Pinocchio Soulslike’s ‘ACAB’ Sign Was Cut For Being Too ‘Risky’

Lies of P, the upcoming Bloodborne-inspired action-RPG Soulslike based around the story of Pinocchio, featured an “All Cops Are Bastards” sign at one point. But if you go looking for it in the final game when it launches on September 19, you might come up empty-handed because the text was cut.

Read More: Lies Of P Is Giving Steampunk Bloodborne With 60FPS Performance
Buy Lies of P: Amazon | Best Buy | GameStop

In an interview with GLHF, the media side of the content agency of the same name, game director Ji-Won Choi spoke about his Pinocchio-influenced game. During the conversation, which took place before this year’s Gamescom, GLHF asked Choi what happened to the “APAB” (“All Puppets Are Bastards”) sign that was featured in Lies of P’s early promotional materials. Choi replied that it was removed for being “risky” and possibly having negative effects on players’ experiences.

“That was one of the messages we were going to use in the game, but we ended up taking it out,” Choi told GLHF. “We took it out eventually because we wanted everyone to enjoy the game exactly how we intended it to be enjoyed, and not judged based on any trends. We really wanted the world that we designed to be interpreted by the players exactly how we aimed it to be, so we took out factors that could be a little risky.”

If you remember playing the demo, just before the Mad Donkey boss fight on an abandoned steampunk-style bridge, you encountered a puppet strung up to the platform’s top arches. Lodged into its chest was a white sign that read “Purge Puppets,” but in pre-alpha trailers and other early promotional materials for the game, it said “APAB” in red text instead. Since it’s gone now you might think you were just seeing things, your eyes playing tricks on you, but nope. Choi confirmed the sign had changed.

“We respect everyone who might want to play this game, and we wanted everyone to get the best experience out of it,” Choi said. “But you did see it right, it was ‘All Puppets Are Bastards.’”

Kotaku reached out to Neowiz Games for comment.

Read More: Bloodborne Vibes Weren’t Intentional, Say Pinocchio Souls-Like Devs
Buy Lies of P: Amazon | Best Buy | GameStop

Whether removed for making too close of an IRL connection or because it could potentially signal developer Round8 Studio’s politics, “APAB” is an accurate statement based on the game’s events. The puppets, in this dark retelling of Pinocchio’s story, literally kill every human because of some strange corruption. So, if you ask me, all puppets are bastards. Look at the menace that is Chucky.


Destiny 2 Maker Bungie Latest PlayStation Studio To Cut Staff

Destiny's main characters stand above The Traveller.

Image: Bungie

Bungie is the latest PlayStation studio to face layoffs. While the scale of the cuts wasn’t immediately apparent, multiple, now-former staff members began posting on social media on October 30 that they’d been let go by the beloved Destiny 2 maker.

“My heart is breaking for all affected…I am now looking for opportunities,” tweeted Destiny 2 community manager Liana Ruppert. “It’s a strange feeling to wake up in the morning excited for the week ahead, only for your day to begin learning that you’ve been hit with a Reduction in Force and are now on the job hunt,” wrote recruiting lead Amanda R. on LinkedIn.

The scale of the cuts and which teams or departments are most impacted isn’t yet clear. They come the same month that fellow PlayStation studio, Naughty Dog, cut dozens of contractors across art, production, quality assurance, and other disciplines. The downsizing comes in a year that’s seen publishers like Electronic Arts, Ubisoft, Take-Two, and Embracer all lay off hundreds, consolidated teams, or closed entire studios. PlayStation rival Microsoft has imposed severe cuts at current first-party Halo studio 343 Industries near the beginning of 2023.

Sony acquired Bungie for $3.6 billion just last year amid an acquisition frenzy across the video game industry. In addition to the popular sci-fi MMO shooter Destiny 2, Bungie is also working on the extraction shooter Marathon as well as another original IP. Bloomberg also previously reported that the studio was involved in an internal evaluation of Naughty Dog’s The Last of Us 2 multiplayer spin-off that stopped the project in its tracks. Kotaku reported earlier this month that the game, while not fully cancelled, had effectively been put on ice.

Sony and Bungie did not immediately respond to requests for comment.

Update 10/30/2023: Bungie CEO Pete Parsons called today a “sad day” on Twitter. “What these exceptional individuals have contributed to our games and Bungie culture has been enormous and will continue to be a part of Bungie long into the future,” he wrote.