The immensely popular video game Fortnite has removed police cars from its game world, replacing them with ordinary cars, to express sympathy and understanding after the death of George Floyd in Minneapolis police custody.
Fortnite removed police cars from its game earlier this month, though reports on whether the vehicles were missing were not confirmed until this week, when the Wall Street Journal claims they spoke to someone involved in the decision to strip the battle royale game of police presence.
“I wouldn’t say it’s a political statement,” the person reportedly said. “I think it’s just us being sensitive about the issues many people in our audience are dealing with.”
The company has yet to release a public statement on the existence of police cars following the June 17 release of the game’s latest season.
#FortniteSeason3 is here and with it brings a new map!
Get a look at what’s new ✨ pic.twitter.com/KuTFOaqHfC
— Fortnite (@FortniteGame) June 20, 2020
Police cars were not functional in the video game, nor are their replacements, and were part of the scenery for the game, which the developer claims boasts more than 350 million players.
Immediately following the death of Floyd, the Fortnite developers delayed a new season of the game, as well as a live event, so players would be encouraged “to focus on themselves, their families, and their communities.”
At the time, the company released a statement condemning “ongoing injustices in society” including “the impact of racism both overt and subtle against people of color.”
Recent events are a heavy reminder of ongoing injustices in society, from the denial of basic human rights to the impact of racism both overt and subtle against people of color. We’re acutely aware of the pain our friends, families, team members, players, and communities are experiencing.
We believe in equality and justice, diversity and inclusion, and that these fundamentals are above politics.
The team is eager to move Fortnite forward, but we need to balance the Season 3 launch with time for the team to focus on themselves, their families, and their communities.
It is likely police cars were removed from the game during the delay in the new season launch.