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Halo Infinite has not been without controversy in its development and launch. That said, none of them had turned out to be as offensive and bumpy as the one we are going to talk about next. It turns out that the 343 Industries game was incredibly racist and, although everything indicates that it was an accident, the community still ended up offended.
Here’s what happened: Yesterday afternoon 343 Industries released a new cosmetic for Halo Infinite to celebrate Juneteenth. In case you don’t know, it is a celebration in the United States that commemorates the emancipation of African-American slaves, as well as the entire African-American culture.
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The cosmetic was a plate called Juneteenth and so far there was nothing wrong. Things get offensive when you check the name of its color option in a submenu. What happens is that there you discover that the object was named Bonobo, a kind of pygmy chimpanzee. In other words, he was connecting African-Americans with chimpanzees, which was really racist.
The Juneteenth Emblem color was originally called Bonobo in-game (now changed to Freedom).
— Halo Infinite News & Community (@HaloInfinite117) June 14, 2022
Apparently Halo Infinite released a bunch of Juneteenth-themed cosmetic items. A color palette was being worked on under the extremely racist file name “Bonobo,” as in the species of great apes. Unfortunately for them, they forgot to change the name when they updated the game. pic.twitter.com/QjDcTgToX6
— P.B. Gomez (@MestizoLeftist) June 15, 2022
“Bonobo” Microsoft and 343i were caught being racist. Halo Infinite custom color palette for Juneteenth is called bonobo. It means monkey. pic.twitter.com/wqynBCalRZ
— TexasWolf (@texaswolfsrain) June 15, 2022
A few hours after the name of this color went viral and caught the attention of many, Bungie fixed it. Thus, he stopped being called Bonobo to now be named “Freedom”, an English word that translates as freedom.
A very unfortunate accident
Was 343 Industries racist? The company explains the situation
After all this scandal, John Junyszek, in charge of the Halo community, decided to explain the situation. According to the developer, it was an error attributed to an internal tool of the study, having said this, he did not share more details about it.
The palette was incorrectly named and we immediately renamed it via an update. (2/2)
— John Junyszek (@Unyshek) June 14, 2022
For its part, Halo content creator Mint Blitz explained that Bungie had a development tool called Bonobo and inherited it to 343 Industries when the studio took over the franchise. An anonymous source explained to Kotaku that Bonobo is a material editing tool, so it could be used to name Halo Infinite cosmetics.
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That said, the source claimed that the tool was used in the Halo 5: Guardians era, but that 343 Industries left it behind with Halo Infinite’s Splitspace Engine. Of course, it remains a tool known to the members of the study, so perhaps the error comes from a reference to this piece of software.
Since I saw 343 accidentally named the Halo Infinite Juneteenth emblem as Bonobo.
Here is literally the program that was in an old Bungie Vidoc. pic.twitter.com/ACzW3JBNj9
— Mint Blitz (@MintBlitz) June 15, 2022
What do you think about this new? Do you really think it was an accident or do you think someone at 343 Industries has some very wrong ideas? Tell us in the comments.
Halo Infinite is available for Xbox Series X, Xbox Series S, Xbox One, and PC. You can learn more about this FPS by reading our review or by clicking here.
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