“I wouldn’t say it’s a political statement. I think it’s just us being sensitive about the issues many people in our audience are dealing with.”
A source at Epic Games Inc. told The Wall Street Journal that they removed police cars from the popular video game Fortnite:
“Fortnite” is one of the most popular games in the world, with more than 350 million players as of May, according to its creator, closely held Epic Games Inc. The shooter-survival game, which normally features police cars and other vehicles, launched a new season last week that introduced a new map for gameplay. Many vehicles remained after the update, but not police cars, according to a person familiar with the game’s development.
“I wouldn’t say it’s a political statement. I think it’s just us being sensitive about the issues many people in our audience are dealing with,” this person said.
Epic didn’t respond to a request for comment. The Cary, N.C., company was last valued at $15 billion in 2018, and also owns the app Houseparty and licenses software to other game developers and companies.
The death of George Floyd spawned the #DefundThePolice movement. The Minneapolis City Council even voted to disband the police department.
Epic Games did not comment on the removal, but explained in a previous blog post how the Black Lives Matters movement delayed season three:
“Recent events are a heavy reminder of ongoing injustices in society, from the denial of basic human rights to the impact of racism both overt and subtle against people of color,” Epic Games said.
“The team is eager to move Fortnite forward, but we need to balance the Season 3 launch with time for the team to focus on themselves, their families, and their communities.”
People on social media noticed the removal of police cars:
“Yikes. The anti-cop sentiment is reaching everything. Sad times,” wrote a Reddit user on the social-networking site.
“Fortnite” player Morgan McNabb of McKinney, Texas, said she didn’t have an issue with Epic’s decision to remove police cars.
“I’m for it,” said the 24-year-old, who is white and just graduated from law school. “There really is major police brutality. Minorities are treated differently than myself.”
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