The Black Lives Matter movement began back in 2012 following the highly publicized death of Trayvon Martin, and subsequent acquittal of his killer George Zimmerman. The movement campaigns against systemic racism and violence towards black people, focusing particularly on police brutality.
The civil rights movement has recently reached global popularity in the wake of another murdered unarmed black man by police, George Floyd in Minneapolis in May 2020.
As protests continue to surge across the US and the rest of the world, major companies are releasing statements in support of the protests and civil rights. The game industry is no exception.
— PlayStation (@PlayStation) June 1, 2020
Sony released a statement on June 1 denouncing racism and racist-motivated violence. They also postponed a major PS5 digital event that was previously scheduled to air today, and showcase many upcoming PlayStation 5 games.
At this time, we will be using our platform to amplify voices from the Black and African American community at Microsoft. pic.twitter.com/htA0ukTDPH
— Microsoft (@Microsoft) June 2, 2020
Beginning June 1, Microsoft has been releasing statements via quoting black employees in a series of tweets.
— Nintendo of America (@NintendoAmerica) June 3, 2020
The official Nintendo of America account released a statement on June 3.
Many publishers and developers have gone even further, making substantial donations to charity organizations and encouraging others to do the same.
Square Enix is pledging $250,000 to Black Lives Matter “and other charities to help combat racial injustice and positively affect change in the world.”
— Square Enix (@SquareEnix) June 2, 2020
A message from everyone at Double Fine Productions about current events: pic.twitter.com/gg6GKdK1FH
— Double Fine (@DoubleFine) June 4, 2020
Humble, which has been working directly with charity organizations for the last ten years, release a statement along with a $1 million fund “dedicated to helping publish games by black developers.”
— Humble Bundle (@humble) June 2, 2020
Like Sony, EA originally had a digital event planned this week, for Madden NFL 21. They released a statement postponing the event, followed by a lengthy note by CEO Andrew Wilson that includes pledging $1 million “to organizations dedicated to the fight for racial justice in the US and against discrimination around the world,” including the Equal Justice Initiative and the NAACP Legal Defense & Educational Fund.
EA is also double matching any donations made by employees, an additional paid day for community volunteer work, and holding an open forum for the entire company on June 9.
“Black Lives Matter. Racial justice matters. We’ve long held equality, inclusion and diversity at the center of our beliefs at Electronic Arts. Let’s stand together, act together, and drive change together.”