Are Gaming Companies Actually Supporting the Black Lives Matter Movement?
We’ve seen a few gaming companies put out statements for Black Lives Matter which is great. In a previous article, I suggest some ways the companies can help besides putting out statements. I made a thread but it got a little messy so I wanted to clean it up.
Here is a list of companies that have made statements so far. This will be updated as they continue to release their solidarity pieces. I’ve also attached various facts about the companies and a link to their LinkedIn pages to see if they’re practicing what they preach.
I’m not surprised that most of the people employed at Crunchyroll are Asian but there doesn’t seem to be many more minorities. Of course, no one could forget them featuring Meg Thee Stallion. We do want to see more Black people working there and being featured
Naughty Dog, the first time I saw a Black person in your game is Uncharted, Nadine Ross. So, while I appreciate this statement add more Black people to your games. And I pulled up your LinkedIn and 6 pages in, no Black employees.
Not too much to say about Marvel besides the Marvel Entertainment chairman, Ike Perlmutter, giving money to Tr*mp’s campaign. It’s weird when the head goes against what it looks like the body wants to do. Marvel needs to add more Black people in general, but I truly feel they have been making the effort.
A statement from Frosty Faustings, a midwest fighting game tournament, is not surprising whatsoever. Black people make up the majority of the fighting game community (FGC). Not being in tandem with Black civil rights would mean they didn’t love the FGC.
Another head of a FGC tournament.
As a former employer of Microsoft, they have always made great strides to be inclusive. I never felt like they weren’t supporting the Black employees at the company because there is a specific space for them called BAM, Blacks at Microsoft. Plus there are policies in place for employing immigrants within the company and they support the LGBTQ staff.
GameSpot had a little trouble conveying the message then cleaned it up with this. They tried to pull a Nickelodeon but it didn’t go well for them. Their initial tweet said they will not post for 8mins and 46 secs. But honestly, what is 8 mins plus on the internet? Then senior editor tweeted this video.
Ubisoft is a company we know strives to include Black people and other people of color. They have donated, have mixers for Black devs, and have Black people in leadership.
Valkyrie is an organization founded by a woman of color who shows support for Black people.
Dynamik Focus is founded by a Black woman, with a team of Black people. We know where her priorities.
Jackbox needs a bit more melanin on their staff.
Black voices that work for you could be amplified by you. Get more Black voices.
I’m seeing minorities in your company but not many Black people. It seems a majority of the people at Hinterland are from South Africa.
Ok, this company has a history of portraying stereotypes in games like Street Fighter. Currently, Capcom hires many progressive minorities so they seek to include Black people. Capcom is a huge piece of the fighting game community. We love to see that we are accepted into the community. It’s time to have more of us in leadership.
Combo Queens have always been inclusive to women, Black, of color and the LGBTQ+ community.
Oh boy Niantic, this is a great statement. I’m still trying to figure who wouldn’t let there be a variety of skin tones in the Pokemon Go mobile game. I see a lot of women but nobody Black on the team.
Nintendo is another company that hires minorities that are progressive and understand they need to get more people of color. I’m looking forward to having more Black people in decision making positions.
I enjoy that over the last few years and seasons of Pokemon there have been more Black characters. To me, that’s a sign of trying. It’s great to see the donations. I’d also like to see the change within their company.
Who doesn’t know the history of Riot Games being a dude-bro company? This company is still in its transition phase. I have hope for them. I’m excited to see what their leadership team looks like in 6 months to a year. And it’ll take a few more years to reshape policies and mindsets.
I’d like to see more permanent Black people at PlayStation versus contractors.
Logitech has always supported Black content creators and helps boosted us.
Twitch still has a lot of work ahead of them. My personal experience with Twitch leads me to believe that they want to show they're being progressive because they don’t want to be called the bad guy. But they’re not really trying to have it be a permanent change. It’s more of an item on a checklist. I hope they figure out ways to be more genuine instead of slapping things together to honor Black people.
Astro Gaming, like Logitech, has been supporting Black and POC gamers for a while now. Having spoken with the community manager a number of times, it’s clear that he represents what the brand is working toward in the diversity and inclusion department.
A lot of the content creators of Bandai Namco are Black people. Bandai treats them very well.
I trust this statement from Bethesda. They are very empathetic to their community. Immortalizing Skyrim Grandma and Erik West, an Oblivion fan, who lost his fight with cancer are just a few things they’ve done. Their staff doesn’t have many Black people but I expect to see that changing very soon.
There have been a lot of changes to Infinity Ward. The two original devs of Infinity Ward left when things started to change and created Respawn. Games like Apex Legends which derives from Titanfall, and Star Wars Jedi: Fallen Order. And these games have Black people and a variety of minorities a part of the main story. So, I’m not sure how to feel about Infinity Ward’s statement.
Humble Bundle is kind of new, like within the last 10 years. That’s great they’re donating but let’s see some more melanin on staff.
With EA I don’t know what to think. They were directly a part of the problem. They didn’t seem to fight to have Kaepernick in the game. And most of the community is Black.
Madden is tied to the NFL and we know how they feel about this situation. But this statement is meatier than the NFL.
The only thing I’ve seen Activision do is add a female soldier to Call of Duty. That’s it. I want to see more from them. It doesn’t look like they’re trying to instill Black people in leadership roles. I don’t see them promoting a lot of Black content creators either. They haven’t started doing the work.
Bungie doesn’t really have too much of a track record. Which isn’t a good thing. They’re not striving to be inclusive. Seeing them making donations is great. But them adding Black people to their team would be great. I’ve seen one Black person in Destiny. There is a Black man in Halo. I consider him unoriginal because he’s fashioned after Mike Colter.
It’s Cyberpunk. This is a no brainer. The main dev is Black and fought through so mess because Cyberpunk 2077 is inclusive on purpose.
I can say that Skybound has Black people in their games and does a great job drawing and animating them. Skybound has a diverse staff which includes Black people, Black women, women of color, and other minorities.
Mixer is a part of Microsoft and has had no problem welcoming Black people on their platform.
Once again, great donation, but let’s do some work internally.
I don’t have too much to say bout Dimensional Ink because they are working off the DC Universe. Therefore, that’s the company we need to hold accountable, first.
Warner Brothers does practice what they preach. They have Black people on their staff. They create the representation in their games, like Mortal Kombat.
This is absolutely expected of Discord. We’ve seen Discord step on the front lines and say no to racism and white supremacy. They have Black people in leadership. This is an example of a company that started off on the right foot.
OK, Rooster Teeth but we have proof that you don’t practice what you preach.
So now that we know who you really are, how will you change it up in the future?
There is absolutely no reason to showcase Black people in games and in leadership. These companies know the demographic that is playing their games. That’s why when they get ready to market their games they use Hip Hop and other forms of Black culture. For them to not include us in the games and in the studio it’s a slap in the face. They know we make up a big chunk of the audience and buyers. We need to be seen. Don’t just let these statements be words. Turn these words into actions. If every studio hired one Black person for every Black person who lost their life to police brutality or a hate crime, we wouldn’t have a diversity issue. We can’t only look for Black creatives during the middle of a civil rights movement. We don’t have the capacity to send you our resume and talk about career goals. We’re worried about our sisters and brothers. Once again, you’re asking too much from us.