Blizzard will be removing certain elements from World of Warcraft to improve the atmosphere of the game for all players. These changes come in response to a lawsuit by California’s Department of Fair Housing and Employment against Activision Blizzard that alleged widespread gender-based harassment and discrimination within the game company.
On July 27, Blizzard’s World of Warcraft team published a statement on the game’s website speaking to the upcoming changes.
“It was clear from our team conversations that we wanted to put forth a statement that was representative of the World of Warcraft team’s sentiments. We asked all members of our team to send us their suggestions and feedback on how best to address the community and this is the result,” the post reads.
“The past days have been a time of reflection for the World of Warcraft team, spent in conversation and contemplation, full of sadness, pain, and anger, but also hope and resolve. As we heed the brave women who have come forward to share their experiences, we stand committed to taking the actions necessary to ensure we are providing an inclusive, welcoming, and safe environment both for our team and for our players in Azeroth.”
The article further explains that the team will be taking steps to address the internal culture of the company, assuring a welcoming space for employees of all backgrounds.
“We also want to take immediate action in Azeroth to remove references that are not appropriate for our world. This work has been underway, and you will be seeing several such changes to both Shadowlands and WoW Classic in the coming days,” the game’s team wrote in regards to in-game changes, leaving the details somewhat vague.
Many players in the Warcraft community, however, speculate that this message alludes to characters and items referencing Alex Afrasabi. Afrasabi was a member of Warcraft’s development team for 16 years before he stopped work in 2020. He was accused of harassment multiple times in the lawsuit.
The backlash from California’s Lawsuit against Activision Blizzard continues to have widespread implications for the company. Check back for more updates regarding this situation.