"We were really sad that some people were so affected by it, because maybe they had been through something like that of their own," Wedin says. "Maybe they had a terrible experience of their own that was triggered by the game. That was not intentional at all. We didn't add the scene just to be controversial. There is a meaning to these two characters. There's a lot more to them than just this scene."
In our preview of Hotline Miami 2, when this scene was included, we found that intent to horrify and pull back came across, but some players were unable to shake the discomfort of that action – and that's not what Dennaton wants, Wedin says.
Wedin notes that a recent trend in horror movie remakes is to "take the next step up" and make them even more exploitative than the originals, just for controversy's sake, and that's not what Hotline Miami is all about. That opening scene offers a commentary on this Hollywood trend and when the assault is halted, it's a way for Dennaton to show that Hotline Miami 2 is more than blind violence, Wedin says. Dennaton is proud of the story in the first game and it's working to make the sequel even more narrative-driven.
Dennaton will see how players react to the scene in the context of the full game, and go from there. It may not end up in the final version at all, if it doesn't work:
"I respect people's comments and the fact that people voiced them. That's how they feel. Our scene made them feel this way, so we have to think about why and if there's something we can do to make it better. I don't think it's right to just say, 'You're wrong. You're just looking at it wrong.' That's not the way to go."