Call of Duty: Modern Warfare and Warzone now have Black Lives Matter loading screens ahead of every single match, openly and directly communicating the support for the movement that seeks equal justice and treatment for Black people as well as an end to police brutality, often focused on the Black community.
Last night while playing a few rounds of Warzone Quads with some friends, we were all kicked back to the main menu for a quick playlist update. This happens occasionally after matches—not an unusual occurrence at all. It’s usually just an update that was pushed server-side and requires a quick refresh of the game. This time, on loading back in, each of us was met with a new splash screen.
Black Lives Matter
Our community is hurting.
The systemic inequalities our community experiences are once again center stage.
Call of Duty and Infinity Ward stand for equality and inclusion. We stand against the racism and injustice our Black community endures.
Until change happens and Black Lives Matter, we will never truly be the community we strive to be.
This screen requires players to press X, meaning it’s an actionable screen that they can’t just ignore. If you weren’t online during the update, you’ll be met with this screen the next time you load up the game (either Modern Warfare or the standalone free-to-play Warzone).
In addition, this message appears as players load into every single match. Whether Modern Warfare multiplayer or any of the Warzone playlists, the usual loading splash screen has been replaced by this messaging.
It’s a strong stance and show of support in a series that is traditionally associated with a toxic community. It backs Infinity Ward’s recent commitments to do better at combatting online hate and racism in its games, and by putting this messaging front and center, it sends a clear message to players that there is no place in Call of Duty—or the world—for the inequal and racist treatment of Black people. Infinity Ward also delayed the start of this week’s Call of Duty Modern Warfare Season Four to make room for the global conversation happening around Black Lives Matter.