Publishing giant Electronic Arts' Sports label has said it will not put up with racism in its games.
In a post on Twitter, EA Sports admitted that there was more it could be doing to monitor hate speech within its games and remove those spouting it. The company said that it was looking at the list of words to make sure the filters can pick up hate speech in a number of "languages, dialects and slang." EA Sports is also adding in more options to report bad actors in its games, as well as increasing the frequency with which it reviews offenses to remove those behind them from its games faster.
"But we won't stop at these actions because we know we need to do better," the company wrote. "We will keep listening and continue to take steps that can make an impact in fighting bias, discrimination and injustice. We are also reviewing the policies and steps we can take across our entire portfolio of games and we will share more with you in the coming weeks."
This follows protests around the world following the death of George Floyd at the hands of Minneapolis police officer Derek Chauvin. Those protesting are voicing their anger at the treatment of black people and institutional racism as well as police brutality.
EA Sports follows Call of Duty maker Infinity Ward, who also vowed to fight racism in its games. Why it has taken these two very successful companies – behind some of the most lucrative, popular and mainstream games ever – so long to openly address the issue or racism and hate speech in their ecosystem is certainly troubling. But the fact they are looking to make some changes is surely a positive – if they actually deliver on these promises.
Games companies from around the industry have voiced their support of the #BlackLivesMatter protests. Humble has set aside $1m to publish games from black creators, while Double Fine has donated $12,000 to anti-racist charities. Meanwhile, PC games storefront Itch.io has raised more than $2.3m for the NAACP Legal Defense and Educational Fund, and the Community Bail Fund via the Bundle for Racial Justice and Equality.