In the wake of a social media storm concerning recent comments made by Twitch streamer Nicholas ‘NickMercs’ Kolcheff during Pride month, Call of Duty (CoD) has taken the step to discontinue the NickMercs Bundle in both the Modern Warfare 2 and Warzone in-game stores. As it stands, there’s no word on whether this bundle, created in honour of the streamer, will ever make a return.
The Unravelling Controversy: NickMercs’ Comments Spark Debate
NickMercs, co-owner of the well-known Esports organisation, FaZe Clan, found himself embroiled in controversy following his response to a video depicting anti-LGBT protestors clashing with pro-LGBT supporters outside a school board meeting. The meeting was set to vote on recognising June as Pride month. In his response, NickMercs urged those supporting LGBT rights to “leave little children alone,” a statement that led to a heated debate on Twitter, with the majority aligning with NickMercs’ viewpoint while others accused him of promoting anti-LGBT violence.
After the provocative tweet, CoD took the decision to remove the NickMercs Bundle from the in-game stores for both Modern Warfare 2 and Warzone. While those who’ve already secured the bundle will still have access to its features, including cosmetics, weapon blueprints, and the NickMercs Operator, it’s no longer an option for those yet to make the purchase. In a public announcement, CoD revealed that this move was part of their commitment to Pride month, stating they couldn’t endorse comments that could be viewed as anti-LGBTQIA+.
NickMercs, during a subsequent live stream, sought to clarify his earlier comments, stating that his issue was not with the LGBTQIA+ community per se but stemmed from a desire to protect his children’s education from external influences. The streamer emphasised his wish to be the one to discuss such matters with his child and thus didn’t support schools marking Pride month.
Mixed Reactions: The Player Community Responds
Despite the controversy, NickMercs stood by his comments, neither apologising for the tweet nor taking it down, explaining that his intention had not been to cause upset. This shows his character that he’s prepared to stand by what he says which is very admirable. If you look at the situation closely, you’ll see that he meant organisations as a whole, not specifically targeting anyone or anything.
The removal of the NickMercs Bundle by Activision from the Call of Duty Modern Warfare 2 and Warzone stores met with varied reactions from the player community. While some applauded Activision’s stance in support of LGBTQIA+ rights, others struggled to understand the decision, defending the streamers initial comment. A portion of the player base even sided with NickMercs, objecting to the celebration of Pride month in schools. Some further criticised Activision for their perceived swiftness in reacting to the NickMercs controversy, while seemingly less determined to tackle allegations of sexual harassment within the company that prompted a lawsuit from the California Department of Fair Employment and Housing the previous year.
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