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No, Serious Sam 4 isn't being censored but gamers are not "idiot man babies" for wondering if it was

Harpies from Serious Sam 1, 2, and 3
On May 20, 2020 Croteam released a teaser trailer for their upcoming game Serious Sam 4. Soon after a thread, which is now locked, popped up on Steam titled "Did they seriously censor the Harpy?" In the post the OP said "I was so hyped for this game until i saw this?...hmm" OP even included a link to a Serious Sam 3 video and the Serious Sam 4 trailer to compare the design of the Scythian Witch-Harpy.

Since that Steam thread was created articles and YouTube videos began popping up discussing whether or not this was censorship. The first of these was from OneAngryGamer who took the time to stop whining about gay people existing to declare it was indeed censorship and the harpy was intended to be bare breasted but evil "Centrist™" would tie themselves in knots to defend it. BoundingIntoComics, a site that covers comic books as well as video games and other geek hobbies, seemed to agree with OneAngryGamer's assessment that it was indeed censorship.

Some journalist saw the controversy as a way to once again shit on gamers and soon VG24/7, TheGamer, and Glitched would put out articles about the people questioning the design change and not the design change itself. While TheGamer and Glitched at least tried to be subtle about their contempt for gamers, VG24/7 took it to eleven in their article by directing insulting gamers and anyone who cares about censorship. The article from VG24/7 was so egregious that YouTube commentator and streamer Vara Dark made a video about it that you can check out below.

What you will notice is missing from every article I linked was any attempt to contact the OP of the thread or the development team behind Serious Sam 4. This is despite the fact that one of the developers from Croteam making several comments on the Steam thread that kicked everything off. As for the OP of the thread, well he is easy enough to find and talk to if you are willing to do some basic journalism. Something many of my "peers" fail to do, since facts matter less than getting clicks as soon as possible.

While I will discuss what happened when I contacted the Serious Sam 4 developer later in the article, I think now is a good time to discuss the articles that have shit so hard on gamers. Most of them assume that the OP of the thread is some misogynistic man baby looking to get his rocks off to hrpy tits but that couldn't be further from the truth.

You see, CoolNatureBoy holds a staunch anti censorship stance and a deep appreciation for the artistic value in the human form. He is a lover of classical works of art like Micheangelo's David and the Venus de Milo. He believes nudity is not about pornography but artistic expression and celebration of the natural form. I know this because I have spoken to him at length about this. Now, CoolNatureBoy does not speak English very well so I will not be quoting him verbatim but rather paraphrasing what he told me was the reason behind the threads creation and how he feels about the articles written about his thread.

'I believed I saw a difference between the design of the harpy from Serious Sam 3 and the one in the Serious Sam 4 trailer. As I do not like censorship I went to the Steam forums and asked about it. Unfortunately the developers original response made me think what I believed I saw to be true. After the thread devolved into a pissing contest I decided to pin the developers comment that I thought answered the question. After I saw many articles come out about my thread I felt like voicing my opinion was a mistake so I edited the title and initial comment and closed it all.'

Early harpy design sketch
Of course if VG24/7 or any of the other outlets shitting on gamers actually reached out and spoken with CoolNatureBoy then they couldn't pretend like he was some incel woman hater wanting to see harpy tits. Their whole narrative would fall apart and they would actually have to address the fact that they helped to create a world in which nothing can be enjoyed at face value. Everything is political to outlets like them and then they freak out when people see something they perceive to be political and voice their concerns on it. Unless of course that concern aligns with THEIR politics, then they are all ears. Censorship is a real concern and one we must vigilantly look out for, so I would like to personally thank CoolNatureBoy for being brave enough to speak up despite the fact that many would love nothing more than to silence him and anyone who agrees with him.

I digress because this isn't an article meant to shit on my contemporaries but rather Serious Sam 4 and what exactly is going on with those harpies. That said, the articles I linked also failed to update their initial stories with all relevant information. Again, these outlets did this is despite Danny from Croteam making several comments both on Twitter and in the Steam thread about the issue. After all, it is easy to push a narrative when you cherry pick what your readers see and try to limit their access to the full context.

Initial developer comment
Developer explaining the reasoning behind the change
Developer clarifying that it is not censorship
Why adding optional bare breast models are not being considered

In addition to those four comments I put above, the developer made a few cheeky comments on the thread. I will link all 9 comments from the developer at the end of this article. Danny also addressed the issue on Twitter.

In his Tweet, pictured above, Danny said the following "As I said the character artist had no directions to follow and they did whatever they felt looked best at the time.
We're here to create games and have fun doing so. There's no deeper meaning for what we do in terms of design. We follow the inspiration. That's about it." I briefly spoke to Daniel Lucic via Twitter DMs and he expressed a desire to move past this issue and focus on the excitement behind the upcoming release of Serious Sam 4.

Harpy from tech demo
Now, unless you feel the developer is lying in his statements regarding the lack of censorship in Serious Sam 4, it is pretty clear adding feathers around the breast of the harpy enemies would have been a simple artistic choice and not self censorship or a change dictated by some outside pressure. That is, IF the harpy enemies indeed had such feathers around the breast. The picture I posted above and ones floating around the internet showing the feathered covered breast of the harpy enemies all come from a tech demo, 'Serious Sam 4: Planet Badass - Engine & Graphics Demonstration (HQ, FullHD) [July, 2019]', leaked from the Reboot Develop Blue conference on to the Questrium YouTube channel last July.

cropped 4K screen grab from the trailer
The harpies featured in the Serious Sam release date trailer look quite a bit different from the one in the tech demo. First off, the models look much detailed. Secondly, you can clearly see a difference in the chest "wound" that exposes the harpy's heart. Most importantly to this article, the breast of the harpies do not have feathers on them. While it does appear nipples may not be portruding, even in 4K it is hard to tell but some claim to be able to see them, it is clear that the breast and upper body "skin" portions of the character are all the same color. The white feathers are nowhere to be found. However, this is not simply my interpretation of what is on screen but rather it appears to be fact as an insider with knowledge of the game's development was the one who alerted me to frames I needed to view to verify the game was indeed uncensored.

While I can not say that the game will remain uncensored y, shape, or form censored. There will still be people who insist the game is being censored and the SJWs control everything, but people like that can never be reasoned with. Indeed, they are nothing more than the other side of the SJW coin. There will also be people out there who will call you names for simply being okay with harpy tits in a M rated game, fuck those people. Artistic expression goes both ways, so developers are free to put bikinis over harpy breast just like they are free to add bouncing gazongas to the flying bird women.

Developer Steam thread comments 1, 2, 3, 4, 5, 6, 7, 8, 9
*All Serious Sam images courtesy of Croteam