A new event is underway in both American Truck Simulator and Euro Truck Simulator 2 called Hauling Hope: a series of challenging missions in which you’ll attempt to safely deliver COVID-19 vaccines to various destinations. Despite an announcement broadly implying that these vaccines are a positive thing, developer SCS Software has been strangely cordial toward anti-vax sentiments in its messaging.
The studio’s first press release on the event said that “We do not take a stand neither for or against vaccines, we just wanted to express our appreciation and support for every real truck driver out there who have been facing very challenging times since the pandemic situation began!”
In a follow-up email, an SCS representative describes this as an “error that happened due to a language and translation barrier, here in our office”. They add “The statement we tried to express in the previous press-release should have always been this: ‘No matter if you stand for vaccines or against them, these truckers still have to work really hard and we wanted to give them their well-deserved 15 minutes of fame.’”
Either way, it’s an oddly conciliatory sentiment toward anti-vaxxers for an event which describes COVID-19 vaccines as a source of “hope”. Developer comments on the studio’s own announcement blog suggest that the event has proven pretty controversial among its own community – or, at least, has prompted plenty of online arguments, which appear to have now been (mercifully) moderated out of existence.
We’ve reached out to SCS for further context on what sort of backlash they’ve seen and whether the apparent conciliation to anti-vaccine beliefs is intentional. We’ll update if we receive a response.
For more simulation games or truck games to enjoy in these trying times, you can follow those links. (Also: science is a good thing, my friends.)