Recent events in the Unites States that stemmed from the harrowing killing of George Lloyd have led to a large number of companies around the globe – including Sony, Microsoft, and Nintendo – issuing statements on racism. The games industry has vowed to take steps to combat the issue, with major companies acknowledging that they haven’t done enough to curb toxicity within their games.
Earlier this week, a number of Take-Two games took their servers offline to honor Floyd and show their support for the Black Lives Matter movement, following which NBA 2K20 players noticed that the in-game store was offering free “Say Their Names,” “I Can’t Breathe,” and Black Lives Matter shirts. “I can’t breathe” weren’t just Floyd’s last words, they were also Eric Garner’s last words prior to his 2014 death at the hands of a NYPD officer.
According to Kotaku, NBA 2K20‘s hub was full of Black Lives Matter posters when servers came back online.
Separately, EA Sports issued a statement outlining the steps that it’s going to take to curb toxicity, especially racism. The company acknowledged that it hadn’t done enough to combat such behavior in the past.
“We have been actively reviewing our term list to ensure our filter set is comprehensive and accounts for various languages, dialects, and slang,” wrote EA. “Due to the high volume of toxic behavior within some of our games, we have increased the frequency of reviewing offenses with the goal of acting more quickly to remove it from our games.”
EA also said that it’ll look into expanding its resources to combat toxicity.