Games companies back #BlackLivesMatter protests across the US

Games companies back #BlackLivesMatter protests across the US

Developers and publishers from across the games industry have supported the #BlackLivesMatter protests that are happening across the US.

There have been protests in cities across the United States in the wake of George Floyd being killed by police officer Derek Chauvin in Minneapolis. The official autopsy says that there were underlying causes, but the officer in question did kneel on Floyd's neck for almost nine minutes while Floyd screamed for help. Chauvin has been charged with third-degree murder and second-degree manslaughter.

These protests have turned violent in many parts of the country, becoming the worst race riots that the US has seen since the Civil Rights Movement back in the 1960s.

Microsoft CEO Satya Nadella told employees on Friday, May 29th that it should be using its tech to force change.

"Our identity, our very existence is rooted in empowering everyone on the planet," the exec said.

"So, therefore, it's incumbent upon us to use our platforms, our resources, to drive that systemic change, right? That's the real challenge here. It's not just any one incident, but it's all the things that have led to the incident that absolutely need to change."

Microsoft, of course, has contracts with the US military, as well as the Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE), which do cast doubts on the Big M's willingness to fight the power. 

Meanwhile, US publisher Electronic Arts has delayed its planned reveal for the forthcoming Madden NFL 21 due to the protests that are taking place across the United States.

EA revealed on Twitter via the Madden account that it was pushing back the event, saying that it stood by the African American and Black community.

"Our immediate attention is on actions that we can take to drive change against the unjust treatment and systematic bias that is plaguing the nation and our world," the company wrote.

"We'll find another time to talk football with you. Because this is bigger than a game, bigger than sports, and needs all of us to stand together and commit to change."

League of Legends maker Riot Games, Sony and studio Naughty Dog are among those that have voiced their support for the protests. PlayStation is also matching donations made by Naughty Dog staff to help the cause

Of course, putting out a tweet and voicing support is nice, actions will tell whether these companies truly want to change the situation in the United States – and globally – or whether these are empty words. 

PCGamesInsider Contributing Editor

Alex Calvin is a freelance journalist who writes about the business of games. He started out at UK trade paper MCV in 2013 and left as deputy editor over three years later. In June 2017, he joined Steel Media as the editor for new site In October 2019 he left this full-time position at the company but still contributes to the site on a daily basis. He has also written for, VGC, Games London, The Observer/Guardian and Esquire UK.