Life is Strange: True Colors, the most recent installment in the narrative franchise, has been "review bombed" following the appearance of the Tibetan flag in-game.
True Colors takes place in the small town of Haven Springs which, unsurprisingly, showcases quite a few small shops for the player to explore. One of these is a storefront called "Treasures of Tibet" which features a Tibetan flag hanging above its entrance. The flag—a symbol of the Tibetan independence movement—is banned in mainland China as the country does not recognize its proclamation of independence.
This has sparked massive ire from Chinese players who have taken to leaving negative reviews on the game's Steam store listing.
Life is Strange: True Colors Inundated with Negative Reviews
Originally translated by PC Gamer's Jody Macgregor, several reviews take issue with the game "implying a split of China." They echo that Tibet is a part of China, making the flag's appearance inconsistent with that belief.
"Taiwan, Hong Kong, Macau, and Tibet have been Chinese territories since ancient times. No matter how the obsolete think, they will eventually return to the mainland," one reviewer wrote, "Taiwan, Hong Kong, Macau, and Tibet is part of China forever."
"Is your country only able to play Political Correctness games?" Another asked.
"Putting the 'Snow Lion Banner' which refers to Tibetan Independence in a game loved by many Chinese player is such an ignorant behavior," a third posted, "You may think we were brainwashed. However, the news, the videos, every words about Tibet you watched on internet are what the Politicians like to show you and let you know."
It's worth noting that a large portion of these reviews have less than an hour of playtime on record. The majority have less than five.
Comments on these reviews include backlash from users who believe in a free Tibet, with more than a few referencing a long-standing meme aimed at Xi Jinping.
This isn't the first time Chinese players have expressed upset at game developers who go against the mainland country's belief. Devotion was bombed and then removed from Steam upon the discovery of that same meme mentioned above. Nier: Automata found itself under fire for lacking Chinese language support upon its launch in Asia.
Developers Deck Nine and Square Enix have yet to respond at the time of writing.