Bungie Explains More About the Gauntlet Hate Symbol That Was Removed From Destiny 2
Earlier this week Bungie flagged a design in one of the pieces of Hunter armor in their latest game. This unintentional Destiny 2 gauntlet hate symbol was quickly removed during the extended maintenance period that day, and Bungie issued a full response in their “This Week At Bungie” blog post that went live today. In the post they answer questions that have been dogging many fans, like how the design made it into the game in the first place and what steps they are taking to ensure that hateful and offensive iconography won’t make it into the game again.
How did it happen?
The design in question was initially created as part of gear foundry explorations in June of 2015. Graphic designers routinely reference real world art, iconography, typeface, and other design elements to inform the choices they make. In this case, some of the reference imagery featured the simple mirrored chevron shapes found in the finished piece. Some graphic design that belongs to sports teams provided some inspiration as well, along with some primitive shapes and chevrons that were used to permeate our Guardian class iconography.
How did we miss this content in development?
Although the design wasn’t emulative of the meme in question, the armor piece was eventually flagged by another team responsible for reviewing content for cultural, geographical, and other sensitive issues. Unfortunately, that review was conducted to explore whether or not we were comfortable with the connection to the original, innocuous “kek” internet meme. The more contemporary, vile derivation that has been repurposed by hate groups was not surfaced through this process, and therefore, the armor was approved for ship.
What steps are we taking to ensure that this won’t happen again?
We are digging in to determine how we can more deeply vet our game content to shield us, and our community, from inappropriate imagery. Though we are still investigating our creative process in full, we know there was no degree of malicious intent from anyone on our team. That said, we do recognize that the design in question is close enough to warrant removal from the game.
Talking further about fostering a studio of inclusion for both employees and players alike, Bungie offered no excuses and accepts any judgement that comes from their actions.
We want everyone to know their identity is welcome in our studio and in the worlds we create. This isn’t merely a platitude, but an official pillar we hold ourselves, and our work to. It is also a clarion call for the type of people we want to bring into our studio to help us make better games.
We aren’t asking you for the benefit of the doubt. We know we are judged by our actions. We want to thank the members of our community, and the press, for bringing this matter to our attention. We will always strive to make all players feel welcome in our worlds, to promote positive experiences, and to portray a bright and hopeful world in Destiny 2, and in every game world we create.