Police cars disappear from Fortnite video game

This modification could well be the last symbol of the mobilization of the video game industry against police violence.

The launch of season 3 of Fortnite, expected by nearly 350 million faithful, will have aroused its share of surprises. In “Welcome to the Sea”, players can navigate underwater, ride sharks, or dress like the legendary Aquaman, among other things. But another change has caused a lot of reaction on forums and social media: the disappearance of police cars, which are usually part of the online game scene.

For the, the explanation is quite found: the Epic Games studios would thus show their support for the Black Lives Matter movement and the demonstrations against the police violence which shakes the United States since the murder of the African-American George Floyd on the 25th. last May. “This is not a political stance, but rather show sensitivity to the issues facing many of our players,” says a source close to the studio on a daily basis. Company executives declined to comment on the matter, but the move echoes a more global dynamic in the video game world.

Mobilization of the video game industry

Indeed, a few weeks ago, Activision studios have already chosen to display this message to players before each game of Call of Duty: Modern Warfare: «Our community is suffering. The systemic inequalities facing our community are once again in the spotlight. Call of Duty and Infinity Ward advocate equality and inclusion. We are against racism and injustices suffered by the black community. As long as this situation continues, we can never become the community we would like to be ”. In the same way, GTA Online and Red Dead Online, developed by Rockstar Games, were made unavailable for two hours, to “Honor the memory of George Floyd».

More broadly, the video game industry has also mobilized by directly promising donations to associations or by raising funds through special sales. Ubisoft, EA or Square Enix have announced to pay between 1 million and 100,000 dollars to the NAACP (National Association for the Advancement of Colored People). The itch.io online store site has raised more than $ 8 million for the same association by selling hundreds of indie video games at knockdown prices.

But this commitment is not to everyone’s taste. Some players regret that the experience in Fortnite is “degraded”, others do not hesitate to denounce an “anti-police” position or to assert that politics simply should not have its place in the universe. video game.