EA’s Black Panther Developer Under Fire For Discriminating Against White People

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EA’s Black Panther Developer Under Fire For Discriminating Against White People

Dhruv Bhatnagar
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Highlights
The associate narrative designer of Cliff Hanger Games, an EA-owned studio working on Marvel's Black Panther, is under fire for discriminating against white people.
In a clip, the developer admits that they previously built a team that didn't include white people to create a safe environment for them to develop a prior game.

After several years of rumors swirling around the internet, EA announced its Black Panther game in 2023. While the information on the game is light, we know developers who have led popular titles such as Shadow of Mordor are working on it. With such a pedigree behind it, there’s no doubt that Black Panther has a solid chance of becoming one of the best superhero titles when it eventually releases. However, one of the developers working on the Black Panther game has come under fire for admitting to hiring only people of color in a previous role.

Black Panther Developer Admits Discriminating Against White People

Dani Lalonders works as an associate narrative designer at Cliffhanger Games, which is currently working on Marvel’s Black Panther. The developer previously worked on Validate, a romantic novel in which players must navigate new relationships and face the harsh realities that come with them. 

During a talk for the Game Devs of Colour Expo 2021, highlighted by LibsofTikTok, Lalonders stated that they had no ‘white people’ on the team for Validate, which was a deliberate decision. 

They said, “We have no white people on our team. I did that because I wanted to create a safe environment. And I know the best way for an environment to be safe is to be around people who are just like me.”  

They further added, “I’m not saying that white people in the industry are creating unsafe environments. I’m not saying that – that is not what I’m saying. I am saying that sometimes it is hard to work with white people because they think that something may be okay, but it is really a microaggression."

Loloders’ comments have gone viral across social media platforms, causing the developer to set their X and other handles to private. Many users have called out their comments as blatant racism and want them to be investigated. 

It’s still unknown if Lalonders’ policy has carried over to Cliffhanger and the Black Panther game. The development team comes under EA and will probably see changes due to the enormous backlash. Again, not much is known about Black Panther at the time of writing, with the game still in the early stages of development, but the fans are surely excited to explore Wakanda on their own.


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