There's only one thing worse than a zombie: a racist zombie, and Back 4 Blood, the zombie-slaying shooter, mistakenly has them. After they first popped up during the recent closed beta, the issue has apparently carried over to the just-started open beta, though publisher WB Games and developer Turtle Rock Studios say it will be fixed for the game's launch.
As initially reported by Kotaku, players first encountered the seemingly racist zombies during the Back 4 Blood closed beta, with Twitter user @HomBKE posting a clip from the game of a ridden yelling some version of the N-word. According to WB Games, this is not a single voice line, but several being played at once that leads to what sounds like the slur. As such, the unfortunate sound byte was never intended and will be removed.
"Our team has been made aware of offensive language that can be heard when playing the game," reads the publisher's statement to Kotaku. "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."
Following the start of the open beta, a tweet from the Back 4 Blood Twitter account commented on this, saying, "There is a known beta issue where several Ridden growl sound effects are randomly combined the system in such a way to create what sounds like an offensive slur. While unintentional, we take this very seriously and are profoundly sorry for any hurt or harm this may have caused. This issue will be fixed prior to launch."
WB Games's previous statement suggested the issue would be removed "either in time for the Beta, or when the game launches." Back 4 Blood's open beta is now live and will run until August 16. The game will launch on October 12 on Xbox Series X|S, Xbox One, PS5, PS4, and PC. The game will also be available day one for Xbox Game Pass subscribers on both Xbox consoles and PC.
Ahead of its open beta and even further ahead of its official launch, Back 4 Blood has already garnered a decent amount of popularity. On Twitch and Steam, the game is already performing exceptionally well. On Steam, Back 4 Blood's closed beta broke into Steam's top 10 list of actively played games, while on Twitch, the game hit 171,000 viewers.