EA Sports is to start clamping down harder on racist language and content produced in its games. In a statement following complaints about just how toxic the communities are in some EA Sports titles, the company has declared it will be more proactive in updating flagged terminology and add more tools for players to highlight and report racist competitors across the board.
The announcement was made on Twitter following a Reddit thread in r/EA_NHL (ta, IGN) that plainly laid out the bigoted language prevalent to the NHL series. “Nobody laughs at them, it’s just next to impossible to report this stuff. EA doesn’t have the systems in place to properly do so,” said one user, another adding: “I obviously know the whole community isn’t this way, but the ‘loud minority’ in this case is super strong. I wouldn’t say it’s just immature kids either, some guys invited me to a party after we won and they were probably mid 20’s calling me all types of names.”
EA Sports responded in a message, retweeted by all its official Twitter accounts, by saying the team has failed to handle bigotry within its forums, and that measures are being put in place to root out anyone using racist language. These include “actively reviewing our term list to ensure our filter set is comprehensive”, adding more options to “make it easier and more seamless for players to report toxic behavior”, and a greater frequency of reviews for offences, to deal with the sheer volume of reports.
Infinity Ward made a similar declaration recently too, promising much the same sort of updates for current search filters and reporting capabilities. This all comes amid the resurgence of the Black Lives Matter movement as protests and demonstrations are being held the world over to highlight just how widespread racism still is, and what needs to be done about it.
— EA SPORTS (@EASPORTS) June 5, 2020
As it happens, the punishment for racism in actual football was increased to 10 games last year, so perhaps we’ll see similar from the next FIFA 20 update on.