Epic Games have removed police cars from Fortnite at the beginning of Season 3 as protests against police brutality in America continue. A virtual appeal for #blacklivesmatter.
Season 3, Chapter 2 started with some changes. That’s normal. But some Reddit users noticed a rather untypical change. Suddenly, all police cars seemed to have disappeared from the map.
Why the change?
Shortly before the start of the new season and the event, Epic postponed it due to the current protests and outrage over George Floyd's death.
Epic: "Current events have shown us unsparingly what injustice still exists in society today. This can be seen in the denial of basic rights to subtle or even open racism against people of color. We are fully aware of the suffering that our friends, family, team members and players are currently feeling.
We firmly believe in equality and other forms of justice, diversity and inclusion. We also believe that these core values are above politics. The team is eager to release Season 3. However, we believe it is appropriate to give our employees time off to take care of themselves, their families and their social environment".
Floyd's death has sparked calls for greater engagement by America in the fight for racial justice. Many companies have expressed solidarity with the Black Lives Matter movement. However, most have remained publicly silent on the need to ensure that the police officers responsible for the case receive a fair punishment and that police violence is dealt with.
Now, following the protests over the death of George Floyd, Fortnite has removed police cars from the map. Police cars served as decoration and metal resource for the game, but could not be driven.
Now the cars were replaced by civilian vehicles. In the creative mode of Fortnite the police cars, which could be created with the Junk Rifts, were also replaced by normal cars.
Although it has not yet been possible to drive cars in Fortnite, this will be possible as soon as the water on the map sinks. Some have speculated that Epic Games wanted to prevent players from using police cars to eliminate other players and post this on the internet.
Among the many clips of police violence circulating during the protests, one showed a New York City police car being driven into a crowd of protesters in Brooklyn. Of course, such reenactments must be prevented. Even if Fortnite is "just a game”.
Although Epic Games have not officially commented on these changes for the time being, they have now confirmed to the Wall Street Journal that the move was a deliberate reaction to the widespread protests against police racism and brutality that Floyd's death has provoked.