Deus Ex: Mankind Divided Staff Address Mechanical Apartheid

Eidos Montreal game developers Gilles Matouba and Andre Vu coined a term called “Mechnical Apartheid”. It represents a catastrophic event in the transhumanism society within the fictional world of Deus Ex where humans have very advanced augmentations and some of them have been quarantined off from the rest of society because they’re viewed as a danger to normal humans. Well, certain individuals within the “Social Justice Warrior” community decided to attack Eidos over the term “Mechnical Apartheid” when it appeared in a tweet by the company.

You can see the tweet below from the official Deus Ex Twitter account.

According to The Ralph Retort, various individuals took to social media to textually attack the developers of Deus Ex: Mankind Divided, the upcoming action-RPG that happens to be the sequel to the very high-brow cybernoir thriller, Deux Ex: Human Revolution.

Some individuals stated the following on Twitter after seeing the phrase “Mechanical Apartheid” used to describe the social tensions and social division happening in Deus Ex: Mankind Divided.

Gita Jackson, a contributor to Offworld and Boing Boing, mentioned in a series of tweets

“I don’t think it’s a controversial or divisive statement to suggest that using the term “apartheid” to advertise your game is wrongheaded. It’s also 100% a fact that the French perspective on race and colonialism is kinda fucked.


“France was a major colonial force and committed mass atrocities 🙂 Maybe their perspective on apartheid is not one we need 🙂


“The funniest thing to do to French people is to remind [them] of that time that their police murdered a bunch of peaceful Algerian protesters.”

Gilles Matouba is black and French and Andre Vu is Asian and French.

Matouba was shocked about how the so-called “Social Justice Warriors” were attacking a game and studio where part of the controversial content being covered in the game was designed and written by minorities.

Matouba took to Kotaku in Action, the central hub for all things #GamerGate related and asked for a bit of help after proving he was who he said he was on Twitter.

As reported on Gameranx, Matouba posted a long letter explaining who he was, what he was about and stated how important it was to address the topics of segregation, whether it was through racism or mechanical augmentations, since this was something bouth Matouba and Vu have experienced firsthand, writing…

“Racism is a [very] dark part of our human nature and we wanted to treat this subject. It was especially important for ME to treat this.


“So it makes me sad and angry that these ignorant people just ASSUME that everyone behind this game is ill-spirited, stupid, and more importantly for me, that they that they are all WHITE. (For them devs==white, gamers==white)”


The concept of “Mechanical Apartheid” spread so far and wide throughout the social media spear while E3 2015 is trying to take place and gamers are trying to get their game on that additional staff from Eidos Montreal had to come out to squash the controversy before it became a buzzkill. Speaking with Destructoid, executive narrative director Mary DeMerle commented about the issue, stating…

“When we make a decision like embracing that term, ‘mechanical Apartheid,’ we do it with a lot of thought and a lot of specific concern about how we’re doing it.


“And what we are also trying to do with Deus Ex is look at the world, and trying not to judge the world but to present it in a very – we like to talk about shades of grey. So we like to present the issues to the best of our abilities without judging you or your actions, so that you can make up your own mind about it. It’s one of the things I’m constantly telling the writers on the team is that you can’t write dialogues that are judging, you can’t come up with choices where you’re slapping people in the face for their moral decisions.”


[..] “Obviously, there will be people who are super sensitive to those sorts of things, and we recognize that, and we feel bad when we offend someone but we are trying to be as truthful and as honest as we possibly can.

I did briefly ask Matouba about whether or not he was personally attacked by the individuals decrying the usage of “Mechanical Apartheid” but he simply stated…

“They did not attacked me [as far as I know]. They attacked the game. ‘how dare white dev speak about apartheid!’ was their tactic”

As noted by The Ralph Retort, even Adam Jensen’s voice actor, Elias Toufexis chimed in to mock the social justice crowd, saying the following on Twitter.

Regardless of the attacks against the game, Deus Ex: Mankind Divided is due for release on the Xbox One, PS4 and PC in 2016. You can learn more about the game by visiting the official website.

Additionally, you can read Matouba’s entire letter to #GamerGate and Kotaku in Action below.

Hi KiA


Sorry for the typos and weird syntax, english is not my mother tongue. I am Gilles Matouba and there is a thin chance of you knowing me. Still, I am a veteran french game developer with 15 years of experience in the industry. Mostly at Ubisoft and Eidos Montreal. Until september 2014 I was the Game Director of DXMD at Eidos Montreal. 3 years ago Andre Vu, the Brand Director of the DX franchise, and I coined the term ‘Mechanical Apartheid’. Thing is… I am Black (& French…). And Andre is Asian (& French).


When we decided to go all-in on delivering the experience to play as Adam Jensen, an Augmented, in a world agressively segragating his own kind, we actually wanted to offer to our audience something unique. Something that was close and very personal to us: The experience of being torn between 2 worlds and 2 identities. Augs calling you the ‘uncle Tom’ of the non-augs, non-augs always insecure when you’re around, always deeply being scared or appaled by your mechanical body. Somehow, it was our own individual stories… We wanted to share a little part of our own life experience (on a super dramatized degree, of course) as visible minorities in a world of prejudices sometimes not well tailored for us. We also used the reference of south africa, israel, even brasil, french and american ghettos and any country ressorting to walls in order to segratgate a part of their own population. We meant it. This was important to us to not half-ass these analogies. BECAUSE THIS IS DEUS EX.


Deus Ex is a very mature and thoughtful franchise that wants to hook gamers on essential questions and considerations: power, control, species, science, sociology, singularity, etc.


Racism is a ey dark part of our human nature and we wanted to treat this subject. It was especially important for ME to treat this. So it makes me sad and angry that these ignorant people just ASSUME that everyone behind this game is ill-spirited, stupid, and more importantly for me, that they that they are all WHITE. (For them devs==white, gamers==white)


What these bloggers and tweeters did to me here is beyond mere insults: They have degraded me and have literally erased my identity as a black developer and as a black creator that just wanted to share a piece of himself with this game. I wish that they will feel bad about it. I wish they will have the decency to apologize of their gross false assumptions and accusations. To apologize to all the people back in Quebec that have been working hard FOR YEARS to make this game to happen. But since they have no spine, no shame and no self respect they will simply ignore this post (once again denying me voice, legitimacy and identity) and will at best move on another AAA target to toss their freshly defecated shit at. They don’t deserve anyone’s attention. They don’t deserve our industry, our games and the dedication we put into them. They disgust me.


TL : DR Asian guy and black guy came up with the term Mechanical Apartheid 3 years ago. Black guy not happy about the SJW shit tweets and wants to call them out and expose their stupidity. Black guy is not their shield.



Billy has been rustling Jimmies for years. The GJP cried and their tears became his milkshake. Contact.

24 thoughts on “Deus Ex: Mankind Divided Staff Address Mechanical Apartheid

  1. There is a whole world out there, full of deus ex fans, they dont need to listen to a few oversensitive yankee bloggers.

    1. The worst thing any company can do is listen to the demands of these Deranged Identity Warriors. They are fundamentally uncreative people who do not consume the media they criticize and have absolutely no interest in engaging anyone they disagree with in a real, human way.

  2. So……..let me get this straight.

    Some folks at Eidos used the term “Mechanical Apartheid”, to reflect on possible human fears on Transhumanism (Can I say this without someone getting triggered? Or is it now a triggering word too?!), and people online flip out since the term Apartheid is associated with racism? Or they find that word offensive?

    This is beyond silly! Almost as silly as Anita accusing Doom 4 and Fallout 4 of being far too violent (and ‘concerned’ over the audience cheering during the footages of Doom 4 shown). Advance Machines and robotics tech are improving over the years, we’ve made major strides in perfecting advance forms of steroids. In fact, a few decades from now we could even incorporate simple gene splicing. Maybe even around 50-80 years from now Genetic augmentation may become a reality! I am expecting Transhumaism to be within reach sometime this century! A race of Mechanically and bio Augmented humans will be seen as superhumans in the eyes of normal humans. HUmans capable of incredible feats of strength, speed, and endurance. Superhumans that can potentially harm a great deal of humans before even one is put down. With Mechanically augmented humans (or even full blown Tanshumans) posing as such a potential threat to normal humans, I am *expecting* a form of segregation laws to be passed to separate normal humans from transhumans. This is a very interesting concept and I’d like to see how the developers play this out. And yet some people online are getting worked up over a term used to define this possible fear?! REALLY?!

    1. “Mechnical Apartheid” is a very possible future with Transhumanism within reach and the first few people volunteer for the procedure. Artificial Limbs and organs will be planted in people to help cope with limb loss due to injury o accidents. But as we perfect robotics people will opt to replace limbs and body parts for mechanical ones since these mechanical parts will far exceed their biological versions. Being able to be stronger, move faster, and endure more punishing injuries. And I am expecting some ‘troublemakers’ use these augmentations to hurt others for personal gain. I know it will happen, and I know what will follow next. Irrational fears generating prejudices against people whom are mechanically augmented. People will “Want something done”, and thus we could a sort of segregation that separates mechanically augmented people from the normal ones. “For their own safety, of course”. Of course, there is also the possibility that such augmentations could be outlawed, but I imagine too many people will want to keep their upgrades anyways and even ban together to keep them. So rather than risk a large war between normal humans and mechanically augmented humans that could result in many deaths, an alternative could be a “mechanical apartheid”. Irrational fears against such Transhumans isn’t touched up in alot of sci-fi stories, and I’ve always wondered why. This could generate alot of though provoking debate such as the rationality and even the ethics of such laws (such as punishing *all* for the actions of a few). I’m very interested in seeing what the next Deus Ex could handle a possible “mechanical apartheid”.

      I expected people to debate this possible future and the moral ethics behind it. Not how offensive the term “mechanical apartheid” is.

    2. Sorry, using the affix trans on anything is now considered transphobic. Check your privilege 50 times and you’ll be cleansed.

  3. Remember that story about the college kids getting all triggered because the book Tom Sawyer used the word nigger and was read in class?

    Also remember #CancelColbert? Where a twitter user that ‘looked’ like Stephen Colbert tweeted ‘racist’ satire. AND when SJWs found out the tweet wasn’t from Colbert they STILL called for the show to be cancelled.

    Context matters not to these people…

  4. They will never stop until you start standing up to them and shutting them down. It’s how leftists destroy everything. And make no mistake, that is the end goal. It has nothing to do with diversity or inclusiveness.

      1. There are tests for these kinds of things other than people’s self-description. Most involved in the whole gamergate thing are left of centre on the political compass.

  5. So I’m not familiar with the term apartheid since my own country barely has black people (though we’re sometimes called the niggers of Asia or rice niggers so whatevs) and after looking up the term and comparing it to the game’s synopsis, I’m seriously not seeing what the problem is. Even if every member of the staff was white, I would still not see what the problem is. It describes the situation in the game perfectly.

  6. I’m happy to see they are starting to call them on their BS and ignoring them, the more they do it the more obvious it becomes that they are just a handful of extremely loud weirdos with too much free time.

  7. Jim said it best: “How is you can you say you want complex characters and depth in video games and you want art in video games and you want them to compete with movies and novels and yet any time somebody tries to fucking insert anything that’s above and beyond some 2D cutout you flip your shit. Because it’s not being handled in the way you want to be handled in. Art and entertainment isn’t always comfortable, it’s not meant to be. Sometimes it’s meant to invoke or provoke different emotions and reactions. But the one you always stick with, the one they always default to is being offended.”

    Truer words have never been spoken.

  8. I’m glad devs are speaking out against these nutters publicly now. It shows it was worth doing this shit for almost a year now.

    1. Gotta agree. At least we’re starting to see some payoff with the devs and gamers coming together out of this. Otherwise it would have been pretty crappy if pubs/devs decided to take a royal dump on gamers.

      1. Otherwise it would have been pretty crappy if pubs/devs decided to take a royal dump on gamers.

        Any dev/pub both evil & stupid enough to hitch themselves to AntiGamer’s wagon deserves what happens to them.

  9. SJWs looking for triggers as usual. I wonder how many other countries have people who explode into rage at the mere use of single words.

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