According to a Reddit thread posted by team member Daalpacagirl, the teams were named “KDCM V: Trans Rights” and “KDCM VI: Trans Fights” to express support for trans players. Shortly after the competitive queue opened, the leaders of both teams were informed that “Trans Rights” and “Trans Fights” had been renamed by the studio.
MechWarrior Online developer Piranha Games has apologized to players and reversed the decision to forcibly rename two teams ahead of the latest MWO competitive season.
In an email sent to one of the team’s leaders, a customer support rep said that while the studio forbids intolerance of any type, MechWarrior Online is not an “appropriate environment” for “real-life political discussions,” which is why the team names were changed. Daalpacagirl emailed Piranha Games about the ruling and was at first told essentially the same thing.
Eventually the GM clarified that the offending action was her habit of typing “trans rights” at the start of match. At the same time, they suspended Daalpacagirl’s account for 48 hours, and warned that continued violations would result in a permanent ban.
But they finally told me what I had been doing wrong! Unfortunately, it also came with a suspension. That “while real-life political discussions are important, we do not believe this is the appropriate environment for such discussions” line, though?
Piranha co-founder Russ Bullock initially expressed support for the decision, saying on Twitter that “trans” and other words were banned because of abuse from “bad trolls.”
“Sucks that bad trolls who we have spent significant resources dealing with are out there, everyone remembers some of the past large examples,” he wrote. “It’s fine to be disappointed and with PGI could have somehow found a way around this tough situation but it’s disingenuous to immediately call PGI anti trans etc. Unfortunately bad apples create situations that limit choice for the larger group.”
Bullock’s explanation did not go over well with a number of players.
“Telling trans people to suck it up, you’re gonna have to deal with being invisible because other people are assholes isn’t a response for inclusiveness or support,” one player wrote. “It’s the response of people who don’t give a shit about trans people.”