How BLM Protests are Affecting the Game IndustryPosted by Call of Duty MobileMobile eSportsMobile Gaming June 9, 2020 in
How does the video game industry react to protests? By individual gaming companies have delayed previously announced content releases. These gaming companies such as Activision, IGN, Rockstar Gaming, and Sony did so in response to the Black Lives Matter movement protests honoring George Floyd’s death at the hand of Minneapolis Police Officers.
If you have yet to discover what the George Floyd Protests are all about, search any news channel worldwide and click on a relevant post. The ongoing protests – currently on day 11 – are a worldwide event supporting the movement known as Black Lives Matter or #BLM.
In response to the already tremendous worldwide support for the Black Lives Matter movement, we’ll dive a bit more into detail about what gaming industry companies have been doing to show their support.
Activision & Call of Duty
Activision has delayed the release of its Call of Duty: Modern Warfare and Call of Duty: Mobile season 4 and 7, respectively. The delay somewhat surprised the industry, but as players see more and more companies respond, the surprise quickly fades away. Multiple other popular gaming companies have followed suit. Other companies within the video game industry have delayed or postponed similar updates and releases—all declared it is in recognition of and support for the George Floyd protests, which search for JUSTICE against Police Brutality.
IGN & Summer of Gaming
Next, IGN postponed its “Summer of Gaming” event, scheduled to kick off on June 5th. IGN’s twitter had this to say:
“We stand in solidarity with the Black community and condemn racism.
Out of respect for and in support of those rightfully demanding justice and change across the United States and the world, IGN will be delaying the launch of its Summer of Gaming main events until June 8th.”
On May 25th George Floyd was arrested for a suspected counter-fitting of a $20 bill. Floyd was a 46-year-old black man from Minneapolis who was held by Minneapolis police officer Derek Chauvin. The video and photographs that the protests based upon are world renown; however, for those that don’t know, Floyd was seeing in a facedown position and was held there by Officer Chauvin. Chauvin knelt on Floyd’s neck for almost 9 minutes, while Floyd repeatedly stated that he could not breathe and felt he was going to die.
The game industry leader not only postponed a release but started looking into other ways to lend its support. On June 2nd, BLM supporters called for a media “blackout.” So, in addition to the postponement, IGN, participated in “Blackout Tuesday” by endeavoring to raise donated support for several Black community projects. Their “sister company, Humble Bundle, has announced a $1 million fund dedicated to helping publish games by Black developers.”
Another company, Rockstar Games, declared their support for the BLM movement by scheduling an offline “blackout” lasting 2 hours on their MMOs – Grand Theft Auto V and Red Dead Redemption 2. The offline blackout took place to honor the “Legacy of George Floyd” on June 4th from 2:00-4:00 p.m. ET and posted via their twitter feed and main website.
Sony & PlayStation 5
On June 4th Sony had planned to showcase new Playstation V games but instead postponed the game showcase. Sony made the decisions to “stand back and allow more important voices to be heard.” The showcase had been announced on May 29th and had meant to showcase the “future of gaming.” So far, Sony has not announced an updated release date.
The Black Lives Matter protests and following riots are not only for George Floyd’s murder, but for the countless other black men and women who have been killed during arrests by Police officers over the decade, and the use of police brutality and racism that has flowed through the United States for centuries.