New details about Activision Blizzard’s Diversity Space Tool have appeared online. One of the creators of this software opened up about the initial idea behind it.

Activision Blizzard presented the Diversity Space Tool last week. The technology aimed at helping developers create more inclusive in-game characters was criticized not only by players but some of the company’s employees.

Axios spoke with MIT Gamelab research coordinator Mikael Jakobsson, who was involved with the Diversity Space Tool at its early stages.

  • He noted that the initial concept wasn’t about rating diversity by numbers or replacing “common sense.”
  • “The idea was to slow down time a little bit and have a little bit more discussion and reflection at that crucial point of creation,” Jakobsson said.
  • Several developers at King started working on the Diversity Space Tool in 2016, with the project being inspired by a presentation from Anita Sarkeesian, a feminist media critic who has been vocal against using stereotypes in video games.
  • Jakobsson left the project in 2019 after giving King a workable version of the tool. He thought that Activision Blizzard had shelved the project, because the company hasn’t mentioned it publicly ever since.

After receiving backlash online, the Call of Duty publisher had to edit the original post announcing the Diversity Space Tool. The company also went on to say that none of its first-party studios have ever used it, despite initially stating otherwise.

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