Controversial SWAT team FPS Ready or Not announces a December release date, promising ‘an intense gaming experience, that challenges you on the world you know’

After almost two years in early access, Void Interactive’s tactical FPS Ready or Not will be hitting 1.0 in an update scheduled for December 13, as the studio revealed with a trailer at The Game Awards. The full version promises to have the complete “Commander Mode” singleplayer campaign, with new missions and overhauled versions of the currently available ones—18 in total, which can be played alone or in co-op with up to five players—as well as a suite of extra customizations and quality-of-life improvements.

You may remember Ready or Not as the game originally planned for a late 2020 release until Void Interactive split with publisher Team17. At the time, it was theorized the split was due to a Void Interactive developer saying Ready or Not would have a “school shooting mission” on the game’s subreddit. Void Interactive denied this was the reason, issuing a statement defending the idea, in which it said the level in question “is a look at an uncomfortable reality that has become all too common, and we hope that we can play some small part in honoring those who have been impacted by these real world tragedies with a portrayal that does not trivialize their experiences.”

Ready or Not was again the subject of controversy due to the inclusion of another level inspired by real-world events when it added a nightclub level on the anniversary of the mass shooting at Pulse nightclub in Orlando, Florida. Though Ready Or Not was briefly removed from Steam following this, it was later explained this was due to a “suggested trademark infringement” in the level, which the developers said they willingly removed “as a show of good faith”.

At the heart of both these controversies is discomfort with the idea of how closely Ready or Not reflects reality, while being explicitly from the point of view of the police. According to its Steam description, Ready or Not “honors the work of dedicated law enforcement officers across the world and in no way intends on glorifying cowardly criminal acts”, which makes it sound like Batman is writing their PR.

“From the beginning, we always envisioned Ready or Not to tackle realistic cases,” said Stirling Rank, COO and lead developer at Void Interactive. “We haven’t shied away from designing missions that paint a vivid reality of [the worst of] what SWAT forces deal with. If you are looking for an intense gaming experience, that challenges you on the world you know—Ready or Not will offer an unforgettable playthrough.”

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