Minority inclusion in video games is a great thing, And when it’s done right it can be amazing.
But today (1/5/19) Daybreak games, the developer of OG battle royal game H1Z1 announced their latest update which included the “Macho crate”.
Third Person ADS is coming to #PS4 this Thursday, May 2!
— H1Z1 (@H1Z1) April 30, 2019
The pack consists of 24 new items to the game, including two full character sets: the Macho and Maui Outfits… the Maui outfit being the biggest issue here!
This outfit includes a skin inspired by Polynesian Tatu, a samoan style lavalava, and a Maori inspired mask which has a Ta Moko and Pukana (Maori tongue and eye gesture used in kapa haka), as well as what looks to be a Taniwha (Maori mythical monster) inspired gun skin… which is pretty tasteless after the Christchurch shooting.
To say this is highly offensive to these cultures is an under statement, as reflected by tweets from Maori, Polynesian and Kiwi gamers, myself included! :
Was there any Māori or Polynesian guidance on this design? pic.twitter.com/2HG0rFVqiP
— noobmaster69 (@PhidMcAwesome) April 30, 2019
H1Z1: “Let’s appropriate another culture cause we’re running out of ideas!” https://t.co/s895b0xZcx
— Jordan (@Xenojay) April 30, 2019
the tatau is not a fucking costume or a mask you put on @H1Z1
— Ronnie | rohanzo (@UceGotGame) May 1, 2019
Are you for real @H1Z1?
Polynesian people are very protective of their cultural identities and have fought to protect it for decades… to see it here is a slap to the face of that hard work…
Also FYI…. the fucking tatau is not something you fuck around with willy nilly FFS https://t.co/2M5QTKJaCO
— Papa Chad (@PapaChad22) May 1, 2019
That’s unacceptable @H1Z1
Let’s korero, especially with the Māori and Poly gaming ( and development) community
— Serena Lal 🦈 (@Serena_Lal) April 30, 2019
Daybreak Games are yet to respond to the concerns raised , but they could take a lesson from publishers such as 2K Games, who included Maori and Polynesian culture in their Civilisation 6 DLC “Gathering Storm” with consultation from the Māori New Zealand Arts & Crafts Institute to ensure the game represented the culture accurately and respectfully.
Daybreak Games has announced that after careful consideration that they would be removing the offending content:
After careful consideration, we’ve made the decision to remove the Maui Outfit from tomorrow’s Macho Crate release. We take cultural representation seriously in all of our games, and want to apologize for any offense we may have caused.
— H1Z1 (@H1Z1) May 1, 2019
While this has been greated with a positive reation for the Maori, Polynesian and kiwi gaming community, Some are now annoyed that Daybreak have done this:
Yet another reason why I won't play or spend money on your game. You conform to people who don't contribute to your cause or support you, they just want to see how far they can push you. Stand your ground.
— Alan Lockhart (@vladthelockhart) May 2, 2019