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FGC Skeptical of New Avatar: The Last Airbender Fighting Game

Yet another Avatar-inspired media is causing controversy before it has even come out. This time, it's a fighting game with a possibly concerning developer.

A fighting game featuring characters from Avatar: The Last Airbender has been overshadowed by some drama within the fighting game community after pro players pointed out some of the developers behind the upcoming game. 

Yet another adaptation of Nickelodeon's beloved Avatar cartoon is apparently incoming. This time it's a fighting game, confirmed by Maximum Entertainment. In a 2024 roadmap announcement, Maximum explained that it's under a new reorg and has over 100 games in the works. 

No further information is known about the Avatar fighting game, although many have speculations. Some believe it will be an arena fighter while others believe it'll be 2D. And some are hoping Appa will be a stage instead of a playable fighter. For now, fans will have to wait for Maximum to release more information. 

Meanwhile, however, the fighting game community has become skeptical of Avatar: The Last Airbender due to Maximum's connection to a game publisher known as Modus. 

FGC Calls Out Avatar Game For Troubling Past

Fighting game icon Dominique "SonicFox" McLean took to Twitter to discuss a much-buzzed-about talking point surrounding the Avatar fighting game. SonicFox stated that after some research they realized that Maximum has a publishing arm that involves Modus Gaming, the company that owns Them's Fighting Herds. 

Late in 2023, Modus Gaming fired almost every developer at Mane6, the team that created TFH. Only three people were left. This news was controversial at the time since the company fired the team right before the holidays and before the game's final update was complete. 

On November 22, it was announced that the development of TFH would end after the last two DLC characters were released. This was already heartbreaking for fans of the cult fighting game but things became even more upsetting when the team was fired "out of the blue" before that even happened. 

On top of that, one of the developers on the team working on the Avatar game reportedly was fired from working on Skullgirls in 2020 for inappropriate behavior. First, former Lead Designer Mike Zaimont made an "I can't breathe" joke related to the murder of George Floyd followed by two cosplayers accusing him of making sexual comments toward them. 

It soon came out that Zaimont had been accused of talking about his genitals at work, "forcing unwanted physical contact," and insulting coworkers if he didn't get what he wanted. 

Even though he was fired for this behavior, Modus had him working on a game called Diesel Legacy for two years. The entire controversy has been outlined by PC Gamer here, including Zaimont's lawsuit and Modus' employees discussing his allegedly changed behavior. Former coworkers weren't convinced.

Said one anonymously: "When I heard that Modus were going to work with him, I was like: that is disgusting. They are disgusting. It's disgusting they'd work with him because they clearly don't care about female game developers—the public record was there of his continued harassment of two ex-coworkers."

Now, it's rumored that Zaimont will be on the team working on Avatar: The Last Airbender's fighting game, something that SonicFox also pointed out in their tweet. 

While this hasn't been 100% confirmed just yet, it seems like the Avatar game is already shrouded in controversy within the fighting game community. The treatment of the TFH developers as well as the possible involvement of Zaimont have killed the hype surrounding the popular IP. 

Said one fan when greeted with the news on Twitter: "Yikes. Was excited for it but now I might just torrent it. Thanks for explaining, I'll look into it more." 

The discussion surrounding Avatar and its developer is ongoing. For now, nothing is for certain and the fighting game community can only speculate what is going on with the upcoming title.