Halo Infinite developer 343 Industries has apologised after releasing a cosmetic item in celebration of Juneteenth with an offensive name.
The offending item was an emblem which included a palette option called “Bonobo”, which is the name of an endangered great ape.
Juneteenth is an annual holiday in the United States to commemorate the emancipation of slaves in the country.
After 343 was made aware of the issue, the studio updated the name to “Freedom”.
In a statement posted on Twitter, 343 Industries head Bonnie Ross said: “We were made aware of a palette option for our Juneteenth emblem that contained a term that was offensive and hurtful. The team immediately addressed this issue via an update.”
“We are a studio and franchise that is committed to inclusivity where everyone is welcome and supported to be their true self. On behalf of 343, I apologise for making a celebrated moment a hurtful moment.”
The studio’s senior community manager claims that the original name refers to an internal toolset, which was not intended to be used to name any content.
Thank you for bringing this to our attention, Sean. We strive to create diverse and inclusive gaming communities. While the original name refers to an internal toolset, it was not intended to be applied to this content and we recognize the harm it may have caused. (1/2)
— John Junyszek (@Unyshek) June 14, 2022