Beyond: Two Souls Dev Explains Why Arabian Characters Seem to Have Lighter Skin Than Before
Beyond: Two Souls’ PS4 version seems to have lighter skinned Arabian characters, but that’s because of the new lighting, skin shaders and upgrading from PS3 to PS4, nothing else.
Quantic Dream Co-Founder David Cage released an official statement addressing the issue, and his words expressed his dismay. He said that Beyond: Two Souls features “300+ unique characters,” clarifying it has characters from different races and genders.
He continued to explain that the reasons Arabian characters seemed to be “white-washed,” was first because of the changes done to lighting and skin shaders, “leading to slightly lighter skins in general.” Second reason was the upgrade from PS3 to PS4, which sometimes lead “to creating a new face that can be different from the previous one.”
Beyond is a game featuring 300+ unique characters. The cast features many different races, including some Arab characters in the scene called THE EMBASSY. The scene takes place in what is obviously a middle-eastern embassy, with characters who are obviously from the middle-east, wearing obviously Arabic clothes and speaking obviously Arabic.
What was reported is that a couple of guards and passers-by in the Embassy appear to have a lighter skin compared to the original game.
This is due to two reasons:
1. the lighting has changed as well as the skin shader we use, leading to slightly lighter skins in general (which can also be seen on Jodie’s white skin), although some black skins are a little bit darker (which has not been reported…).
2. All characters have been upgraded on the PS4 version compared to the PS3, which sometimes led to creating a new face that can be different from the previous one (as well as different clothes or accessories). The skin tone or type of few characters may have changed in the process, although only a couple of characters out of 300 have seen their skin getting slightly lighter (without changing their racial type to keep the consistency of the characterisation).
Talking about the skin colour of two guards in the context of a game like Beyond is absurd, and for me personally, upsetting. Quantic Dream has been actively promoting cultural, gender and racial diversity in all of its past and present games, as well as in our own company. Quantic Dream is a studio in which people from around the globe, of all races and religions work together and share the same passion for crafting meaningful emotional experiences.
We sadly regret that we have to justify ourselves when the skin color of a passer-by has slightly changed for technical reasons, but we would like to reassure our fans and tell them that Quantic Dream will continue to promote racial and gender diversity in games, as well as positive human emotions and values.
Being a Middle-Eastern, specifically Egyptian, obliges me to put my own personal opinion on the matter, and honestly, it’s not even that big of a deal. This isn’t something we should even talk about because some Arabs are dark-skinned while others are milk-white, so some skin-color diversity is welcomed in video games.
Check out the comparison pictures for yourself below: