Newerth
Heroes of Newerth is S2 Games' 1st game title in the emerging Dota genre.

You might also want to:
Watch the Heroes of Newerth 2.0 Trailer (courtesy of

1 comment:

  1. I see nothing really wrong with the Flamboyant soundpack actually. It's not offending or anything.


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