Image Source: Shift Up

Stellar Blade Hard R Controversy Explained

Even before the game launched, Shift Up’s action game Stellar Blade was already at the center of controversy for the way protagonist Eve was portrayed. There’s even more discourse surrounding it post-launch, and here’s what you need to know about the “Hard R” controversy in Stellar Blade.

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Where Does the Hard R Graffiti Show Up in Stellar Blade?

At the time of writing, Shift Up has already patched out the Hard R graffiti in Stellar Blade, so you won’t find it in the game any longer.

a still of the hard r graffiti in stellar blade

But before it was patched, players noticed that in the main city of Xion, there was a wall with the word “HARD” graffiti-ed onto it, and right next to it were the words “R shop,” which ended up forming a rather unfortunate phrase that can be perceived as discriminatory or racist.

Very shortly after it was picked up by the player base, Sony released a statement saying that Shift Up had no intention to create offensive artwork and that it would be replaced in a day one patch.

“The placement of two graphics near each other in Stellar Blade resulted in an unintentional objectionable phrase,” PlayStation’s statement read. “Shift Up had no intention of creating offensive artwork and will be replacing the graffiti for the Day 1 patch.”

IGN

Why Is Hard R Controversial?

Considering that Shift Up is a Korean development team, it’s not surprising that they would’ve missed out on “Hard R” being regarded as a derogatory phrase in North America. It can be perceived as a racial slur and reference to another offensive term that also ends with “R” at the end of the word.

And that’s everything you need to know about the Hard R controversy in Stellar Blade. Thankfully, the artwork has since been patched out and pretty much everything else about the game has been satisfactory so far.

Be sure to search up The Escapist for more news and information on the game, including how to increase max HP and farm Nano Elements.


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Author
Zhiqing Wan
Zhiqing is a History undergrad from the National University of Singapore. She started playing video games in 1996 when her dad introduced her to Metal Gear Solid, Silent Hill, and Resident Evil -- and the rest, as they say, is history. When she's not obsessing over Elden Ring and Dark Souls lore theories, you can find her singing along loudly and badly to Taylor Swift's latest bops. Formerly the Reviews Editor at Twinfinite, she joined the Escapist team in 2024. You can reach her at [email protected].