Capcom is facing another controversy after releasing the Thailand stage as DLC for Street Fighter 5. Just two days after its release, the company was forced to pull out the said stage from the PlayStation store and Steam due to its erroneous religious reference.
The Thailand Temple Hideout stage was obviously designed to reflect Buddhism. However, the music that accompanies it is that of Islam, causing Capcom to declare an “emergency server maintenance.” The publisher is working on removing the track to replace it with another music from another stage.
According to GameSpot, players who were able to buy the new Thailand stage could continue to play the DLC, but once the server maintenance is finished, the stage’s music will have been replaced. Gamers should note, though, that this would only be the temporary version. Capcom will release an “edited version” of the DLC on a later date. This will include new background music that, hopefully, would be more appropriate for the Thailand stage.
BGM in the Thailand stage has been temporarily replaced. Purchase of this stage will resume when the edited version of the BGM is ready.
— SFV Server (@SFVServer) April 27, 2017
— GamesWorldONE (@GamesWorldONE) April 28, 2017
Capcom issued a statement regarding mix-up, saying that the music will be replaced.
“It has come to our attention that part of the background music track used in the DLC Thailand Temple Hideout Stage, released on April 25, 2017, contains unintentional religious references. Capcom has therefore immediately ceased distribution of this DLC and, as a temporary measure, will be performing an emergency server maintenance update in the very near future to remove this track by replacing it with existing music from another stage,” the game publisher said.
“The Street Fighter V development and operations team, as well as all of us at Capcom, have nothing but the utmost respect for all faiths and religions around the world, and we would like to sincerely apologize to anyone who was offended by this content.”
The Thailand stage is actually a remastered version for the PS4 and PC game. It can be recalled that this is where M. Bison, the evil dictator and head of Shadaloo, first made his appearance in Street Fighter II. In a blog post by Capcom, it was revealed that the bell and statues in the stage were carefully recreated in SFV. These have intricate patterns and great detail, and Capcom even experimented with a night-time version of the Thailand stage. They planned for the lighting to come from candles, but in the end, the publisher decided against this, and chose instead to “stay true to the original stage as much as possible.”
For the curious, Street Fighter 5’s Thailand stage theme song can be heard here:
It should be noted that Capcom is not the first video game publisher who made a major blunder in terms of cultural sensitivity. Eurogamer reports that The Legend of Zelda: Ocarina of Time also featured the same track in its score for the Fire Temple level. Meanwhile, further back in 2008, Sony delayed releasing Little Big Planet due to the inclusion of a song, which was said to have borrowed some verses from the Qu’ran.
The new Street Fighter 5 DLC also came with new school costumes for Ryu, Chun-Li, and Juri. In the characters’ new costumes, Juri now sports a gothic look, while Chun-Li’s uniform is shooting for an honor roll student look. On the other hand, Ryu’s outfit was made to look like a Bancho (a student gang leader). The costumes cost $4, but unfortunately, Capcom did not reveal whether they are available for Fight Money. In addition, players can purchase the Capcom Pro Tour 2017 Premiere Pass. Included in this are two in-game titles and a Pro Tour-themed color for all 28 characters. The Capcom Pro Tour will be presented in partnership with Sony PlayStation. The aim of this tour is to help support and grow the league of the Street Fighter community.
[Featured Image by Capcom]