Halo Infinite is packed with cosmetics and items, but despite how much practice developer 343 Industries has had with creating this stuff, its latest snafu looks pretty bad. An emblem meant to celebrate the holiday of Juneteenth was released with an ill-considered name.
Reddit user Smissmas was one of the first to catch it, and they shared their concern in a forum thread. The emblem, which features birds flying over streaks of red, black, and green, was called “bonobo.” A Juneteenth emblem named after a kind of monkey — you can see where fan outcry rightfully came from.
The emblem was quickly renamed “freedom,” which by any measure is a better and more appropriate name. Halo Infinite’s senior community manager John Junyszek took to Twitter to explain why the original name even got sent out in the first place. “While the original name refers to an internal tool set, it was not intended to be applied to this content and we recognize the harm it may have caused,” Junyszek elaborated. “The palette was incorrectly named, and we immediately renamed it via an update.” Those who log in to Infinite now will see the corrected name.
Regardless of the reason, this is still a very bad look for 343. The name should have been caught at several points along the line, and someone is definitely in trouble. Bonnie Ross, founder and head of the studio, tweeted herself to make an apology from the top. “We are a studio and franchise that is committed to inclusivity where everyone is welcome and supported to be their true self,” Ross stated. “On behalf of 343, I apologize for making a celebrated moment a hurtful moment.”
The emblem has a new name and the studio has made its apology, but the initial damage is still done. It’s probably time to rename that internal tool set too — something with a less potentially problematic name ought to do it.