Halo Infinite’s developers, 343 Industries named one of their cosmetics for the upcoming Juneteenth celebration after an endangered species of ape, creating an intense amount of backlash for the move.
Fans of the franchise did not appreciate the name choice, and spoke out in droves. The developers quickly apologized, and changed the “Bonobo” nameplate into “Freedom."
343 Industries changes ‘Bonobo’ nameplate to ‘Freedom’ following Halo Infinite backlash
Juneteenth is the annual celebration of the emancipation of the slaves after the United States Civil War. It is an important federal holiday in the United States and many felt offended that 343 Industries would make such a mistake.
Having a nameplate named after an ape in this instance did not go over well with the Halo Infinite fan base.
Founder and Head of 343 Industries, Bonnie Ross spoke to the fan base after the backlash hit them and apologized for their decision. The choice of naming the cosmetic “Bonobo” was hurtful to a large portion of the fan base.
The founder of the studio insisted that they have a community of inclusion and that everyone is welcome, but they made a terrible mistake by letting that name get through to the public release of the game.
The nameplate was renamed in an update, given the new name of “Freedom,” and Senior Community Manager John Junyszek explained why the nameplate had the name it did in the first place.
When responding to a fan who appreciated the name change going through, John Junyszek said the original name of the nameplate was in reference to an internal toolset and was not supposed to be released to the public that way.
The developers realized the hurt they caused their fan base and pointed out that it was incorrectly named, and as soon as they realized it had happened, they quickly moved to push out an update to fix it, giving it a more appropriate name.
Thankfully, the Juneteenth event for Halo Infinite has been corrected, and the company has apologized for the mistake they made in the first place. The actual nameplate has not been changed, only the name, going from “Bonobo” to “Freedom.” Hopefully, 343 Industries takes better care in the future to make sure issues like this do not happen.