Activision and Infinity Ward updated Call of Duty: Modern Warfare and Call of Duty: Warzone on Thursday to add a clear message to the games: Black Lives Matter. Players are now presented with the Black Lives Matter message during loading screens, part of a larger statement that denounces racism and injustice.
The message appearing in Call of Duty below can be read in full below:
BLACK LIVES MATTER
Our community is hurting. The systemic inequalities our community experiences are once again center stage. Call of Duty and Infinity Ward stand for equality and inclusion. We stand against the racism and injustice our Black community endures. Until change happens and Black Lives Matter, we will never be the community we strive to be.
Infinity Ward added the new loading screen after the developer postponed Call of Duty: Modern Warfare’s new season and pledged to crack down on racist and hateful usernames and content in its games. The developer’s commitment to punish players who display “racist and hate-oriented names,” among other offensives, is also shown as Modern Warfare’s message of the day.
The addition of the Black Lives Matter message arrives amid ongoing anger, unrest, and protest over the killing of George Floyd, the man who died at the hands of Minneapolis police on May 25. Since Floyd’s death, thousands of protestors have taken to the streets of major cities and to destinations online to denounce violent policing tactics and to shine a light on the racism and systemic inequality that disadvantages and cuts short black lives in the United States.
Activision and Infinity Ward follow similar moves from companies like Rockstar Games, which paused play in Grand Theft Auto Online and Red Dead Online in tribute to Floyd, and 2K Sports, which added free Black Lives Matter, I Can’t Breathe, and Say Their Names cosmetics to NBA 2K20, which also went offline Thursday and displayed an in-game message that promoted the Black Lives Matter message and the #BLM hashtag.