Activision Blizzard apologized for offending people after their Diversity Space Tool sparked backlash for being offensive by reducing diversity to “weird and degrading metrics.”
On May 12, Activision Blizzard revealed their Diversity Space Tool, describing it as a “measurement device to help identify how diverse a set of character traits are and in turn how diverse that character and casts are when compared to the ‘norm.’”
It sparked a debate on social media. Some people slammed the tool for “reducing diversity to extremely weird and degrading metrics,” while others argued it was “cringe” but claimed the company had the right intentions.
Activision Blizzard responded to the surmounting backlash and discussion by clarifying the tool’s purpose. They explained that it’s only “one small component” of their efforts and apologized for offending anyone.
“We recently shared a blog post that raised questions about how we approach diversity in our games,” they said. “While the prototype tool has been tested internally, it is not in active use. Our dev teams have always and will continue to drive in-game content.
“We have updated the post to clarify the purpose of this tool, which is one small component of our broader DE&I efforts and is not intended to be a replacement for diverse perspectives. We regret any offense that the original post may have caused.”
We have updated the post to clarify the purpose of this tool, which is one small component of our broader DE&I efforts and is not intended to be a replacement for diverse perspectives. We regret any offense that the original post may have caused. (2/2)
— Activision Blizzard (@ATVI_AB) May 14, 2022
However, like their initial blog post, the apology drew mixed reactions on social media. For example, one fan urged the developers to organically integrate diverse characters into the story rather than as a means of “fulfilling a quota.”
Another fan advised them to hire more diverse artists rather than make it a mathematical and systematic process. Activision Blizzard edited their blog post to clarify that the tool “isn’t meant to be used in isolation.”