What is Sweet Baby Inc Detected Controversy: A Clash Between Representation and Creative Freedom


The gaming industry has once again found itself mired in a heated debate, this time centering around the narrative consultant group Sweet Baby Inc. and the backlash they’ve faced from certain segments of the gaming community.

The controversy has reignited long-standing tensions that hark back to the infamous GamerGate movement, with some calling for the destruction of the company.

What Exactly is Sweet Baby Inc.?

Sweet Baby Inc. is a self-proclaimed “inclusion-focused narrative and consultation company” that aims to promote diversity and representation in video games.

Their mission, as stated on their website, is “to tell better, more empathetic stories while diversifying and enriching the video games industry.”

They offer consultancy services to game developers, providing sensitivity reading, narrative and character consultation, story consultation, and even scriptwriting duties.

They have worked with some biggies like Insomniac, Sony, Xbox Game Studios, EA, Valve, 2K, Ubisoft, Square Enix, Warner Bros. Games, Wizards of the Coast, and many more.

The Origin of the Controversy

The controversy began on February 26th, 2024, when a Steam user named Kabrutus created a SteamGroup page called “Sweet Baby Inc. detected.”

The page listed 16 games (so far) that Sweet Baby Inc. worked on and labeled them “ Not Recommended.

The purpose of this group was to identify and list games that had hired Sweet Baby Inc. for narrative consultation, effectively labeling them in a negative light.

These games are:

  1. Suicide Squad: Kill The Justice League
  2. Assassin Creed Valhalla
  3. Gotham Nights
  4. Shadow Gambit: The Cursed Crew
  5. Sable
  6. Goodbye Volcano High
  7. Tales of Kenzera™: ZAU
  8. Neo Cab
  9. Afterlove EP
  10. South of Midnight
  11. Kingdom Eighties
  12. Dark Alliance
  13. Hyper Light Breaker
  14. Breeze in the Clouds
  15. Battle Shapers
  16. Usual June

After that, criticism began to be directed towards Sweet Baby Inc.

Some gamers have criticized the company’s approach, citing concerns about potential creative interference or the prioritization of identity politics over storytelling.

How Did Sweet Baby Inc. Respond?

Sweet Baby Inc. reacted strongly to the creation of the Steam Curator page.

Three days later, on February 29th, a Sweet Baby Inc. employee Chris Kindred took to X to call out the SteamGroup page, claiming it violated Steam’s code of conduct.

Maya Felix Kramer, a consultant at the company, voiced her objection on Twitter, accusing the page of spreading misinformation and suggesting that Steam should have guidelines to prevent such pages from being created.

Chris Kindred went further by calling for a mass reporting campaign against the page and its creator.

However, the efforts by Sweet Baby Inc. employees to shut down the SteamGroup page backfired.

This action set off a chain reaction, drawing more attention to the group and fueling an online backlash against Sweet Baby Inc.

Is There a Legitimate Concern About Representation in Games?

Representation and inclusivity in video games are valid concerns, as games have the power to shape narratives and influence perspectives.

However, the debate centers around the balance” between promoting diverse representation and preserving creative freedom.

Some recent instances sparked a similar controversy on representation:

  • Alan Wake II Saga Anderson Race-Swaps
  • LGBTQ content in Insomniac Games’ Marvel’s Spider-Man 2 – LGBT dialogues, side missions, and all gender spectrum flags
  • God Of War Ragnarok Angrboda Race Swap
  • Suicide Squad: Kill The Justice League – Lex Luthor Praises Wonder Woman And The Amazons for No “Toxic Masculinity”

Some argue that external consultancy firms like Sweet Baby Inc. may exert undue influence on game narratives, potentially compromising artistic integrity.

The long-term impact of this controversy remains to be seen, but it has certainly sparked discussions around the role of consultancy firms and the boundaries of creative expression in video games.

Reference: boundingintocomics

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