Overwatch creators explain they didn’t use King’s ‘creepy’ diversity charts

(Image credit: King)

On May 12, the Activision Blizzard newsroom published a blog post titled King’s diversity space tool: a leap forward for inclusion in gaming. It explained that King, the Candy Crush developer acquired by Activision Blizzard in 2016, had been working since that year alongside the MIT Game Lab to make software that would “create and monitor guidelines for character conception and creation” to identify how diverse a set of character designs are. 

This software, called Diversity Space Tool, was demonstrated with radar graphs showing breakdowns of the attributes of characters from Overwatch, in particular Ana, who was apparently given scores of 7 out of 10 for culture, race, and age, but 0 for body type and sexual orientation.

(Image credit: King)

The post explained the Diversity Space Tool had been “tested by developer teams working on Call of Duty: Vanguard”, with Alayna Cole of Sledgehammer Games quoted saying, “we’re going to use that data going forward into the next games that we’re working on”. The post then claimed, “The Overwatch 2 team at Blizzard has also had a chance to experiment with the tool, with equally enthusiastic first impressions.”

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