Activision Blizzard is making sure to implement diversity in all of its games. Photo : David McNew/Getty Images
Activision Blizzard announced a new tool that will be used by its game developers with the future game releases of the company moving forward.
The “Diversity Space Tool” ranks characters across the network based on diversity. It’s already been used in two of Activision Blizzard’s most popular house games, Overwatch and Call of Duty.
The Diversity Space Tool is a measuring device that would guide developers to help them identify if their character traits and cast are diverse enough to represent inclusivity. This Activision Blizzard tool will measure features like physical appearance, ethnicity, cognitive ability, and many other traits.
This diversity tool was made by King and MIT Game Labs to make and keep track of rules for how characters should be thought of and made.
However, due to the nature of the new tool, it’s receiving a mixed reaction from its audience. Some even became uncomfortable with the weirdness of creating a tool to measure diversity instead of talking to actual human beings
Activision’s Blizzard Diversity Space Tool
Activision Blizzard employees have long been asking the company to be more inclusive. The company’s employees have also taken legal steps regarding the inclusivity divide they feel inside of the system.
This is the first public move taken by Activision Blizzard since the board of directors of the company made the commitment in December 2021 to be more transparent about how they address issues of diversity in their video games.
According to GameSpot, women make up only 24% of Activision’s workforce, while 36% of the company’s employees based in the United States identify as belonging to an underrepresented ethnic minority.
In the press release, the diversity figures were deemed unsatisfactory, and the company agreed to enhance diversity not only in its employees but also across all of its video game universes. The new ranking system, which is a tool for Diversity Space, was developed specifically for this purpose.
Activision’s Director of Editorial Content, Eric Alt, used the official blog website for Activision Blizzard to write an explainer for the feature on May 12. The organization confirmed in the statement that they had worked with MIT to develop software that addresses unconscious bias.
As Dexterto reported, Jacqueline Chomatas, King Globalization Project Manager, stated, “The Diversity Space Tool is a measurement device to help identify how diverse a set of character traits are and, in turn, how diverse that character and cast are when compared to the ‘norm’.”
Mixed Reactions for the Diversity Tool
Blizzard Entertainment, known for the World of Warcraft video game, and KING, known for the hit game Candy Crush, are all subsidiary companies of Activision. It has been reported that
According to Activision Blizzard, teams working on the development of video games have already begun beta testing the new tool. The tool was utilized by the teams responsible for the development of the new Call of Duty: Vanguard team.
Additionally, the tool was put through its paces by the Overwatch 2 team at Blizzard, who reportedly had early impressions of the tool that were on par with those of the Call of Duty team.
However, some have criticized the new tool. As reported by 2KUTV, Imran Khan, Fanbyte News Editor, stated that the Diversity Tool of Activision is uncomfortable and mildly dystopian.
Khan did not hold back his thoughts on the feature in a Twitter post. He sees it as absurd to have a need to develop a tool to identify diversity instead of hiring designers from a diverse range of ethnicity.
Khan stated: “Like, it’s not -bad- There’s no apparent malice in this. But you have to realize that creating a tool when you could just hire diverse designers and listen to them is a little nuts.”
“How do we make sure this character is culturally sensitive?”
“Well, we could employ some people from that culture OR we can ask the Diversity Robot”
— Imran Khan (@imranzomg) May 13, 2022