Gaming events and patches are delayed, games taken offline to support Black Lives Matter protests

    
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The PC Gaming Show that was scheduled for Saturday has been postponed a week, PC Gamer announced last night. It’ll run June 13th instead, specifically to “make space” for the now daily protests against ongoing police brutality running in every US state and multiple other countries around the world. Here’s the statement:

“Like you, we have found it hard over the last week to focus on anything other than the demands for justice and the justifiable anger that millions of Americans are expressing. Right now, we want to make space for those speaking out and demonstrating about how to end the systemic oppression and police brutality experienced by black people. In support of that movement, we are postponing the broadcast of this year’s PC Gaming Show by a week to Saturday, June 13. This year’s event represents the collective work of hundreds of passionate, committed, supremely talented developers whose vision we’re excited to help share.”

Meanwhile, Epic Games has delayed Fortnite’s update, attributing that decision to the protests as well.

“Recent events are a heavy reminder of ongoing injustices in society, from the denial of basic human rights to the impact of racism both overt and subtle against people of color. We’re acutely aware of the pain our friends, families, team members, players, and communities are experiencing. We believe in equality and justice, diversity and inclusion, and that these fundamentals are above politics. The team is eager to move Fortnite forward, but we need to balance the Season 3 launch with time for the team to focus on themselves, their families, and their communities. The live event The Device will be delayed to Monday, June 15, and the Season 3 launch delayed to Wednesday, June 17. We know this delay comes on the heels of another one, and we appreciate your patience and understanding during these difficult times.”

On Monday we began chronicling the gaming studios and organizations that were speaking up in support of the Black Lives Matter movement and the protests that have erupted up in the wake of multiple killings of black Americans by police.

Among the companies standing in solidarity with the movement are Sony, Microsoft, Bungie, Digital Extremes, Activision Blizzard, Daybreak, Bethsoft, Standing Stone Games, Ubisoft, Riot Games, Humble, Cloud Imperium, Echtra Games, Electronic Arts, Improbable, Nintendo, Square-Enix, PAX, Amazon Games, Little Orbit, Niantic, and NCsoft West. While some of these companies have been accused by gamers and journalists of merely paying lip service to a hashtag, others are donating significant sums of money to community service and legal aid organizations, including Black Lives Matter and the NAACP.

Source: Twitter, PC Gamer
Update
Rockstar has announced it will close GTAO and Red Dead Online during the memorial for George Floyd this afternoon.

Update – June 5
A few more studios chiming in here.

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Bruno Brito

This is the biggest internal conflict i’ve ever felt in my life.

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Jo Watt

The biggest issue to date is that people/companies issue statements (and include their nice donation brag) that they stand ‘behind’ BLM or any other movement. But none of these people/companies ever really push beyond simply standing ‘behind’ such movements and try to lead the way to finding solutions or helping.

It would be great if all Police had body cams, active at all times, as well as being monitored by 3rd party Organizations during any altercations or random checks.

Better training and actually reviewing Police Officers more often, monthly, by 3rd parties that can question reports and get answers instead instead of things being brushed aside.

Sure it may take some money to get things rolling but material costs are nothing compared to a persons LIFE.

There are some understandable issues with say investigations and evidence etc but as long as any 3rd party reviewers have Clearance and job training to handle that information (like in the Military background checks and you are trained with what you can and cannot say) then that becomes a non-issue.

I guess I just think Police need to be monitored much more closely. They need to be reminded at all times that they are there to Serve the people and communities not harass them.

Oh yea but on the topic of the games shutting down and stuff… at the end of the day it does nothing to help more then it grabs attention in a big headline.

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Bruno Brito

I guess I just think Police need to be monitored much more closely. They need to be reminded at all times that they are there to Serve the people and communities not harass them.

You’re looking at this wrong. The Police has absolutely no obligation of protecting and serving anyone. It’s not even in their constitutional job description.

If you’re stabbed, they have no obligation to help you.

The US Police doesn’t need to be monitored. It needs to be completely destroyed and from it’s ashes, a new design of police to be built.

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Jo Watt

Yes… and if that system isn’t monitored then you will achieve nothing.

And you are looking at what some Police are doing vs what they are supposed to be doing.

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Bruno Brito

And you are looking at what some Police are doing vs what they are supposed to be doing.

I’ll repeat: The police are not obligated to protect nor serve anyone. They’re not obligated to help you.

They are doing EXACTLY what they are supposed to do: Be a suppresion force. That’s their function. There’s a reason why the US force was militarized over the years. There’s a reason why they use Civil Forfeiture cases to literally steal money from their citizens legally. This is all Lawful.

The problem isn’t the cops. It’s the entire system and the entire force. There isn’t any ammount of monitoration that will chance that, unless we start treating cops like prisoners, which, considering how prisons are in the US, it won’t change a thing.

Let me use an MMO analogy: There is no ammount of feature creep that will make a broken game good.

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Bruno Brito

There’s a specific company i wanna mention:

Hi-rez.

I don’t know what the fuck is going on with Hi-rez, that it seems they took the people being skeptical of their support seriously and seem to be touchy about it.

Yet, for some reason i didn’t see anything about monetary support to any charities or the like, only in-game speeches and twitter support. I may be wrong here.

If anyone from MOP is interested in going after that, i’m highly interested in trying to understand what is what.

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Bruno Brito

Edit: Isaiah answered.

I’ll always be skeptical of Hi-rez, but it doesn’t really seem they’re that bad. They do have a terrible record of actively banning people who use racial slurs tho.

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Kickstarter Donor
Greaterdivinity

Oh man, Rockstar, so fucking brave. So bold. Lead us into the woke future, Rockstar.

Man, I know many of the folks working on these initiatives probably care and are coming from a good place but like…shutting down online for 2 hours to support the protesters? That’s some weak-ass shit right there, and most players will probably not see the message and just blow up their support feeds with “WHY ARE SERVERS DOWN? ARE SERVERS DOWN? WHERE ARE SERVERS? I WANT TO PLAY!”

This isn’t “doing something”. This isn’t supporting anyone. This isn’t making space for anyone. This isn’t raising awareness. This is a marketing stunt so that people hopefully don’t forget that Rockstar cares, too.

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McGuffn

Precisely. I’m not on the videogames cause violence bandwagon by any means, but taking down your crime simulator to pay respects to a victim of police violence is laughable.

Stick with the sincere but maybe cynical public statements, thank you.

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Bruno Brito

I would rather they just shut the fuck up, and show a bill of them donating to charities for like 1 billion dollars.

That would send a huge message.

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Sorenthaz

Hope folks don’t just give ActiBlizz and others a pass for showing their hypocrisy over the Hong Kong fiasco last fall. It is fascinating though how many corporations, big tech companies, online personalities, etc are coming out to declare their allegiance or support for BLM.

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Arktouros

To be fair it’s a pretty low standard to be held to. There’s nothing risqué in coming out to support such causes.

Now if you started demanding instead of supportive messages they stop doing business in countries where such injustices occur and threaten to boycott their products until they do so…wait…hrm…uh oh…

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Kickstarter Donor
Greaterdivinity

Makes sense.

Also worth noting: The pointless puff statements from most companies were literally just that – https://kotaku.com/game-companies-say-they-re-supporting-black-lives-matte-1843882888

Amusingly, EA is one of the ones leading the way in putting their money with their mouth is. They’re shit in a great many ways, but they’ve been strong supporters of social issues within and outside of their workforce for years, putting every other major publisher to shame. But because they had some really, really, really bad MTX for Battlefront 2 they’re totes the worst company in the US.

Delaying these is the right call, both selfishly (fewer eyeballs) and morally (it’s just wrong right now).

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Utakata

On the other hand, if they’re doing this out of pure marketing purposes (which they most likely are), it isn’t an entirely bad thing if equality and a just society are benefiting from it. We would have a lot more to complain about it if they targeted the anti-woke crowd instead.

I still don’t trust them and I wholly question their sincerity and motives. And so should we all, IMO. But if they’re helping the world to be a better and more hopeful place in doing so, I’m not going to stop them either.

It’s a real troublesome call to make though. /le sigh

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Kickstarter Donor
Greaterdivinity

We would have a lot more to complain about it if they targeted the anti-woke crowd instead.

Agreed, but I don’t want to set the bar that far underground for them. These companies should be better than that.

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Arktouros

it isn’t an entirely bad thing if equality and a just society are benefiting from it

All you’re benefiting from is a fresh coat of white paint to cover up the rot underneath. Systemic issues run deeper than a few charitable donation write offs can address.

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Utakata

Of course it isn’t…but as I said, I’m not going to stop them from doing the right thing here.

Personally though, I hope they do far more. In fact, they need to do far more. And as well, step outside of their bottom line thinking.

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Arktouros

The only reason they exist is bottom line thinking.

It’s like trying to make a lion a vegetarian.

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Utakata

Then you seem to be complaining about something you knowingly can’t change…

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Bruno Brito

Best. Emoji. Ever.

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Arktouros

Not really complaining about something as much as to point out it being pointless in hoping for something that can’t change.

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Utakata

I never said anything about hoping for something to change that can’t. Rather stating what I would like changed regardless whether it would change or not. There is a difference.

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Bruno Brito

I mean, i don’t think it’s really hopeless. Maybe right now, but we could set the ground for new companies to be founded under the umbrella of more healthy relationships between co-workers and workers and suits.

Isn’t that how the entire crowdfunding thing started? Wanting to get away from corporate greed that forced games to be completely whacked by shitty monetization and catering to the lowest denominator?

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Arktouros

I’m a New World delay away from winning corporate sympathies BINGO.