- Activision Blizzard is currently working on getting fan trust back
- Because of the lawsuit by California's DFEH, the company is removing all references of involved workers
- Some changes may be harder as they will demand the changing of numerous text lines and the re-recording of voice lines
Trying to make things right, Blizzard has started removing references of everyone involved in the “Cosby suite.”
Changing Names to Make Things Right
Blizzard is continuing to clean its games from traces of the employees who were involved in the recent scandal where the company was accused of mistreating female employees. The first of this line of decisions was renaming Overwatch's McCree. However, it seems that the Overwatch character isn't the only one bearing the name of a controversial developer. Now the tendency carries on to World of Warcraft.
The game developing company has a long history of hiding references to its employees inside its games. Some are more obvious than others, but in a pretty clear case, the capital city of Argus, the homeworld of the eredar, was named Mac'Aree, after Jesse McCree.
Changing the name will be a bit of a hard task because of the sheer size of the Warcraft universe. With hundreds of lines of dialogue and thousands of quest description pages, item names, and the like, the employees will have a much worse time with Mac'Aree than with McCree.
However, there might be a little bit of hope. Jennifer Klasing, who used to work for Blizzard as a developer, had specifically instructed the voice actors to pronounce the name of the city in a particular way.
“Yeah, I asked all of our VO for the zone to pronounce is Muh-KAH-Ree,” Klasing said.
She explained that she found having a capital of ill-intended demons named after a developer kind of silly and wanted to add a unique twist to the pronunciation.
Despite Klasing not working for the company anymore, her past decision may have saved Blizzard hundreds of hours of work.
A Sign of Goodwill or an Artificial Measure?
The Burning Legion's city and the aforementioned Overwatch character are both named after Jesse McCree – a prominent figure among Blizzard's game designers. He found himself in the center of the recent controversy where the whole of Activision Blizzard came under fire by California's Department of Fair Employment and Housing because of alleged mistreatment of women. Several male employees had established a “Cosby suite” where they would gather, consume large amounts of alcohol and make indecent remarks about female workers.
Blizzard was quick to release McCree and other involved employees from duty and is now changing all references of them as a sign of goodwill to the fans.
Jonathan LeCraft is another person who was involved in the scandal and got dismissed from the company as a result. Fans suspect that all the non-playable characters that got named after him are next in line for receiving a new name.
Blizzard's decision to change those names became just as controversial as almost everything else the company has recently done. Some people from the community welcomed the fact that Blizzard is trying to make things right. Others believe that addressing something as minor as names of fictional personas and places is but a pseudo-measure that is trying to artificially gain fan trust back.
In any case, regardless of Blizzard's intentions, changing those references is perhaps the safest bet for the company, given the current circumstances.