Earlier this week, American video game developer Infinity Ward made a promise to crack down on the amount of racism that is on the Call of Duty platform. Also, Epic delayed Season Three of Fortnite so as not to distract from the #BlackLivesMatter movement.
NBA 2K20 is now the latest gaming company to join the movement. They have announced that “I Can’t Breathe,” “Black Lives Matter,” and “Say Their Names” tee shirts are now available to wear for MyPlayer avatars, and the best part, they are all free of charge. The shirts weren’t the end of the way 2K decided to show their support. They also posted Black Lives Matter posters around the entire neighborhood section of the game. All of this is following the game being taken offline for two hours during the blackout Tuesday movement that was in an attempt to get people to focus on the more pressing issue of systemic racism.
Other huge video games have also stepped in to spread the message, like Grand Theft Auto V and Red Dead Redemption 2 going offline and pokemon announcing they’d be donating $200,000 to the “Black Lives Matter” movement. This is by far the most wide-ranging scope of support the Black Lives Matter movement has gotten since its inception in 2013.
2K has been using its popularity to cover things going on in and around the culture of gaming like when it highlighted NBA great Kobe Bryant’s just days after his untimely passing in January. As players launch the game, they are greeted by a picture of Bryant with the dates of his life listed below his image.
“Along with the rest of the world, we are shocked and devastated by the sudden passing of Kobe Bryant,” a representative for publisher 2K Games told THR. “He has been an inspiration on and off the court to us all, and a valued partner to 2K for many years. We’re inspired and heartened by the ways the 2K player community are rallying together and honoring Kobe — including parades, custom jerseys, intentional 24-second shot clock violations, and dedicated streams.”