Last night developer 343 Industries introduced a Juneteenth-themed cosmetic option Halo infinity, his multiplayer shooter. For a moment, the associated pan-African color palette was titled “Bonobo.” A bonobosfor those who don’t know, is an endangered species of great ape.
I don’t need to tell you how disgusting that is.
Halo infinity, which is based on a free-to-play model, has its weekly “reset” every Tuesday at 2pm ET – when a slew of new cosmetics and modes come into play to keep the grind feeling fresh. This week, 343 Industries added a free but limited-time nameplate to commemorate June 16, a federal holiday marking the end of slavery in the United States.
At 4:45 p.m. ET, the gloriole Content Creator Sean W posted a video on YouTube explain situation. Yes, the nameplate itself bears the name “Juniteenth”. But the color option for it, accessed through a secondary submenu, was originally listed as “Bonobo.” At 5:10 p.m. ET, Sean W noted Twitter that it’s been fixed – probably the fastest fix ever rolled out Halo infinitys turbulent history– and is now called “freedom”. Still, it’s completely amazing how this even happened.
If you are familiar with the development of Halo infinity and want to chat, my inbox is always open. You can reach me at [email protected].
On twitter, gloriole Senior Community Manager John Junyszek said the palette was “misnamed” and attributed attributed the error to an “internal toolset” but gave no further details. That gloriole Content creator Mint Blitz next pointed out that a program in Bungie’s development tools used to be gloriole Games is called “Bonobo”. (After 343 Industries ceased administration of the gloriole franchise about a decade ago, original developer Bungie passed on the keys to many of the development tools.)
A person familiar with the development of gloriolewho spoke kotaku on condition of anonymity, confirmed that Bonobo at 343 is in fact an asset editing program. Although it was widely used during the development of halo 5the studio moved away from its use during development Halo infinity. But it exists. It’s popular with employees. And it would be known to many of the studio’s staff.
That’s what’s so amazing about how this happened in the first place.
It is unclear whether the Bonobo program name is automatically dragged into the text field for a color palette name. It’s possible that someone on the team entered the program’s name as placeholder text and didn’t catch the studio’s normal processes for quality checking these things. (Jerry Hook, longtime chief of design at 343, left the studio last month. Multiple sources trusted infinity‘s development, which everyone has asked for anonymity kotaku that Hook runs the game’s cosmetic system.) Microsoft, kotaku is said to have performed many quality checks before anything finds its way to a public position.
For seven months now Halo infinity has launched tons of cosmetic options every week, including no shortage of color options. This happens to be the first time this particular bug has happened – what, come on. come on. For a name tag in relation to June 16? For real??? So it’s an embarrassing bummer at best, and the studio’s quality checks didn’t spot it before the update went live. In the worst case, someone or many others somewhere in the development process made a racist joke and the studio’s quality checks didn’t catch it before the update went live. In any case, it is an institutional failure.
Studio management at 343 seem to appreciate how ugly this looks. Halo infinity Creative director Joe Staten apologized on Twitter, Write“Our mistake today was inexcusable and I’m ashamed that we let that happen.” And studio head Bonnie Ross wrote“On behalf of 343, I apologize for turning a celebrated moment into a hurtful moment.”
But the most important gloriole Channels that have a much wider reach than a single staffer’s channels have yet to make a formal statement or declaration, aside from a retweet of Ross’ apology. When asked for comment, 343 Industries representatives had nothing to add.