People were outraged Thursday afternoon when PlayStation announced a new gaming experience on Fortnite that features the greatest orator in American history, Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr.
According to PlayStation’s blog, the new experience, “March Through Time in Fortnite” will teleport players nearly 60 years in the past to a re-imagined Washington, D.C., called D.C. 63. They will get to explore the Lincoln Memorial and the United States National Mall where Dr. King made his iconic “I Have a Dream” speech. The feature is presented by TIME Studios and was developed by members of the Fortnite Creative Community. It will also feature museum-inspired points of interest and quests you can complete with other players. Completing the quests will unlock unique accessories for the game.
The partnership was intended to remind players of Dr. King’s speech, and the historic struggle for Civil Rights. PlayStation said they hope the experience helps equip students to have meaningful discussions not only in the classroom but in their personal lives as well. Unfortunately, many saw the move as tasteless, and a greedy way to profit from Dr. King’s legacy. The move seemed like it came from a good place, but questions who is in the room when decisions are being made at PlayStation and Fortnite.
Fortnite is a free-to-play, survival game that has taken the gaming world by storm. With over 75 million downloads and counting, this game can easily be considered a cultural phenomenon. The game was created by Epic Games in 2017 and it’s been dominating smartphones ever since. Parents know Fortnite because their kids are probably playing it. More than 40 million children and adults consistently play and the game makes over $1 million a day.
A lot of people are anticipated to participate in PlayStation’s “March Through Time in Fortnite” event. Will any of those profits go to the causes Dr. King fought for, or is this just another way for corporations to use the greatness of our fallen leaders as profit machines for the 21st century?
Folks were outraged on Twitter. Take a look at their reactions below: