Electronic Arts (EA) and developer Respawn Entertainment have given all players of Apex Legends a Black Lives Matter badge.
As stated on the game’s official Twitter, the badge was added as part of Black History Month. They also represent “a small reminder that we must always stand in solidarity with our Black colleagues, partners, family, friends, & players in the fight against racism and social injustice.” Badges appear on banners to be displayed in arenas, and appear before matches.
While some seemed happy with the decision, others on social media were critical. After the death of George Floyd, several major US cities were embroiled in rioting and looting.
While some those rioting claimed it was in defense of African Americans and other minorities, their actions had resulted in the burning of small businesses and allegedly murder. Some have blamed Black Lives Matter for this, while others have disassociated the rioters from the group. Some have denounced Black Lives Matter as detrimental to ending racial tensions.
We previously reported how the gaming industry reacted to the protests and subsequent riots across the US over the death of George Floyd. This resulted in delays and postponements by PlayStation, EA Sports, IGN, Guerrilla Collective, along with Activision and Infinity Ward with the Call of Duty franchise [1, 2].
We also saw Black Lives Matter t-shirts added to NBA 2K20, Head of Xbox Phil Spencer stating Microsoft has plans for more Black and African American “Visible Leaders” in the gaming industry, and Ubisoft CEO Yves Guillemot stating the company’s support of Black Lives Matter.
The latter came after the developers of Tom Clancy’s Elite Squad stated they would alter the game’s opening cutscene. This was due the villainous organization’s propaganda posters being compared to Black Lives Matter; a raised black fist as their symbol, and their use of chaos to further their own agendas (which Black Lives Matter have been accused of).