Halo Infinite Devs Quickly Renamed the Cosmetic to Freedom
Halo Infinite devs recently released a set of cosmetics to commemorate the end of slaver in the United States. The public uses the term Juneteenth to refer to the US holiday. 343 Industries used that term to name the epic nameplate. However, they got backlash from the gaming community because of an “offensive and hurtful” word that the used in the reference.
Halo Infinite players immediately noticed the secondary color palette for the special cosmetic. The name of the second one is Bonobo. For those who do not know, the bonobo is actually a type of great ape. Unfortunately, people used this term back then as a racist connotation in reference to Juneteenth.
Following the backlash, Halo Infinite devs immediately renamed the palette to Freedom. “We were made aware of a palette option for our Juneteenth emblem that contained a term that was offensive and hurtful,” said 343 Industries Head Bonnie Ross. “The team immediately addressed the issue via an update.”
Ross did not provide any information on how the name made it to the game in the firs tplace. However, Senior Community Manager John Junyszek revealed that it was actually a reference to the game’s “internal tool set.” Apparently, it is an asset-editing program that devs decided not to use for the game’s development. Still, the system is reportedly internally popular for the studio’s staff.
“We are a studio and franchise that is committed to inclusivity where everyone is welcome and supported to be their true self,” Ross added. “On behalf of 343, I apologize for making a celebrated moment a hurtful moment.”
It is quite possible that devs used the term as an unthinking placeholder. However, this does not really hold water with the Halo Infinite community. After all, many fans pointed out that the name had to pass through multiple layers of approval at the studio. None of of which flagged the term as offensive.
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