As the United States is engulfed in protests over racial police violence and racial inequality, video game publishers and console developers have delayed new releases and events, offering statements of solidarity with the George Floyd protestors.
The protests have been going on across different states, after a white Minneapolis police officer, Derek Chauvin, knelt on Geroge Floyd’s neck for 8 minutes and 46 seconds, resulting in his death. The violent arrest was caught on camera and the protests started since. Chauvin was then arrested and charged with third-degree murder.
The month of June was set to be busy with major gaming events, including the Sony Playstation 5 reveal event on June 4 and the launch for the new Call of Duty games on June 3. The gaming community, however, chose to postpone the events in the light of current protests to keep the attention on the Black Lives Matter movement.
Call of Duty‘s Twitter account posted on Tuesday that Activision Blizzard is delaying the launch of Season 4 of Call of Duty; Modern Warfare and Warzone, as well as Season 7 for its mobile game till further notice due to the ongoing anti-racism movement.
“While we all look forward to playing the new seasons of Modern Warfare, Warzone and Call of Duty: Mobile, now is not the time,” the tweet read. “Right now is the time for those speaking up for equality, justice and change to be seen and heard.”
— Call of Duty News (@charlieINTEL) June 2, 2020
Activision Blizzard also posted several Black Lives Matter-related statements over their Twitter account.
EA Sports also postponed the first look announcement of Madden 21 NFL game. The game’s new update was due to be released on June 1. The trailer appeared last month, as Lamar Jackson was said to be on this year’s cover. EA chose to postpone the event, following the nationwide demonstrations over Floyd’s death.
“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,” Madden NFL’s official Twitter announcement said.
An official statement from EA SPORTS pic.twitter.com/MKdgJjvKJB
— Madden NFL 20 (@EAMaddenNFL) May 31, 2020
At the same time, Sony PlayStation 5 reveal event, originally scheduled for June 4, was similarly delayed. Sony released a public statement, saying it was not “a time for celebration” and more important voices” should be heard.
— PlayStation (@PlayStation) June 1, 2020
The previous tweet from the company said they “denounce systemic racism and violence against the black community.”
Their major competitors, Microsoft, who already revealed their new generation console, Xbox X, expressed solidarity with Sony PlayStation and retweeted their statement, adding “We stand together.” The company also posted their own message to the gaming community on standing against racism.
Xbox stands together with our fans, creators, colleagues, friends, and the entire African American & Black Community against systemic racism and injustice.
— Xbox (@Xbox) June 1, 2020