Epic removes police cars from ‘Fortnite’

fortnite
Fortnite

The epic game is clearly trying to navigate some difficult cultural waters. Gamers report that Epic removed all police cars from Fortnite as the latest update to the shooter, and the Wall Street Journal understands that this was in response to Black Lives Matter’s protests over police violence. According to the WSJ source, the developer was not trying to make a “political statement” – rather, it was trying to treat players “sensitive to issues”.

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We have asked Epic for comment.

The broader game industry has supported the Black Lives case cause, including a message in Call of Duty: Modern Warfare and the temporary shutdown of GTA Online and the Red Dead Online. Epic is taking a military approach with Fortnite, accepting resentment without explicitly advocating for one reason. The company had earlier insisted that it would not ban players for political speech.

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This is also a recent example of the challenges faced by sports studios while addressing politics. While games often include political commentary in their content or from their players, companies are often hesitant to endorse one position that distinguishes potential buyers or even entire countries. For example, Ubisoft maintained that Division 2 was apolitical despite specific themes. Epic can be in an equally difficult position – a lot of players and revenue are lost if it sparks an uproar, regardless of which side.