Okay, let me preface this real quick. I’m white and a pagan, so my voice does not matter all too terribly much on this topic, because I’m not the minority or marginalized group directly effected by this. However, I still want to bring the issue to the community’s attention, and subsequently 343i’s.
There’s a serious issue with the Yoroi armor core and its pieces. It isn’t about the lore integrity of Halo, it isn’t about fractures, it isn’t about any of these superficial things - and before someone says, “But what about Hayabusa?” see - the thing about Hayabusa is that it was a collaboration with Team Ninja, a Japanese studio, who put a Spartan in their game, Dead or Alive 4. Basically it was an art trade, an exchange, and it was consensual. If I am wrong about any of this WRT DOA/Halo - Team Ninja/Bungie, please correct me.
But the problem with Yoroi, the whole set of armor, emblems, etc., comes down to who’s making it and for what purpose. 343 Industries, is an American, western studio. They develop and market games with the west in mind. Sure, these games reach other shores, but never in the same volume/popularity it gets here, just doesn’t happen, isn’t how it works.
With the monetization schemes being exceptionally predatory as we’ve seen recently, I have grave concerns about this when it comes to Yoroi. This whole event and set of gear that is all about selling you Samurai armor, swords, cherry blossoms, Torii (You know, those Japanese arches that are a key icon of Shinto, a religion from Japan.), etc - reeks of appropriation, repackaging and it’s… Frankly, it’s wrong.
It would be far less of a concern if Yoroi and its set wasn’t so horribly, heavy handily vacuum packaged and sold by and for westerners. I don’t doubt that there may have been Japanese or artists of Japanese descent who worked on or were consulted with the process of Yoroi, but the history of taking from other cultures and profiting off of it in the west continues with this armor and its associated cosmetics.
If one is to ask where I was when Season 8 of MCC came out, I will remind you again that the updates in MCC have basically always been free and you could not purchase armor or points for armor in that game. You simply had to earn the points - and while FOMO was a factor in some aspects, it was never overbearingly so nor was it used for profit.
So it bothers me then, that three european cultures’ aesthetics and history were used entirely freely, but an eastern one, was the one that got packaged and sold for egregious financial gain. If that doesn’t really bother you, I don’t know what exactly to tell you.
Again, I must reiterate that I am not directly effected by this. Friends of mine who are very dear to me are, though they don’t play Halo. If one is to ask why bother then - because it is a consistent problem in western industry and really needs to stop.
EDIT: Corrected a mistake about Shinto.