Stellaris PC game art
Concept artwork for Stellaris Paradox Interactive

Paradox Interactive has removed a player-made mod for its sci-fi strategy game Stellaris from Steam Workshop, because it removed diversity from the game's cast of human characters, making them all white and giving them European names.

The mod, called European Phenotype and Names Only (White Humans), was removed because it broke the rules of conduct, according to Paradox COO Susana Meza Graham, who added that "the comments surrounding the mod, rather than the mod itself, were the biggest problem".

In a tweet, she wrote: "We have a few rules of conduct that have been in effect for the better part of a decade where racial slurs, among other things, are not allowed. We interpreted this particular mod as breaking those rules of conduct."

The mod is available from third-party site ModDB, where the creator's description reads: "Makes it so humans are only Europeans – and European names only." He asks that users contact him through his YouTube channel if Paradox's "ideological pushing" continues, saying he'll provide direct download links.

Addressing the mod's removal on Reddit, a Paradox community manager said: "We saw the mod, thought it wasn't in very good taste, but let it remain. Then the creator of the mod decided to update the description of the mod to promote an 'agenda' not related to computer games at all, and this was being clearly displayed on our product page. We decided it was a step too far and removed it."

In a second post the manager elaborated: "This particular mod had several disturbing elements in its public description which we do not want to have clearly displayed on our product page however."

Stellaris was released in May 2016, and is available through Paradox's website and on Steam.

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