Electronic Arts’ EA Sports will be taking a stronger stand against racism in its games, with NHL titles, in particular, promising harsher penalties against players who will propagate offensive content.
Electronic Arts is just one of the several companies in the video game industry that have pledged support to the fight against racial injustice, as social unrest has swept across the United States after the tragic death of George Floyd in Minneapolis. Take-Two Interactive shut down Grand Theft Auto Online and Red Dead Online for two hours, and Microsoft’s Mojang has pledged to donate all profits from Minecraft sales on June 19, among others.
Earlier this week, Electronic Arts CEO Andrew Wilson said in a letter to employees that the company will donate $1 million to several organizations such as the Equal Justice Initiative and the National Association for the Advancement of Colored People Legal Defense and Educational Fund. Wilson added that Electronic Arts employees will be given an extra paid day off each year, which they can use to volunteer for charities in their communities.
Following Wilson’s letter, EA Sports announced on Twitter that it will “not tolerate racism of any kind,” and that it recognizes the need to do more in banning players with offensive behavior. The publisher outlined three steps that it will take, namely expanding its language filters, expanding reporting functions, and increasing the frequency of reviewing offenses.
— EA SPORTS (@EASPORTS) June 5, 2020
A dedicated message was then released for EA Sports’ NHL games, where racism has been rampant on the customizable team names and player names.
— EA SPORTS NHL (@EASPORTSNHL) June 6, 2020
EA Sports’ NHL team will deliver harsher penalties and strengthen its profanity filters, among a few other measures that it will take to address the problem of racism in its games. The scope of the harsher penalties remains unclear, and Digital Trends has reached out to Electronic Arts for clarification on the specific punishments that will be applied to offending players. We will update this story when we hear back.
EA Sports and its NHL team admits that there is more to be done beyond these measures to eliminate racism, but this is an encouraging step in the right direction for the publisher.
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