New World of Warcraft Update Will Drop References to Former Activision Blizzard Staff
World of Warcraft version 9.1.5 is coming in the next few days, and it seems that players can expect to see references to certain Activision Blizzard staffers changed. According to a statement given to PC Gamer, "the in-game references to Jesse McCree, Luis Barriga, and Jon LeCraft will be removed from World of Warcraft." This news comes shortly after Blizzard confirmed that the Overwatch character McCree will similarly be renamed, following accusations made against the former Activision Blizzard employee. There has been no word on exactly what new names players can expect to see in either game, following these updates.
Over the last month, Activision Blizzard has seen a number of allegations of sexism, racism, and a "frat boy" culture. Just over a month ago, the World of Warcraft team confirmed that players could expect to see in-game changes made as a result. Since then, the game has seen references to Alex Afrasiabi dropped, and now more changes will be coming.
Multiple lawsuits have been filed against Activision Blizzard as a result of these accusations. The first of these was made by California's Department of Fair Employment and Housing. An investigation by the DFEH began two years ago, which Activision Blizzard reportedly failed to reveal to investors. As a result, investors filed a class action lawsuit against the publisher, alleging that they would have avoided investing in the company had they been made aware of these issues. An initial statement by Activision Blizzard called the lawsuit by the DFEH "irresponsible behavior from unaccountable State bureaucrats that are driving many of the State's best businesses out of California." Shortly after, Activision Blizzard CEO Bobby Kotick walked back those remarks in a letter calling the previous comments "tone deaf."
In that same letter, Kotick pledged multiple changes at Activision Blizzard. These included personnel changes, hiring practices, employee support, and changes in the games themselves. What's happening in World of Warcraft seems to be a direct result of that pledge, as references to these former employees of the company are removed entirely. It remains to be seen whether or not these changes will have any kind of impact on the culture at Activision Blizzard, but hopefully this will be one of many measures that changes the way that the publisher is run.0comments