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Bird Island plans to pull Tales from the Void out of respect for the real-world sailors the game is inspired by.

Justin Carter, Contributing Editor

April 21, 2023

1 Min Read
Screenshot from Bird Island's Tales from the Void, showing sci-fi explorers.

Developer Bird Island (previously PortaPlay) revealed it plans to delist its 2016 game Tales from the Void on Steam. After May 20 (the game's 7-year anniversary), it'll no longer be possible to buy the strategy title.

Tales from the Void is inspired by the HMS E18 submarine that went missing in 1916 and was later found in 2009. By Bird Island's own admission, the game is a "what if?" about the ship's fate, and goes so far as to feature the names and likenesses of the real-life crew. 

Video games get delisted fairly often, but it's usually due to a legal issue or the game's servers being shut down. It isn't every day that you hear about a game being removed out of respect for real-life human beings who inspired the work in question. 

In its short Steam post, the developers explained that they've "since grown to see this as insensitive to their memory and to those left behind. [...] We've come to a recognition that certain elements in Tales no longer live up to our company values."

While Tales will no longer be sold after May 20, Bird Island repeated that those who have purchased the game before that date will still be able to download and play it.

"Thank you very much for your support and honor be the memory of the brave crew of the Royal Naval submarine HMS E18," concluded Bird Island. 

About the Author(s)

Justin Carter

Contributing Editor, GameDeveloper.com

A Kansas City, MO native, Justin Carter has written for numerous sites including IGN, Polygon, and SyFy Wire. In addition to Game Developer, his writing can be found at io9 over on Gizmodo. Don't ask him about how much gum he's had, because the answer will be more than he's willing to admit.

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