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1. Fortnite’s All Black and All White Skin Sets
Fortnite is the highest-grossing online video game of any kind in the industry’s history. So it’s bound to attract more than a few modders or cheaters who can find ways to game the game.
However, Fortnite’s “Boundless” customizable skin sets did all of that for them. Players started drafting combinations of colors so their characters would compete entirely in the sharpest shade of black or white. It may sound like the perfect minimalist design for a character but it was mainly so players could blend into the background and score undeserving hype points by snipping opponents who couldn’t see them. An update to the game later removed the skin options.
2. The Sims 2’s Naked Mod Skins
Nude Sims was inevitable since the first game's release. Showing the possible variations of every pop culture character’s naughty bits is one of the primary reasons we have an Internet. However, the naked, unpixellated skin for players’ Sims when they take a shower, use the can or get it on ruffled the very sensitive feathers of noted anti-game lawyer Jack Thompson who claimed that EA was responsible for the actions of modders who added the Sims naked skin to its characters.
He managed to overblow the issue enough to get some mouthpiece politicians to go along to him who almost brought the issue to Capitol Hill to waste even more of Congress’ already squandered time. It also didn’t help that outlets like CNN took Thompson’s charges seriously even though the game’s main coding gives Sims as much realistic nudity as a naked Ken doll.
3. Dead or Alive’s Revealing Fighter Skins
The gaming industry is just now getting around to realizing that women also play video games. However, DoA is the game franchise that still doesn’t seem to have realized it. DoA6 defiantly turned up the sexiness of its character's wardrobe options especially on the female side of the fighting roster. The word “wardrobe” doesn’t cover some of them like Christie’s leather strap number because it looks like more a S&M store exploded than a piece of clothing designed to cover a person’s body. Critics noticed this and even pointed out that the game allowed players to control the amount of their fighters’ breast softness, which doesn’t even work as a fighting technique.
4. League of Legends’ Striker Lucian
Imitation may be the sincerest form of flattery but when it crossed over to image stealing, it can be pretty pricey as Riot Games learned the hard way in 2017. The LoL developer released a new series of skins that included a dreadlocked, wraparound glasses sporting, soccer-playing championship skin Striker Lucian in 2014.
The design looked like an homage to FIFA star midfielder Edgar Davids. The skin didn’t cause any controversy at first since Davids actually tweeted what appeared to be a metaphorical thumbs up to the skin’s likeness of him but a year later, he changed his mind and asked Riot to remove it. The move ended up costing Riot Games financially when a Dutch court ruled that the studio owed Davids some money for using his likeness without his permission.
5. Minecraft Hitler Skin
Mike Godwin must have the most difficult time being so right in the world right now. Apparently, Godwin’s law, the rule that says every online argument will inevitably get around to mentioning Adolf Hitler, also extends to Minecraft mods. Someone out there came up with the least smart idea in the game’s storied history when he or she created a special skin of the boxy Steve to look like a pixelated ruler of the Third Reich. The Twitch streamer Anomaly used the skin in a live session and it earned him a 30 days suspension because…well, it’s Hitler.
6. Playerunknown Battlegrounds’ Leo Skin
This lion humanoid skin doesn’t look like it could offend even the touchiest soul. However, its release sent Fortnite’s programmers scrambling to their computer to fix it like a herd of wildebeest running from a stampeding predator. The battle royale game’s Leo skin landed in 2019 during a special Halloween skin batch that included spooky additions like a scarecrow and skeleton one-piece. The lion one got more than its share of attention because when it was in free-fall mode, its tail would move between the players’ legs, and…well, you can probably imagine the rest.
7. Ultimate Marvel Vs. Capcom 3’s King of Spain Skin
Unlike other scandalous skins, this character skin really only offended one person who just so happened to be one of the most powerful people in Europe. Capcom-Unity released a DLC back for its cross-franchise fighting game that included a special skin for Magneto that looks vaguely like the regalia of King Juan Carlos of Spain.
The company released the skin with its pack but removed it from future online purchases at a discounted price and issued an apology on its blog without explaining why they decided to remove it. Maybe it had something to do with the guy who controls the 19th largest military force in Europe.
8. Counter-Strike: Global Offensive’s Shattered Web Skins
This addition to Valve’s esports darling exacerbated an already all too common problem in lesser online multiplayer shooters and it led to one of the game’s most disastrous DLC rollouts. Some of the skin variations for “TwoTimes” McCoy and Seal Team 6 Soldier basically allowed players to pull an “all-black” or “all white Fortnite” by blending into parts of the background. The combinations looked cool but blended character skins are more frustrating to most online gamers than running out of Neurontin. A patch fixed the skins giving them brighter masks and goggles but it was just the first in a long line of problems for the beleaguered pack.
9. Street Fighter V’s Mika Skin
Now that games are moving more into the mainstream, that means they’ll only be able to exist in this new realm under the microscope of media bureaucracy. That’s the only reason we can fathom for this competitive Street Fighter V story even being a controversy. Keita “Fuudo” Ai, the two time EVO champion in Super Street Fighter IV and Virtua Fighter 5, made his way through the ranks of matching but when ESPN wanted to air part of his journey in the finals, he had to make a costume change. According to several sources, the networks deemed his fighter of choice R. Mika’s outfit unsuitable for airing because of her very noticeable thong. Even if some parents would have objected, it’s just as infuriating to realize this is the network that found a costume offensive but thought Skip Bayless was worth putting on TV.
10. League of Legends’ Seraphine
There are few things more pathetic than when game studios try to market a title to an audience they know nothing about. It’s like watching your Dad try to dance to your favorite music except you have to smash way more kneecaps to make it stop. The addition of this bubblegum pop princess is like a bizarre marketing experiment utilizing Britney Spears’ and Taylor Swift’s publicity team if they had unlimited amounts of money and no one to tell them “Oh hell no.” It’s more than just a skin that’s part of the roots of Seraphine’s problems. She was rolled out under an insulting marketing campaign and design focus that panders instead of trying to genuinely please players. She’s the Poochie the Dog of LoL.