As Apex Legends continues to dominate as one of the top battle royale games available, some players in Japan are seeing their account suspended for saying “run” in their native language.
Apex Legends took the world by storm when it released back in 2019. Now, two years later, it continues to be enjoyed by many players who have grown to appreciate the combination of hero shooter mechanics within a battle royale environment.
One country that has interestingly taken to the EA title is Japan. So much so that the game’s director, Chad Grenier, has hinted that the Season 9 Legend will especially appeal to Japanese players.
That is, of course, if those players can even play the game with their accounts suspended.
In recent weeks, there have been several reports of players having their accounts banned for saying “nigero” – a Japanese word that translates to “run away.”
Of course, it’s fairly obvious that upon first glance the word is very similar to a racial slur in English, but has an entirely different meaning.
According to screenshots posted by players to Reddit and other sites, EA is suspending these accounts for “hate speech.”
As part of the ban, as the screenshots indicate, the player had their account suspended for 168 hours – or one week – which is a significant amount of time.
As explained by Redditor Tesg9029, the Japanese player was trying to tell a teammate to run in English, because enemies were approaching. However, when they didn’t understand, the player used the word after assuming his teammate was Japanese.
Players on Reddit spoke out against the ban. “This is why I don’t use the text chat at all. They’ve been doing this type of thing for a while now. I’m not willing to risk my account, it affects gameplay because it limits [your] ability to communicate with your team!” one remarked.
“That’s pretty stupid of Apex, maybe translate the chat first, if they don’t speak the language and then issue the ban if needed,” another chimed in.
A lot of Japanese APEX legends players are getting banned for saying "nigero"
— Shizu (@BepDelta) April 2, 2021
It’s unclear if these suspensions are automated or issued manually by moderators, but if it’s the latter, the fact these mistakes have been happening frequently certainly poses a bit of a problem, especially for Japanese players.
This isn’t the first time that an Asian word has caused trouble for Western speakers. As the BBC has reported in the past, the Chinese word “nage,” which essentially translates to “that” has sparked quite a debate.
So far, neither EA or Respawn have commented about this issue.