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Blizzard Renaming Characters and Cities to Remove References to Former WoW Developers
2021/08/28 at 11:14 PM
Following the announcement that the Overwatch hero
McCree would be renamed
, Blizzard is taking further action to remove references to former developers from their games. In an article by
The Washington Post
, employees have let it be known that similar changes will be made within World of Warcraft, including the renaming of several characters and one city, presumed to be the capital of Argus in Legion, Mac'Aree.
Actually pronounced Muh-KAH-Ree, the capital of Argus may be getting renamed.
While Mac'Aree isn't the type of capital city that players normally think of, it is another major reference to former Blizzard lead level designer Jesse McCree, who
left Blizzard Entertainment earlier this month
, alongside Diablo 4 game director Luis Barriga and World of Warcraft senior game designer Jonathan LeCraft. While no specific reason for their departure was given, McCree and LeCraft were both implicated alongside Alex Afrasiabi in the so-called
Cosby Suite photographs
Renaming the zone would prove an interesting challenge due to involving a lot of voiced dialogue that items and most NPCs aren't subject to, although the zone has never actually been pronounced the way its reference would suggest. Former quest designer Jennifer Klasing revealed the reason for that difference over Twitter, and it's likely her foresight could have saved a lot of trouble for the company, as the name could just be altered enough to better match its pronunciation, rather than recording all new voice lines for content that is now several expansions old.
As for what else may be renamed or changed, we can only speculate. There are a
of place, item, and NPC character references in World of Warcraft, and while the majority are not disgraced developers, changing all of them would be a monumental task.
alone, but dozens more
references to Alex Afrasiabi were changed
last month for just one long-time developer. Community members haven't been exempt from this treatment either, as evidenced by the quick
removal of in-game tributes to Swifty
refunding Overwatch MVP Jay “Sinatraa” Won’s commemorative skin purchases
after both were accused of sexual misconduct.
Patch 9.1.5 Developer Update
It also has updates to improve the game environment for our community, including additional changes to some content to better reflect our shared values, better visibility into the impact of your in-game reports of harassment, and more serious penalties for people engaged in disruptive behavior.
While it may not be feasible to remove all of these references overnight, nor may they even want to remove tributes to employees or community members who are not mired in scandal, it seems very likely that Blizzard will curtail the practice of creating in-game tributes going forward in order to avoid future embarrassment. The Overwatch team has already stated outright that in-game characters would no longer be named after employees, and that they would be more thoughtful about adding real world references in future content, while the
Patch 9.1.5 Developer Update
made a specific point in highlighting reporting improvements, which developers called the
first step in combating toxicity
within their games.
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