Thursday, July 2, 2020

video game industry shifts announcements in support of Black Lives Matter

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Promotional image announcing Sony's June 4 conference on the PlayStation 5.

Sony has announced, Monday, June 1, the postponement of a PlayStation conference scheduled for June 4, during which the manufacturer was to provide information and present the games of its future console: the PlayStation 5, whose release is scheduled for late 2020.

"Although we understand that you are anxious to see PS5 games, we think this is not the right time for that. Right now, we're taking a step back to allow more important voices to be heard, " explained the company in a press release – published after a first post denouncing the "Systemic racism and violence affecting the black community", with the keyword #BlackLivesMatter.

The video game giant is far from alone in postponing a conference or product launch, due to the particularly tense climate in the United States. Demonstrations against police violence and racism are now taking place daily in almost all major cities after the death of George Floyd on May 25.

Read also George Floyd's official autopsy finds "homicide" death due to "pressure on his neck"
Article reserved for our subscribers Read also "Respect our existence or expect our resistance": in the demonstrations in the United States, the rage of a crowd as white as black

"Call of Duty" and "Madden" postponed

If Google has also postponed the launch of the new version of the Android operating system, which was scheduled for Wednesday, June 3, the postponements concern for the moment mainly video game publishers. Their messages take up most of the time to support the mobilizations in progress.

Electronic Arts has delayed launch of Madden 21, the new version of his American football simulation. In a press release, the publisher said "Stand by the African American community" and claims to be "Focus on what (it can) do to help change the unfair treatment and discrimination that plagues (the United States) and the world". Two years ago, the editor apologized when players noticed that the name of American football player and anti-racism activist Colin Kaepernick had been censored for a piece featured on the game's soundtrack. At the time, Electronic Arts explained that it was an error and restored the uncensored file.

Activision, the editor of Call of duty, also have postponed the launch of the new season of its online shooting games. "Right now, it's up to those who are mobilizing for equality, justice and change to be seen and heard", wrote the editor.

These messages, unsurprisingly, were greeted with both praise and harsh criticism. On social networks, many Internet users respond to them with a recent meme, who mocks, in white text on a black background, the many solidarity messages published by all types of companies in the United States and in the world: they are accused of attempted recovery.

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