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World Of Warcraft Is Trying To Win Back Players During The Lawsuit

A lawsuit filed against Activision Blizzard alleging a toxic work environment that permitted systemic sexual harassment has shaken the company to the core. Gamers staged a surprising protest in "World of Warcraft" while a staggering number of Activision Blizzard employees signed an open letter outlining their disappointment. It appears that one section of the business, the "World of Warcraft" team, has started down the long road to regaining community trust with a statement on its plans to address the issue.


The official communication from the "World of Warcraft" team was posted to Twitter and struck a reflective tone that acknowledged "the brave women who have come forward to share their experiences," and pledged to create a "safe environment both for our team and for our players in Azeroth." The message also stated that while the responsibility to build a positive workplace belonged to management, it was vital to defer to their team and the community it supported to assess when that goal was achieved.

Considering the lawsuit has allegedly stopped development on "World of Warcraft," the statement represented at least one step in the right direction and outlined some goals on how the company might make amends for the damage done. Here is how "World of Warcraft" is trying to win back players while dealing with this shocking lawsuit.


The World of Warcraft team promises to remove inappropriate references from Azeroth

The message from the "World of Warcraft" team could represent a significant shift in Activision Blizzard's handling of the lawsuit. While former president and Blizzard co-founder Mike Morhaime admitted the failure of the leadership team to combat sexual harassment, communication from current leadership has allowed for less culpability.


Bloomberg reporter Jason Schreier shared a pair of leaked emails on Twitter supposedly written by Blizzard president J. Allen Brack and Activision Blizzard executive Fran Townsend that took a more combative approach. While Brack called the allegations "extremely troubling," Townsend said the accusations were "factually incorrect, old, and out of context stories – some from more than a decade ago."

However, the "World of Warcraft" team promised to "protect marginalized groups and hold accountable those who threaten them," in addition to removing inappropriate in-game references. While the content slated for removal was not specified, many believe that an NPC named after former Blizzard executive Alex Afrasiabi, whose allegedly inappropriate behavior is described in the lawsuit, will be one of the first things to go.


In addition, Twitter users like DiscordianKitty have pointed out sequences they feel should be removed from "World of Warcraft," such as the Mount Hyjal quest "A Bird in the Hand." To complete that quest, players participate in an aggressive interrogation of a female-gendered NPC, which DiscordianKitty claimed "encourages the worst of gamer culture." 

"World of Warcraft" fans will have to wait to see what changes come to the game, but hopefully the team makes good on its promise to build a more inclusive and respectful world and workplace.