Infinity Ward hasn’t commented on the removal, but the symbol is found to be used as a “sincere expression of white supremacy”.
Infinity Ward has quietly removed an in-game gesture from both Call of Duty: Modern Warfare and the Battle Royale version Warzone. The gesture itself finds the player performing the hand signal for “OK” but with the latest update, it has vanished entirely.
As Eurogamer reports, the gesture was added to the games earlier this year, allowing players online to communicate with the said gesture alongside others. Eurogamer says that it was often used by players performing the gesture after winning a match, I wouldn’t know though because I don’t want to sit and download hundreds of gigabytes.
The mid-season update seems to have pulled the gesture from the game entirely, and has instead been replaced with a new gesture called “crush”. However, despite this being a change to the game, it’s apparently not listed in the latest patch notes.
While most may know the hand gesture as a way of saying “OK”, in 2019 it was added to the list of hate symbols after the Anti-Defamation League (ADL) found it to be used as a “sincere expression of white supremacy”. Eurogamer clarifies that this context originated from 4Chan users who attempted to trick the media into thinking there was a hidden meaning, eventually the far-right started using the gesture and now the true meaning seems to have been overridden.
The removal of the gesture may have something to do with the ongoing protests in America, and last month Activision Blizzard and Infinity Ward promised to do better in fighting against in-game toxicity and racism in light of the Black Lives Matter movement. It also seems to be that the usage of the symbol is now being questioned in instances such as this.
Call of Duty: Modern Warfare and Warzone are both available on PC, PS4, and Xbox One.