Sponsored By

Bungie explains how a hate symbol ended up in Destiny 2

Bungie has opened up about its vetting process to explain how a white supremacist symbol was cleared to appear in Destiny 2.

Chris Kerr, News Editor

September 15, 2017

2 Min Read

Earlier this week Bungie removed a piece of in-game armor from Destiny 2 after it was flagged for resembling a white supremacist symbol. 

An emblem featured on the Road Complex AA1 gauntlets bore a striking similarity to the 'KEK' logo, which has become associated with the white supremacist movement. 

Although Bungie apologised for the oversight and quickly pulled the gear in question, the studio has promised to do better in the future, and has opened up about how the emblem slipped through the net in the first place. 

It's nice to see the studio open up about its own vetting process, and the honest explainer could help other devs avoid making similar mistakes in the future. 

"Graphic designers routinely reference real world art, iconography, typeface, and other design elements to inform the choices they make. In this case, some of the reference imagery featured the simple mirrored chevron shapes found in the finished piece," explained the studio in its weekly round-up.

"Some graphic design that belongs to sports teams provided some inspiration as well, along with some primitive shapes and chevrons that were used to permeate our Guardian class iconography."

Although the design wasn't directly emulative of the 'KEK' meme, the armor piece was actually flagged internally before the game shipped by another team responsible for deterring whether content is culturally sensitive.

Unfortunately, an internal review only explored the "innocuous" origins of the meme, and failed to flag the "more contemporary, vile derivation" being used by hate groups. As such the amor was approved to ship.

Bungie itself admits that's not good enough, and has promised to dig deeper to determine how it can improve moving forward. 

"Though we are still investigating our creative process in full, we know there was no degree of malicious intent from anyone on our team. That said, we do recognize that the design in question is close enough to warrant removal from the game," continued the studio. 

"We want everyone to know their identity is welcome in our studio and in the worlds we create. This isn’t merely a platitude, but an official pillar we hold ourselves, and our work to. It is also a clarion call for the type of people we want to bring into our studio to help us make better games.

"We aren’t asking you for the benefit of the doubt. We know we are judged by our actions. We want to thank the members of our community, and the press, for bringing this matter to our attention. 

"We will always strive to make all players feel welcome in our worlds, to promote positive experiences, and to portray a bright and hopeful world in Destiny 2, and in every game world we create."

About the Author(s)

Chris Kerr

News Editor, GameDeveloper.com

Game Developer news editor Chris Kerr is an award-winning journalist and reporter with over a decade of experience in the game industry. His byline has appeared in notable print and digital publications including Edge, Stuff, Wireframe, International Business Times, and PocketGamer.biz. Throughout his career, Chris has covered major industry events including GDC, PAX Australia, Gamescom, Paris Games Week, and Develop Brighton. He has featured on the judging panel at The Develop Star Awards on multiple occasions and appeared on BBC Radio 5 Live to discuss breaking news.

Daily news, dev blogs, and stories from Game Developer straight to your inbox

You May Also Like