The Postal franchise is considered one of the most infamous gaming franchises of all time, with its most impactful title Postal 2 being considered one of the most offensive games of all time. But the question is, how did this become the case? Well, luckily Running with Scissors looks to be answering that question and many more with its upcoming documentary Going Postal: The Legacy Foretold that recently launched its Kickstarter, in collaboration with producers, Running with Scissors is looking to tell its 25 year legacy in feature-length form.
A history of infamy
Postal is a franchise surrounded by controversy due to its incredibly unapologetically edgy nature. It’s a series that has been controversial since its inception both due to its gameplay and its humour. However, for many, it’s these controversies that have given the game such a loyal fanbase, embracing the dark and offensive humour due to the games incredibly wacky and satirical tone. The series, since its conception has been steeped in a history of media criticism, most notably it has been a large part of the video game and violence conversation as shown in archive footage in the documentary’s trailer.
Postal 2‘s problems also extended to the legal level with the game being banned in New Zealand along with the possibility of a 10-year prison sentence for its distribution. Additionally, the game’s Swedish distributor also suffered legal consequences, in both situations, this stemmed from the games violent and offensive content. The most interesting take on the title was Ryan C. Gordon who handled Linux ports of the games, he praised Postal 2 for being a “brilliant caricature of our mangled, disconnected, fast-food society, disguised as a collection of dirty jokes and ultraviolence”.
Despite the franchise being mired in controversy for many years one of the most interesting stories is the development of Postal 3, a game that the fanbase has shunned due to the game being in development hell for many years, as well as being outsourced to another developer along with the omission of the franchises beloved main voice actor, Rick Hunter. The story of what went wrong with Postal 3 has been discussed frequently with developers commenting on how it underdelivered, with Postal 4 acting as a kind of retcon of Postal 3 and promising fans of Postal 1 and 2 a “true sequel” with the Indiegogo page promising that each entry has “their own unique and just as crazy stories worth being told.”
What’s clear about the documentary is the passion that both Running with Scissors and the producers have for this franchise, and it’s clear that they want to share their story, evidenced by their pledge to create the documentary regardless of whether they reach their goal or not.
A first look trailer has been released by Running with Scissors and gives us an idea of what we can expect to see in the doc. It looks to delve deeply into the mind of the games creator Vince Desi and how he and his team faced the backlash over the years that Postal received. The documentary also looks to focus on the question of videogame violence and Postal‘s role within it, from examining the original games release and the media response, to looking at the second game’s even more controversial nature and where the franchise sits in the conversation today. The documentary looks to tell an informative and important story within the games industry, and examine the people behind the iconic and infamous franchise. For fans, it looks to leave no stone unturned and answer all the questions they have. The Kickstarter Campaign for the project is full of the companies trademark sarcastic and crude humour that reminds fans that this is a passion project, even down to its donation tiers being references to Postal 2.
The chatter online has been incredibly positive with the Kickstarter, at the time of writing being 53% complete with 22 days still to go. Heading to Twitter it’s clear that fans are eagerly awaiting more information and the documentary’s release
It'll be interesting to see such a niche series get a professional spotlight shone on it for sure, I like what I've seen so far, interesting that you're highlighting the moral panic around the first POSTAL too, it's funny to look back at a time where POSTAL was seen as horrifying
— Elwood (@l_wood03) August 17, 2021
Looked awesome, hopefully this documentary will draw some more eyes to the series.
— feelingyourpelvis (@feelingpelvis) August 18, 2021
The campaign even received an endorsement from the creator of DUSK, David Szymanski
Indiegogo for a Postal documentary? Color me intrigued.https://t.co/DisPMbyVU1
— David Szymanski (@DUSKdev) August 18, 2021
With the buzz surrounding the documentary at an all-time high, it is looking to be a very exciting time to be a Postal fan. If you’re a fan of Postal and are interested in helping support the project you can do so by checking out their Kickstarter. Equally, if you haven’t played any of the Postal games you can find them all available on Steam.
If you’d like to keep up to date with all of our upcoming reviews, news, and features here at Gaming Sandbox, feel free to follow us on Twitter, Instagram, Facebook, and LinkedIn. If you’d like to support us financially you can do so by following the link to our Patreon!