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Infinity Ward has made a pledge to Call of Duty players to introduce stricter anti-racism measures in its games. The announcement came following a decision earlier this week to delay the launch of Warzone Season 4 in light of the continued protests around the world against police brutality in the US and racism everywhere.
"There is no place for racist content in our game," the developer wrote in a statement on Twitter. "This is an effort we began with launch and we need to do a better job. We're missing thousands of daily bans of racist and hate-oriented names."
The developer said it plans to do more, and lists some measures it will be rolling out.
These measures include: "Adding additional resources to monitor and ID racist content", "Adding filters and greater restrictions on name changes", and "Increasing permanent bans to root out repeat offenders".
Infinity Ward ended by saying, "We apologise to our players. This is our commitment to you, our fans, thank you."
Replies to the tweet make clear why Infinity Ward thinks it can do more to stop racist behaviour in its games. Many share screenshots of player names containing racist slurs, and other messages from fans of the game contain extremely racist remarks.
Earlier this week, Infinity Ward announced that it would be delaying the launch of Warzone's Season 4, saying: "Now is not the time. [...] Right now it's the time for those speaking up for equality, justice, and change to be seen and heard". As the protests have continued, the developer has remained silent on when the new season will launch.
Since making the statement on Twitter, new Black Lives Matter-supporting loading screens have been rolled out to Call of Duty: Modern Warfare and Warzone. Via the latest update, and as reported by The Verge, the game runs a message that reads:
"Our community is hurting. The systemic inequalities our community experiences are once again centre 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."
Call of Duty's publisher, Activision Blizzard, also put out a statement earlier this week, writing: "Today, and always, we support all those who stand against racism and inequality. There is no place for it in our society - or any society. Black Lives Matter."
Though that rings less true considering it banned 'Blitzchung', a Hearthstone pro player, from competing in events after he expressed support for the Hong Kong protests in October last year. Activision Blizzard didn't just ban the player and forfeit the prize money he had earned - it also terminated its contract with the two casters who were hosting the stream.
We'll have to see how these statements are further acted on in the coming months.
Featured Image Credit: Activision Blizzard
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