Last week, Fortnite fans noticed police cars could no longer be found on the game's map.
The change, reported on at the time by Kotaku, appeared to have been made at the same time as Fortnite's new season.
Fans on reddit noticed police cars dotted around the Battle Royale map were now civilian vehicles. Police cars in the game's Creative Mode were gone. Junk Rifts, an item which could spawn a police car, now spawned regular cars instead.
At the time, Epic Games declined to comment on their apparent removal.
Now, however, a development source has confirmed to Wall St Journal that the change was a deliberate response in the wake of the murder of George Floyd, and the subsequent widespread global demonstrations against police brutality.
Cars cannot be driven within Fortnite (yet), though the ability to do so will arrive later this season as the game's waterlogged map slowly dries out.
It's easy to imagine why Epic Games would not want players using police cars to harm others, or put together clips showing this.
Floyd's death and the video of a police officer kneeling on his neck for nearly nine minutes sparked weeks of protests across America and the world as part of the Black Lives Matter movement, which aims to highlight problems with police brutality and systemic racism. The officer seen kneeling over Floyd has been charged with second-degree murder and second-degree manslaughter, while the remaining three officers have been charged with aiding and abetting the killing.
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