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Square Enix apologizes for bungled Marvel's Avengers tweet

As Square Enix and Crystal Dynamics' Marvel's Avengers gets closer to its September 4 release date, the game's official Twitter account has been sharing downloadable video conference backgrounds inspired by the game. One of these backgrounds recently caused a bit of an uproar on social media and has prompted an apology from the makers of the game.

In a tweet that has since been deleted (shared via Eurogamer), the Marvel's Avengers Twitter account shared a clip of one of these dynamic conference backgrounds that showed a giant memorial statue of Captain America. Drones can be seen flying around the apparently defaced monument. The tweet's caption read, "Heroes Park once celebrated the Avengers, but has since been defaced. Despite the AIM drones that surveil the area, there are still people who believe and pay their respects to Captain America."

The problem here, as pointed out by Eurogamer, is that the whole thing felt entirely too close to events occurring in the real world right now. In the past few weeks, people have been protesting the violent death of George Floyd in Minneapolis. The protests have also focused on monuments of, as Eurogamer's Emma Kent puts it, "racists and imperialists." This has led to statues being defaced or destroyed in the belief that simply displaying these pieces without proper context does little to educate people on the wrongdoings of the person depicted in these monuments. In the case of a statue of slave trader Edward Colson, a crowd of people pulled it down and dumped it in the river.

By talking about how Captain America's statue has been defaced repeatedly by people who didn't respect him, this tweet drew comparisons between the game and the current movement. Whether or not this was the intention, it came across as a political statement on behalf of the game's developers. This is what really rubbed people the wrong way.

Adding onto the squeamishness was the fact that, as pointed out by Kotaku, the drones flying around the park had flashing lights reminiscent of a police vehicle. Considering the current protests are largely a response to police brutality, it's not wonder that people immediately saw parallels between the clip and real life.

And considering the track record of this game, Marvel's Avengers really didn't need to stir up any more controversy. Since the debut of the game's first trailer last year, fans have complained about the visual style of the characters. There's also the fact that the game was pushed back four months from its original release date, which hasn't exactly instilled a lot of confidence in folks who were already dubious of the game's quality.

The Marvel's Avengers account removed the original offending tweet and issued an apology, which read, "We've heard your response to our recent post and agree that now was not the appropriate time to share this content from our game. We apologize for being insensitive."

In less controversial and upsetting updates, the official Marvel's Avengers video game Twitter account has been sharing screenshots of other conference background inspired by the upcoming game. The attention to detail seen in these is encouraging and should have fans pretty happy. The latest background options are Kamala Khan's bedroom and her secret headquarters. Kamala Khan is the superhero known as Ms. Marvel, and she has been confirmed as one of the main characters of the upcoming game. Much of the main story of the game will follow Kamala as she works to put the Avengers team back together in the years following a horrible tragedy.

As that description would suggest, Kamala is a huge fan of the superhero team, and these new backgrounds show that to be the case. Her room is covered in posters of the Avengers and she has giant Avengers-themed pillows in her room. Meanwhile, Kamala's hideout appears to be full of comic books and statues of the Avengers and their iconography, including Captain America's shield.

These reveals appear to have fans significantly more on board than the previous one of the Captain America statue. Hopefully that remains the case in the future, because it really does seem as though the team behind the game regrets reminding anyone of such a sensitive topic.

Some people appear to feel as though the complaints and subsequent removal of the offending tweet were overreactions. One Twitter user accused the people complaining about the statue tweet of being "too woke."

Whether or not you agree with the PR team's decision to take down the tweet, it's commendable that Square Enix listened to concerned fans. This could have easily become an uglier situation if the company had instead attempted to argue the validity of its original post.