Minecraft‘s head developer has elaborated on how a racial slur made it into a “snapshot build” of Minecraft‘s PC version, noting that it was not pushed to all users. As such, Mojang, the game’s maker, won’t remove the offensive language until the next such update.
“Snapshot builds”, as Jens Bergensten explained, “are intended to give eager users a preview of the update to come” and updated about once a week. Users must opt in to receive the builds, so what comes in them is not a true, full update sent to all five million premium users.
The furor arose when it was noticed that switching the game’s language option to Afrikaans, a language spoken natively in South Africa and Namibia, returned a button option that said “You are a NIGGER.” Mojang immediately apologised and Bergensten blamed crowd-sourced translation for the inclusion of the offensive language. He elaborated on that in a statement to Kotaku.
“In these snapshots there are about 50 language files translated by the community, and it happens that they are ruined by pranksters,” Bergensten said. “Players are quick to find and fix these, so they are removed in the next snapshot.”
Snapshot builds are useful to Mojang because they help identify bugs and provide feedback on new features in progress. It’s also a way to show eager, avid users what is coming next.
However, as snapshot builds are pushed out weekly, this code won’t be fixed to remove the offensive language until the next build rolls out, which Bergensten said will be Thursday.
“I usually only do panic updates when there are severe bugs, such as bugs that corrput save files, or make the game unable to connect to servers, and such,” Bergensten told Kotaku.