PC Game Review Bombed After Patch Notes Include Anti-Mask Rant

A clown looking at a computer screen.

Picture: Steam / Kotaku

Dominated, a little game on Steam about managing gladiators, is currently being reviewed by users after the game’s latest patch notes included an unrelated rant about people wearing masks during the pandemic. The message also explains that not wearing a mask will “make you sleepy” and seems to imply that parts of the ongoing pandemic are “lies”.

Back on March 8, dominatrix on Steam has been updated. The update included a few fixes and some new content. But the patch notes for this update also had a rantslipped right in the middle of it, which has people “TAKE OFF FCKN MASKS” before going off the rails even more than you probably expected.

Here’s the full, completely new message as it currently appears in the game’s v1.3.18 patch notes:

“REMOVE FCKN MASKS – Next time you go grocery shopping, try showing your face to a woman. Be confident, don’t be afraid of LIES – you might get a girlfriend. Women love confidence. Women don’t like guys who cover their faces in fear. What are you afraid of? To get laid ? Grow.”

There’s a lot to unpack there. For starters, we don’t know what “LIE” the author of this message is talking about. Are they implying that masks don’t work? Are they suggesting the pandemic is a hoax? It’s not clear. It’s also bizarre how much of this anti-mask rant is focused on the idea that masks make it hard for men to get laid. And ending with “Grow up” is just the icing on the cake of this weird shitty sundae.

Kotaku contacted Valve about the message in the patch notes and also asked the devs behind dominatrix to explain what “lie” they implied in the note.

Since the update was released a few days ago, dominatrix was hit with hundreds of negative Steam reviews. The game currently sports an “extremely negative” review status, a steep drop from the previously held status of “very positive”.

As one Steam reviewer explained in their negative review of the game, this whole situation is just plain embarrassing and sad.

“Anti-mask developers are using their patch notes like a glorified Twitter feed. Annoying.”

Following the backlash and ongoing bombing, the game’s official Twitter account tried, as the kids say, to tweet about it.

Recent tweets have mentioned the “woke crowd” and “cancel culture” while announcing that the anti-mask rant featured in the patch notes is simply the studio suggesting people be braver.

As spotted by Gamer on PCthings get even sadder when you start going through the game’s old patch notes. It becomes clear that someone working on this game – or at least in control of his Steam account—is full of bad takes. For example, a previous The update included patch notes that claimed people were watching too much porn.