TheRoot.com, By Stephanie Holland, Posted November 16th 2023
The father/son duo launch Death Row Games to ‘show representation of the culture’ in the gaming industry.
Snoop Dogg has made an artform out of expanding his brand in the entertainment industry. He’s a rapper, actor, TV host, Martha Stewart’s best friend, Death Row Records boss and gaming entrepreneur. That last one is particularly important because he’s using his considerable influence to open more doors for gamers of color. According to AfroTech, Snoop and his son, Cordell Broadus, are launching Death Row Games in “support of minority creatives within the Fortnite ecosystem to help them design, develop, and publish content.
Black gamers face many of the same challenges and obstacles as other Black creators. They don’t get the opportunities and advantages that their counterparts enjoy. And the ugly discrimination we all face on a daily basis makes it hard for them to move up the ranks as developers and programmers.
“Our vision for Death Row Games is to provide access and opportunity to diverse creators to empower them as well as broaden the narrative around what gaming is and can become,” Broadus said in a statement. “We are still in the early stages but my team and I are excited to start building on the UEFN ecosystem where we believe the next generation of audiences are.”
Snoop and Cordell have been working in the gaming community for a while now, so this move makes sense. It also sends a very loud message to the rest of the industry when someone like the rap legend puts his considerable weight behind creating a better space for Black gamers.
“We felt like let’s really put resources into building Death Row Games and making a home for diverse creators in the gaming ecosystem and be a part of the narrative, the storytelling of what the next game should be looking like,” Broadus told AfroTech. “And I keep saying ‘show representation of the culture in these sectors,’ versus us just being the talent. We wanted to make sure that we’re part of the decision that’s being made and more importantly tell these stories from diverse creators and focus on creatives in underserved communities.”
He’s not wrong. Black characters and voice actors are often the center of the most popular games in entertainment. Look at the success of the Miles Morales focused Spider-Man releases. However, the long-standing bias in the tech industry has led to a barrier for Black creators to achieve success behind the scenes.
Things don’t move fast in the gaming world, so we’ll have to check back in a year or two to see if Death Row Games is making serious changes in the gaming community.