When the game came out last year players were able to input customised names for themselves that display in place of a traditional gamertag. This opened the way for shedloads of racial abuse.
Players with the display names of “I hate n*ggers”, “N*gger Slayer” and the barely-disguised “KneeGearSlayer69” with the clan tag “Noose” are apparently a thing.
Now publisher Activision Blizzard has started making statements of support for the ongoing Black Lives Matter protests currently taking place in all 50 states, there have been calls for a crack down on the racial slurs that some players use in their handles.
The charge was led by Modern Warzone calling on the publisher to put its words into action and Infinity Ward has since responded.
“There is no place for racist content in our game”, says a tweet outlining the efforts being made to clean up Modern Warfare. The developer said it will devote additional resources to monitor and identify racist content, add additional in-game reporting systems, add filters and more restrictions to name changes, and increase the number of permanent bans for repeat offenders.
Activision recently postponed the upcoming seasons of content for Modern Warfare, Warzone, and Call of Duty: Mobile, framing its support specifically with protestors’ push for racial justice.
“Right now it’s time for those speaking up for equality, justice and change to be seen and heard”, reads the official Call of Duty statement. “ We stand alongside you.”
“Today, and always, we support all those who stand against racism and inequality. There is no place for it in our society—or any society. Black lives matter”, reads a statement put out by the wider Activision Blizzard organisation.
When asked for comment on these statements earlier today by Kotaku, Activision Blizzard did not respond with any specifics about what supportive actions it planned to take. The Call of Duty community quickly zeroed in on something it thought the publisher could do, which is to address the issue of racial slurs appearing in Modern Warfare.