Destiny 2 studio decries racism in gaming after Buffalo attack

Bungie, the publisher behind Destiny, said that studios need to be more aware of how gaming fosters racism, and that Sony will not silence them.

After the horrific mass shooting in Buffalo, NY earlier this week, Destiny 2 developer Bungie released an unexpectedly assertive statement.

In it, the former Halo studio correctly calls the attack an act of terrorism against Black Americans, as well as a hate crime. Bungie further states that these racist attacks often begin in online communities — including those created and maintained by popular video games — and that its fellow studios must "invest in practices to combat bigotry in all its manifestations."

The company says that for at least the next year, all profits from its BLM-themed "Be Heard" pin will be donated to the Southern Poverty Law Center, which monitors and exposes hate groups for what they are.

Bungie hasn't been shy about speaking up during major current events recently. Earlier this month, the studio spoke out against the leaked draft opinion by the Supreme Court that would strike down Roe v. Wade.

The studio indicated its support for abortion rights, stating that "standing up for reproductive choice and liberty is not a difficult choice to make" in a tweet. As you might expect, some worms emerged from the woodwork to tell the studio to "stop being woke," but they were far outnumbered by those expressing support for the studio.

Some Destiny players wondered on social media if Bungie's new owner Sony would tell the studio to clamp down on its public pronouncements, especially after the Washington Post reported that PlayStation's president asked game makers to "respect differences of opinion" on abortion rights in an email. A senior community manager at Bungie responded to these concerns, stating that the studio would never let its owner "muzzle" it.

Frankly, it's a nice thought, but that remains to be seen. Studios like Activision Blizzard are actively engaging in union-busting practices while they promise to get better in the face of lawsuits, so I'm tired of pretending that massive game studios that employ hundreds of people can be simply "good" or "bad." Bungie definitely deserves some props for this one, though.

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