A hot potato: If you’re a Fortnite player, you might have noticed there’s a sudden lack of police cars on the map following the recent update. The decision is a response to the Black Lives Matter protests taking place across much of the world, though Epic says it wasn’t trying to make a political statement.
Fortnite’s Chapter 2 Season 3 update, which arrived on June 17, brought some major changes, including a large section of the map being flooded with water.
As Kotaku points out, Fortnite’s map used to be covered in vehicles such as trucks, passenger cars, ice cream trucks, and police cars, and they also appeared in Creative mode as pre-fab vehicles used for decoration. Following last week’s update, however, police cars have vanished from the battle royale title.
Players speculate that the decision was in response to the Black Lives Matter protests. One redditor wrote: “Later in the season people would be able to drive cars and if someone was shooting you from a police car (if they can do that) that’s a bad thing and it would cause all sorts of controversy.”
According to a Wall Street Journal source, this wasn’t a “political statement” by Epic; the company was just trying to be “sensitive about the issues” that players are dealing with right now.
The BLM movement has been supported by several game companies, including a message appearing in Call of Duty: Modern Warfare and the temporary shutdowns of GTA Online and Red Dead Online. We’ve also seen events such as Sony’s original PS5 reveal date pushed back, the cancelation of reality TV shows Cops and Live PD, and renewed calls for the terms ‘blacklist,’ ‘whitelist,’ and ‘master/slave’ to be replaced.