US game developer cancels release of 'Maui' character

By Jessica Tyson
Maui character. Source: H1Z1, Daybreak Games

A US video game developer has decided to stop the release of a new 'Maui' character to avoid causing offense.

The company, Daybreak Games, announced on Facebook this morning that they’d chosen to remove the Maui outfit from their Macho Crate release.

The character was planned to be released tomorrow as part of their PlayStation survival battle game, H1Z1.

 “We take cultural representation seriously in all of our games, and want to apologize for any offense we may have caused [sic],” the company wrote in a post on their Facebook page.

The character had Polynesian tattoos on his arm and wore a mask with tā moko pulling a pūkana.

Facebook user Meli Black was happy about the announcement.

She says she’s worked with indigenous youth who have been affected by cultural appropriation.

“Having their culture devalued, misunderstood and ridiculed is a part of the problem," she wrote under the announcement.

“As a mainly Planetside 2 player, this may be the only decision DBG's made in the last year that I agree with, so I am happy that it is on this issue.”

However many others disagree with the decision, including David Ingram.

“I totally disagree with this.  It’s a video game and costumes/skins are pretty much tongue-in-cheek/parody’s [sic]. This is supposed to represent an escape from reality,” he wrote.

Since the announcement this morning, Day Break Games has removed images of the character on their website.