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This is why Serious Sam 4 isn't called Planet Badass anymore

(Image credit: Croteam)
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I've made no secret of my love for the original subtitle of the next Serious Sam (opens in new tab) game—Planet Badass—and of my disappointment that it was ultimately dropped. It's baffling, really. Why would anyone cut such a wonderfully ridiculous title from a game that so obviously deserves one?

As it turns out, it just didn't make sense, and not in the good way that typifies the series. "We’re going to be localizing Serious Sam 4 into multiple languages," Croteam communications manager Daniel Lucic told Kotaku (opens in new tab). "During the discussions with the [localization] teams, we concluded that translating 'Planet Badass' while keeping the original idea behind it intact is nearly impossible. I guess it’s the same with any pun, it’s only a good pun if it’s delivered in the original form."

One user on Steam (opens in new tab) claimed that Gearbox CEO Randy Pitchford had a (very) indirect hand in bringing the subtitle down. According to the story, a dedicated fan hated the subtitle so much that he started spamming the Serious Sam Discord server with a picture of Pitchford wearing "Badass" sunglasses, and refused to quit until it was dropped. This seems slightly less likely than Lucic's explanation.

True or not, it seems very odd to me that Serious Sam fans would object to calling the game Planet Badass—it's perfect—but the change does make more sense in the context of tough-to-translate idiom. "Badass" in English translates to "badass" in Croatian, according to Google (opens in new tab), but maybe it means something like, I don't know, "nasally moron."

"While we always make an effort to listen to what fans have to say, in this particular instance, the change happened due to practicality," Lucic said. Reasonable, but still a shame.

Serious Sam 4 comes to Steam (opens in new tab) on September 24.

Andy Chalk
Andy Chalk

Andy has been gaming on PCs from the very beginning, starting as a youngster with text adventures and primitive action games on a cassette-based TRS80. From there he graduated to the glory days of Sierra Online adventures and Microprose sims, ran a local BBS, learned how to build PCs, and developed a longstanding love of RPGs, immersive sims, and shooters. He began writing videogame news in 2007 for The Escapist and somehow managed to avoid getting fired until 2014, when he joined the storied ranks of PC Gamer. He covers all aspects of the industry, from new game announcements and patch notes to legal disputes, Twitch beefs, esports, and Henry Cavill. Lots of Henry Cavill.