Infinity Ward tries to make its ‘Call of Duty’ Border War skin less offensive

The skin is still clearly inspired by US Border Patrol.


On Tuesday, Call of Duty developer Infinity Ward changed the name of Modern Warfare and Warzone’s Border War skin. The cowboy cop skin is now called “Home on the Range.” The change seems to be an attempt to crack down on racism in Call of Duty, but you could argue that it fails to do so.

The Border War skin was introduced a few months ago in Modern Warfare Season 3. It was criticized for glorifying the US Border Patrol and violence against immigrants, PC Gamer explains.

Following Black Lives Matter protests around the world, Activision delayed new Call of Duty seasons, and it added a Black Lives Matter message to its games. Infinity Ward promised to crack down on racism with increased monitoring of racist material, more in-game reporting and more permanent bans for repeat offenders. But all of this seemed a bit superficial when the game allowed players to run around as killer cowboy cops designed to “show them the error of their ways.”

A patch released Tuesday changed the name of the skin and bio. The previous description (“Show them the error of their ways and make them pay with D-Day’s Border War operator skin”) now reads: “Play along with the deer and the antelope with the Home on the Range D-Day operator skin.” The skin itself remains the same. It is still clearly inspired by the US Border Patrol, and the deer and antelope description doesn’t really fit the image of a cop in pleated trousers and a bulletproof vest.

Creating the skin in the first place wasn’t a great idea, but Infinity Ward is fulfilling its pledge to crack down on racism (its own included) and taking action. Earlier this month, Infinity Ward also removed the ‘OK’ hand gesture from Call of Duty: Modern Warfare and Warzone. Previously players could use the hand gesture in the battlefield or while firing their guns, but the gesture is now recognized by the Anti-Defamation League as a white supremacy hate symbol. Hopefully, Infinity Ward will continue its anti-racism efforts and remain open to learning and improving as it goes.