Blizzard will be removing inappropriate content and references from its MMORPG WoW

The Overwatch development team announced on Thursday that they would rename cowboy McCree later this year. The change is due to the name's association with former Blizzard developer Jesse McCree, who left the company after a lawsuit against Activision Blizzard alleging workplace sexual harassment and discrimination. McCree is not specifically named in the lawsuit.

World of Warcraft developer Blizzard Entertainment will be removing outdated and sexually tinged jokes from the game as part of an upcoming update.

“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,” Blizzard said in a statement attributed to the World of Warcraft team.

Blizzard’s next step is arguably to rename two achievements as we did in an early version of the new patch. From 9.1.5 references to the saying “bros before hoes” and to very large testicles are removed.

On the one hand, it is precisely about the success “My Sack is Gigantique,” which players receive when they purchase the “Gigantique” bag from NPC Haris Pilton and put it on. The success will henceforth bear the name “My Storage is Gigantique”. The second hit, called “Bros. Before Ho Ho Ho’s”, was renamed “Holiday Bromance”. Players get this if they use a mistletoe on NPCs of their own faction with the name “Brother” during the holidays.

It's worth remembering that while these changes are easily dismissed as superficial, or as an attempt to mollify, that the development teams involved probably do not want to continue to work on a game which enshrines developers alleged to have contributed to a toxic and abusive workplace.

While addressing the names of two puerile jokes may be comparatively smaller changes – and it could be questioned whether “Holiday Bromance” is any less problematic, as it is arguably homophobic – the changes do seem to indicate the developer is looking at even the smallest areas of its games to root out poor behaviour.

Activision Blizzard employs more than 9,000 people across subsidiaries including Blizzard Entertainment; the mobile game developer King; Major League Gaming; and Activision studios such as Infinity Ward, Sledgehammer Games, Toys for Bob, and Treyarch. Hundreds of employees, led by a group within Blizzard, announced Tuesday that they plan to undertake a work stoppage on Wednesday to protest the company’s response to the lawsuit and demand changes from leadership. The walkout will take place at the Blizzard campus in Irvine, California, as well as virtually.

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