Publisher Bethesdas has banned a number of players from its newly-released Fallout 76 after they declared their intention to "eliminate all gays".
As reported by Eurogamer, the group was harassing players saying things such as "queer down" and "decontaminate the aids". The incident was made public when one of the victims, going by the name AJ, posted a video on Twitter (below) due to the fact that Fallout 76 doesn't have an internal report function. Great.
"The tweet was forwarded to some community managers for the game and they were very kind and helpful," he told Eurogamer.
"We were given a link to report the players but had issues with it. The site asked for a video file of the incident but the accepted file types weren't video files. So we couldn't send one. For me, the page would not even load. It seems very difficult to report players."
He continued: "In the moment, I was just in shock. It was disgusting. The three of us stream and put ourselves out there on the internet and are not strangers to homophobic comments but this was so extreme. We talked about what happened, made sure we were all okay, and kept playing. The rest of the night I just felt drained. It was a weird feeling.
"I got really angry too. These guys were running around targeting people and what if they targeted a kid playing that was struggling with their identity? What if they said all those things to someone that was playing solo and didn't have anyone to talk to? That can really mess someone up. Playing a game to escape reality and then that happens. That's why we need to be able to report these people and why companies need to do something about reports."
So @bethesda, how do we report people in @Fallout? @ChipWhitehouse @Handsandhead and I literally had our characters hunted down and killed by homophobic players. I'll post more of the video in a thread. Strong language warning. pic.twitter.com/gN1rsRFz1h— AJpls (@twitch_ajpls) November 16, 2018
Initially the group of homophobes was banned for three days - however, Bethesda has now banned the players for life.
"We gave an initial ban of three days while our CS team looked into the matter further to verify the individuals involved and what took place," a Bethesda spokesperson said.
"After additional review, we have now permanently banned the players we've identified."