Kill The F*ggot dev refuses request
[Update #2: In a tweet by Cruachan, it has been revealed that Skaldic Games have agreed to no longer use Cruachan’s or Rachel Lally’s contributions in The Shelter.]
— Cruachan (@CruachanClan) May 13, 2015
[Update: Destructoid have been provided with copies of the involved contracts. We have posted below the section which seems most relevent to these legal proceedings. The below section prevents retraction of works and right to sue based on content in the game, but it only references this post release.]
Last week, Destructoid reported on “Kill The F*ggot”, a game by Skaldic Games that was removed from Steam Greenlight for homophobic and transphobic content. The game rewarded the player for killing stereotypes of gay men and trans women, punished players for killing straight men, and caused a very large public backlash.
In response, voice actors and musicians involved in Skaldic’s other game The Shelter pulled out of the project en masse. When distancing itself from Skaldic, Irish folk metal band Cruachan labelled the game “vile”, while voice actress and model Rachel Lally said she was “truly offended”. Both claim at the time of providing voice acting and music for the game, they were misled regarding the context their work would be used in.
It has now been revealed that Skaldic is refusing to remove Cruachan and Rachel Lally’s contributions from the developer’s games. Both have tweeted about the situation publicly:
Skaldic have informed us they will use our voices anyway despite being requested not to. Anyone in a position to offer legal advise?
— Rachel Lally (@AphroditeSent) May 11, 2015
Skaldic games have informed us they will use our voices anyway despite being requested not to. Anyone in a position to offer legal advise?
— Cruachan (@CruachanClan) May 11, 2015
However, email conversations between Cruachan and Skaldic Games have this morning been aquired by Destructoid. Skaldic claims that as it previously signed an agreement, Skaldic still has permission to use Cruachan and Lally’s works and refuses to remove them from the game:
“Just letting you know Cruachan’s music WILL appear in The Shelter, along with yours and Rachel’s voices. You signed an agreement with your music and your voices. Come take legal action if you want, but whether you like it or not, you signed an agreement. You and Rachel sending me an email saying you want out of the game is not legal grounds to remove you from the game. I will still honor all payments to you once the game is released.”
It is important to note that this particular exchange confirms to us that the artists requesting their work be removed have currently not been paid by the developer for services rendered.
In response to this, Cruachan argues that as its music is published via a record label, the band cannot itself license the music out:
“Circumstances have changed so much that yes, legally we have a right to no longer appear in your game. I spoke with my record label and I had no authorisation to permit any Cruachan music or logo to appear in the game. Trollzorn Records own the rights to all Cruachans back catalogue and logos, images etc. You will be receiving separate correspondence from them.”
However, Cruachan’s voice acting for the game is not owned by Trollzorn:
“That leaves me to deal with my voice recordings on my own as they told me there is nothing they can do in this regard. So, I ask you now again – please do not use any of my voice recordings. So much has happened in the media and from your side to make my release form null and void. If you release any game with my voice work, I will take all necessary legal action against you.”
In another email from Skaldic:
“As for your music, I remember you said I could use them music from the older albums, not from the new one. So I was not going to have anything from Blood for the Blood God appear in the game, so no reason to get Trollzorn involved since they don’t own the rights to the older albums. As for band logo, I won’t use that in the game.”
Cruachan then claims that Trollzorn owns the rights to its back catalogue as well as its newest releases. In response to this, the conversation gets meaner with one very short email from Skaldic:
“Then I will see Trollzorn, and you / Rachel in court then :)”
Cruachan then argues that it is within its rights to retract permission as The Shelter hasn’t been published yet.
The response from Skaldic again has a very unprofessional tone and more thinly veiled threats:
“You must be confusing you country’s law with America’s law. It’s not just consent as you mentioned, it was a signed legal document drafted by a lawyer. You already signed an agreement saying your voice cannot be removed from the game due to the game’s content. You and Rachel are the ones that embarrassed yourself, complaining to various websites and newspapers about everything. You failed to mention to them that you already recorded and signed a legal release for allowing your voice in the game, so you two are going to be the ones embarrassed by all the fuss you made once the game will be released with your voices in the game anyways.”
Part of Cruachan’s final reponse to Skaldic in this email chain was:
“we made 2 statements distancing ourselves from that sick game you made. the papers came to us.”
And there you have it. Skaldic is refusing to remove Cruachan’s contributions following the release of “Kill The F*ggot”. Rachel Lally has told Destructoid that Skaldic has not contacted her in regards to this situation at all, while Cruachan has told us The Advocate — an LGBT+ rights magazine and website — is assisting them with this matter. It also appears that Cruachan has found an LGBT lawyer willing to present them for free.
Whether legal proceeding will take place, we don’t know. We’ve approached Skaldic Games for comment on this, and will update it if we hear from it.