Earlier in the week Activision Blizzard came under fire when it shared what it calls a “diversity space tool”, which decides how diverse any game character is based on certain attributes. The tool uses character traits like culture, race, age, body type, gender identity and more to determine how diverse a character is.
Since sharing information about the tool and how it works, both Activision Blizzard and Overwatch 2 developers have denied its current use. Activision Blizzard said in an update that it “is not being used in active development.”
Overwatch 2 senior game designer Dylan Snyder said in a tweet yesterday (May 14) that “the portion [in the post] about Overwatch 2 was removed mostly because we’re not using it and didn’t know it existed until yesterday” (via PC Gamer).
FWIW, the portion about Overwatch 2 was removed mostly because we’re not using it and didn’t know it existed until yesterday.
— Dylan Snyder 💙 (@chronofloss) May 14, 2022
Character artist on the series Melissa Kelly also commented on Activision Blizzard’s own publication of the tool, saying: “I swear our own company tries so hard to slaughter any good will the actual devs who make the game have built.”
She then added: “You know what drives our diversity? The devs! We have people who work on the game from these cultures. That’s it! That’s literally it. If this creepy chart was made for the executive team to let us do our thing, that might track.”
God I swear our own company tries so hard to slaughter any good will the actual devs who make the game have built
Overwatch doesn't even use this creepy distopian chart, our writers have eyes. The artists: have eyes. Producers, directors, etc, as far as I know also all have eyes https://t.co/WEMRf8QmBu
— melissa kelly 💙 (@_mlktea) May 14, 2022
When Activision Blizzard initially shared news of the tool online, it said developers on Call Of Duty: Vanguard used it, and that the Overwatch 2 team also used it with “enthusiastic first impressions.”
At the time of publication, the comments about Vanguard and Overwatch 2 developers using the tool have been removed.