World of Warcraft continues to clean up its act with surgical replacements to characters and quests

    
53

We have been watching with some degree of fascination the Great World of Warcraft Purge of ’21 that’s come in the wake of Blizzard’s workplace scandal. WoW devs are seemingly scouring the game for anything that even has the whiff of controversial, demeaning, or slightly saucy content and altering it without mercy.

The latest changes include the replacement of an NPC that referenced an obscene metal band singer and two quests that referred to women as “damsels” and “babes.”

The NPC in question is George the Corpsegrinder (who is now Annihilator Grek’lor), a reference to Cannibal Corpse lead singer George Fisher. Fisher performed at BlizzCon 2011 alongside Blizzard employees but proved to be so obscene and offensive while verbally attacking opponents at the show that then-president Mike Morhaime was forced to make a public apology. His character remained in the game since Wrath of the Lich King, however, only being removed in this past week’s Patch 9.1.5 on the test realm.

Blizzard has previously said that it set up internal channels for developers to speak up about “content that doesn’t represent who [the devs] are as a team today,” which is presumably where the specific changes are being proposed.

Source: Wowhead. Thanks Joey!
Activision-Blizzard is considered a controversial company in the MMO and gaming space owing to a long string of scandals over the last few years, including the Blitzchung boycott, mass layoffs, labor disputes, and executive pay fiasco. In the summer of 2021, the company was sued by the state of California for fostering a work environment riddled with sexual harassment and discrimination, the disastrous corporate response to which has further compounded Blizzard’s ongoing pipeline issues and the widespread perception that its online games are in decline. As of fall 2021, multiple state and federal agencies are currently investigating the company.
Advertisement

No posts to display

53
LEAVE A COMMENT

Please Login to comment
  Subscribe  
newest oldest most liked
Subscribe to:
Reader
Cyro-Nydd

Meanwhile in FFXIV I happened upon a trio of NPCs on the Highbridge quest location with some very “Lifts-Her-Tail” dialogue, if you get my drift, and nary a complaint. I even laughed in spite of myself.

When I heard about those cheesy old saloon portraits being swapped out for still life studies it made me pretty sad. I don’t think these seedy watering hole furnishings were harassing anyone.

Reader
Josh

Hang on.

Corpsegrinder had his own NPC? That toxic fuck had his own NPC and it’s just now being removed?

That it took a full blown lawsuit and the complete destruction of their reputation for them to finally relent and allow that stupid shitbto be removed speaks volumes.

Reader
Sarah Cushaway

This is so stupid. It wasn’t the players that harassed a woman to the point of suicide, and yet that’s who Blizzard is punishing here. No one cares about off-color, obscure references or dumb flirt jokes.

We care about how Blizzard treats its real-life employees AND players. Which is still in the “like garbage” category, so…yeah, this is just dumb.

Reader
Jim Bergevin Jr

This is a result of the real life employees finally getting the chance to change the things that made them feel bad about the game. I wholeheartedly approve.

Grimalkin
Reader
Grimalkin

Also known as “The great hypocrisy of ’21”

Reader
Loyal Patron
Patreon Donor
Neurotic

Bear in mind that all of these ‘little’ changes that have been happening over the last few weeks come from the remaining devs themselves, in an effort to clean up the thing they’re working on for their own sakes. Sure, Corporate won’t be unhappy every time they take out a boob painting or rename an NPC, but these are changes that the remaining devs — and presumably now they’re not the toxic ones — want to make for their own happiness and sanity. So, let’s try to be positive about such changes and be happy for those remaining devs who are making them.

Reader
kody

I’m confused, doesn’t damsel just mean “a young woman”?

Reader
Utakata

…er, yes?

Reader
Jacquotte Fox Kline

I would assume it’s “Damsels Were Made to be Saved”, which is pretty flagrantly in the face of the whole controversy around the damsels trope. Not just the word out of context.

Reader
Andrew Clear

I still don’t understand why that needs to be changed, and not, say, the attempted genocide of an entire race….

But hey, guess them Blizz employees thinks that one is far more dangerous than the other….

Reader
somber_bliss

So, is there going to actually be anything new coming down the pipeline that actually gives customers a reason to play? Or are they just going to keep wasting time on stuff like this?

Feels like this is to prepare for maintenance mode and they are tieing up all the loose strings before shuttering the doors. Hyperbolic of course but seriously – the game has been shite for a long while yet they aren’t doing anything to make the game actually fun again.

Reader
Jim Bergevin Jr

And now we know why. Once the garbage is taken out, perhaps some quality devs can have the freedom and peace of mind to work on quality content.

Reader
Robert Mann

WoW continues to… be changed in the hopes that the top end of Acti-Blizz will be given a pass for their real world behaviors due to some virtue signaling in game.

Fixed headline. You are welcome.

Reader
Andrew Clear

Yeah, don’t blame just the top end of Acti-Blizz, the rot is also in the rank and file.

Reader
Knecht_Rootrecht

When they get to replacing the Mageweave set, there will be riots.

Reader
Khrome

Zero impact.

Just wait until they’re going to ‘sanitize’ the vanilla plate armors so the belf pala legion organizes an uprising.

Reader
Yann van Sylphe

hopefully, the npc cant (for now as i know) take court action again devs…
for now…