Following the discovery of what sounds very much like a racial slur in the game’s initial beta period, Back 4 Blood publisher, Warner Bros., has publically commented on the issue. In a statement sent to Kotaku after the site drew attention to the matter, it confirmed what most had suspected, that any instances of racially offensive language present in-game are purely coincidental and completely unintentional.
For those that missed the news yesterday, several fans streaming the co-op survival shooter uploaded footage online of themselves encountering Ridden enemies uttering the N-word. While unintended, the examples in question are unmistakable in their clarity, resulting in some accusations of blatant and knowing racism. The actual cause, as explained in the official PR, can be found below
Our team has been made aware of offensive language that can be heard when playing the game. This was not recorded or ever intended to be part of our gameplay. The audio is a result of two different Ridden growls that are playing simultaneously and when heard together sound like that word.
Warner Bros. further clarifies that work is already underway to remove the offending sound files, a process which could be completed as soon as later this week in time for the start of open beta. Failing that, there should be zero traces of the material lift over when official launch rolls around in the fall, so we’ll just have to wait and see.
Open beta kicks off on August 12th and runs for four days in total. Participants will have access to portions of the campaign as well as Swarm, a PvP mode that pits four survivors against the same number of human-controlled Ridden. The latter will differ considerably from the popular versus campaign present in spiritual predecessor Left 4 Dead, a revelation that has caused somewhat of a controversy among fans.
Back 4 Blood releases October 12th for Xbox One, Series X|S, PS4, PS5 and PC.