Goodbye Volcano High is a gorgeous 2D narrative adventure in which players take on the role of a young dinosaur who has just learned that the world is about to come to an end. Unfortunately, due to the nature of the pro-LGBTQIA+ messages in the game, it’s been the subject of a fair bit of controversy. This article explains what happened with that controversy and why.
What is the Goodbye Volcano High controversy?
Goodbye Volcano High was initially revealed during a 2020 Sony digital showcase. The game’s characters and setting helped it gain attention, but it was the attraction of playing a non-binary character that made it stand out. These aspects, combined with the incredible music players who were active participants, made it look like the ultimate end-of-the-world summer road trip story that everyone feels the need to go on at the end of high school.
The development team at KO-OP quickly gained new fans and interacted with them as a community, building something special around their game. However, as the game gained more positive attention, it gained just as much negative attention on places like 4Chan’s video game forum. The users there ridiculed the game regularly, and some people even went as far as making quite disturbing comments about it.
This all came to a head in June 2021 when 4Chan users under the developer name Cavemanon released Snoot Game. It’s a parodic visual novel that reuses assets from Goodbye Volcano High KO-OP had publicly shared. It was pitched as a fan game but the contents showed it was more of an anti-Goodbye Volcano High game with messaging that’s the polar opposite of that seen in Goodbye Volcano High. A statement from Cavemanon made it sound like Snoot Game was a critique of KO-OP’s title, but it really seemed like the opposite.
The contents of Snoot Game aren’t worth discussing, given the events that have played out in the world since. You can likely find the story or a synopsis if you search around, but we wouldn’t recommend it. In an interview with Kotaku, members of KO-OP explained that it eventually had to address Snoot Game because fans kept asking about it. the response only fueled the game’s hatred on 4Chan, leading to the privatization of Goodbye Volcano High’s Discord server in an effort to limit Discord raids.
The other issue is fan art. It’s hard to tell if fan art is meant to be supporting Goodbye Volcano High or mocking it. KO-OP told Kotaku that it won’t ever attack fan art, but it’s a hard situation to deal with. That’s likely why the developer has largely stayed quiet about the game until the State of Play in February 2023, when its release date was announced.