In a statement to Kotaku, Bungie apologised for the oversight and promised to remove the reference in an upcoming patch. “Any connection to anti-Semitism in Destiny is completely unintentional. Bungie is emphatically committed to inclusion and human rights, and will never stand for anti-Semitism,” reads Bungie’s statement.
It goes on to state: “We are already preparing fixes in an upcoming patch. We apologise to all of our players that were hurt by the references, and we are grateful to our community for bringing their concerns to our attention.”
The reference in question is the phrase “Blood And Honor”, a Nazi slogan that was commonly used by the Hitler Youth organisation as highlighted below by Twitter user Mardin Of Chatzuk. The phrase appears in the game on a completion banner for the weekly War Table bounty challenges.
Similarly, I hope @Bungie considers choosing a different name for the Battleground: Cleansing activity in the Cosmodrome. That word is at best a questionable choice in a vacuum, but it is especially inappropriate along with the other antisemitic terms and tropes in this release. pic.twitter.com/7iRWRvyBeU
— Mardin of Chatzuk (@MardinofChatzuk) February 16, 2021
To make matters worse, the phrase is accompanied by a newly added Battleground activity in the Cosmodrome called Battleground: Cleansing. Mardin of Chatzuk notes it is “especially inappropriate” alongside the other anti-Semitic “terms” and “tropes”.
A description for Battleground: Cleansing reads: “In an act of vengeance for the destruction of their homeworld, the Cabal have struck out against a Hive nest dug deep into the Cosmodrome. Use this opportunity to hit the Cabal hard and show them that humanity will not back down.”
A date for the patch has yet to be announced, but should likely arrive in time for the next roster of weekly challenges on Tuesday (February 23) at 12pm EST/6pm BST.