Infinity Ward, developers of Warzone and Modern Warfare, have revealed a host of new measures to combat in-game racism, after fans demanded they took action.
Recent events in the USA have sparked a renewed focus on racial inequality, including in the video game community. Sony postponed the reveal of their upcoming Playstation 5, while Epic Games announced another delay to the launch of Fortnite’s third season, to allow more important voices to be heard.
Call of Duty, for its part, has announced a delay to Modern Warfare and Warzone’s fourth season, and postponed the CDL Minnesota event by one week. They also confirmed that more news about “how the Call of Duty League family plans to pay tribute to George Floyd and dedicate this Home Series to supporting the fight for social justice” will follow.
On June 3, a statement from CoD developers Infinity Ward revealed further in-game measures to combat prejudice and racism. Modern Warfare’s move towards name customization – as opposed to using PSN/Xbox Live usernames – has allowed some users to use racial slurs in their gamertags.
“There is no place for racist content in our game,” the statement reads. “This is an effort we began with launch and we need to do a better job. We’re issuing thousands of daily bans of racist and hate-oriented names.”
The announcement details a host of in-game adjustments made to combat hateful names and slurs. These include additional resources to monitor hateful gamertags, and making it easier for players to report individuals responsible.
— Infinity Ward (@InfinityWard) June 3, 2020
It also states that there will be greater restrictions on usernames, as well as an increase in the number of permanent bans to stop repeat offenders from being able to continue their behavior.
The response was partly pushed by a trending hashtag, #EndCODRacism, which argued that it had been a problem in Call of Duty for too long. Of course hate can also occur in voice chat and messages, as well as usernames/gamertags.