[Update] Bungie removes Destiny 2 gauntlet that features elements of a 'hate symbol'

Update 15/09/17: Bungie has elaborated on the offending artwork in a new blogpost, explaining how it ended up in the game in the first place. "The design in question was initially created as part of gear foundry explorations in June of 2015," the post explains. 

"Graphic designers routinely reference real world art, iconography, typeface, and other design elements to inform the choices they make. In this case, some of the reference imagery featured the simple mirrored chevron shapes found in the finished piece. Some graphic design that belongs to sports teams provided some inspiration as well, along with some primitive shapes and chevrons that were used to permeate our Guardian class iconography."

Though the offending icon was flagged at one point, it was done so before it inherited the connotations it has today. "Although the design wasn’t emulative of the meme in question, the armor piece was eventually flagged by another team responsible for reviewing content for cultural, geographical, and other sensitive issues. 

"Unfortunately, that review was conducted to explore whether or not we were comfortable with the connection to the original, innocuous “kek” internet meme. The more contemporary, vile derivation that has been repurposed by hate groups was not surfaced through this process, and therefore, the armor was approved for ship."

You can read the full update here, including how Bungie intends to stop this happening again.

Original story:

"It has come to our attention that a gauntlet in Destiny 2 shares elements with a hate symbol," developer Bungie tweeted earlier today. "It is not intentional. We are removing it." And good on them, I say. There's just one problem: Virtually nobody in the Destiny community had any idea what Bungie was talking about. 

See more

Once the notification went out, Reddit went to work and quickly sussed out that the Road Complex AA1 gauntlets are (probably) the offending kit. The problem would appear to lie with the back-to-back "K" lettering, separated by four horizontal lines, on the shoulder and upper arm, which—once someone points it out—bears an unmistakable similarity to the "Kekistan" flag, an idiotic "tribal marker of the alt-right," as the Southern Poverty Law Center describes it. 

Even though the gauntlets hadn't been brought up as problematic by the Destiny community at large, the reality is that nipping this thing in the bud is absolutely the right move. Mainstream corporations can't have artists slipping in imagery of their favorite political causes (remember the fate the Marvel artist who worked hidden political messages into X-Men Gold), and intentional or not, the symbol's presence was bound to get picked up on sooner or later. 

The artist who created the logo may have absolutely no idea what Kekistan is (and lucky them if so), but there are people who would inevitably hear a dog whistle being blown anyway. Better to shut it down before it gets that far. 

We've emailed Bungie to confirm that these are in fact the gauntlets in question, and will update if and when we receive a reply. In the meantime, no, you still can't play Destiny 2 on the PC, but you can read our handy rundown of everything you need to know about the game before you dive into it when it rolls around on October 24. 

Andy Chalk

Andy has been gaming on PCs from the very beginning, starting as a youngster with text adventures and primitive action games on a cassette-based TRS80. From there he graduated to the glory days of Sierra Online adventures and Microprose sims, ran a local BBS, learned how to build PCs, and developed a longstanding love of RPGs, immersive sims, and shooters. He began writing videogame news in 2007 for The Escapist and somehow managed to avoid getting fired until 2014, when he joined the storied ranks of PC Gamer. He covers all aspects of the industry, from new game announcements and patch notes to legal disputes, Twitch beefs, esports, and Henry Cavill. Lots of Henry Cavill.