US game developer cancels release of Māori skin after apparent backlash

Source: 1News

A US video game company has decided not to release a Māori character outfit for their game after an apparent backlash.

San Francisco-based Day Break Games is the developer of a popular game called Z1 Battle Royale - also known as H1Z1 - which is similar to the popular game Fortnite.

The company had planned to release a new loot crate containing a "Maui" outfit which characters can equip, which was to feature Polynesian-style tattoos, a Māori pukana mask decorated with tā moko, a woven kete worn on the back and a lavalava.

In a Facebook post this morning, the company confirmed that the release of the skin would no longer be going ahead.

"After careful consideration, we've made the decision to remove the Maui Outfit from tomorrow's Macho Crate release," they wrote.

"We take cultural representation seriously in all of our games, and want to apologize for any offense we may have caused."

It was not clear if complaints had been received, or how many, but The Spinoff published a piece yesterday criticising the inclusion of the imagery.

The game's website has since removed images of the skin.

Commenters on Facebook, most from America, were critical of the decision.

"I don't care who it offends ... what pisses me off is when I buy these crates and the stuff ends up being taken away," one wrote.

"So the majority miss out because a minority of no more than five people are offended?" said another.

One women stood up for the decision, saying she had worked with indigenous youth who had been affected by their culture being "devalued, misunderstood, and ridiculed".