Riot reverses whitewashing of Karma in League of Legends – Wild Rift Assets.
Riot Games announced that it would reverse the changes made to Karma’s skin tone and facial features in her promotional material for League of Legends Wild Rift.
Karma, known as the living embodiment of an ancient soul who has been reincarnated many times, was introduced to League of Legends back in 2011. Karma is only now making her way to the MOBA’s mobile version at the end of March. Fans noticed a change in her appearance after releasing promotional assets for her Wild Rift debut. Her face was made more eurocentric, with certain features like her jaw, nose and mouth looking smaller and more rounded. Karma’s violet eyes turn green when she uses her ultimate. However, they were made normal green. Karma’s brown skin tone was most noticeable.
Riot is trying to restore Karma’s original model, although it’s unclear how this happened.
“Hey gang! We’re going to update Karma’s skintone/face in some of our promotional assets,” Ben Forbes (communications lead for Wild Rift) tweeted on March 22. “We did it in a very short turnaround, so please excuse us if she isn’t updated everywhere in the time.” Forbes also thanks @_spacecate, a Twitter user, for raising the issue and to assure fans that the art team and production team are “taking the concern seriously” and “making changes.”
Riot is not the first to be involved in similar controversy. In 2021, we had a similar incident when the champion Taliyah was introduced to Legends of Runeterra. This collectable card game is the counterpart to League of Legends. Fans should have been thrilled to see the mage as part of the Empires of the Ascended expansion. However, many were disappointed by her whitewashed appearance.
Riot also responded quickly to the request. “Hey, folks! Thanks for your feedback on Taliyah’s visual design,” the official Legends of Runeterra Twitter. “Her current design doesn’t reflect her character and we’re making adjustments.” Due to time constraints, we are working on revisions, but her current art will not be available at Empires of the Ascended’s launch.
The statement explains why Taliyah was chosen to be recast as Taliyah’s voice actor. The statement assures that “the whole team strives for authentic representation of our champions, followers, and cultures” and that community feedback is “a key pillar” to the title.
Riot’s prompt response to questions like colourism and whitewashing is a plus. However, it is hard to understand why these errors were made. This is not something that happens to non-white characters. It often happens to characters with colour in games, and although I should have been used to it by now, it is extremely disappointing to see it every time. Karma is beautiful, and I hope that her design will not be affected in the future.
Karma will be available with Patch 3.1 of League of Legends Wild Rift. It is expected to arrive in the next few weeks.
[Disclaimer] Riot Games and Fanbyte belong to the same parent company Tencent. However, I have never met a Tencent representative in my life. I love Arcane but don’t play League of Legends. This article doesn’t really say much about it. ]