World of Warcraft dev says Blizzard fired him for writing “corporate greed” goblin dialogue
A former World of Warcraft developer has claimed he was fired from Blizzard Entertainment for writing “corporate greed” joke dialogue for Venture Company goblins.
For the past several years, Activision Blizzard, the creators of games like World of Warcraft and Overwatch, has been the subject of much controversy thanks to several lawsuits involving “rampant sexism” and other pervasive issues going on within the company.
Following these lawsuits and claims from employees, controversial decisions such as plans to scrap remote work options with the penalty of termination for those unable to comply — which has left some feeling “unvalued” despite their hard work.
Now, another controversial claim is making waves in the World of Warcraft, after former WoW Game Designer and Writer Eric Covington has claimed the company fired him after writing “corporate greed” jokes for some of the in-game goblins.
Former WoW dev allegedly fired over goblin dialogue
Covington shared his story through Twitter in a lengthy tweet detailing the circumstances around his termination from the company.
To begin his tweet thread, Covington quote retweeted a recent interview Activision Blizzard CEO Bobby Kotick gave and said: “I wrote jokes lampooning generic corporate greed for a Venture Company loot goblin (very in character), but then leadership walked face first into the joke after string lock while my focus was getting the patch done. Because of their embarrassment, I’m no longer at Blizzard.”
Covington goes on to point out his frustration with the circumstances and highlighted that the official World of Warcraft showcased the offending goblin dialogue in some of the game’s marking material “before during, and after” Covington was fired.
The former dialogue writer pointed out that the WoW account “took it down after I pointed out the hypocrisy.”
Covington further explained that there was “No consideration or trust extended” to inquire about the intent of the jokes written, which he claimed were not targeted at anyone in particular. Additionally, he said there was “no polite request” to amend the dialogue through a hotfix before his termination.
9 years of service.— Eric Covington (@covingtown) May 31, 2023
Up in smoke without question because someone looked at an innocuous joke and saw a reflection.
They made sure to hustle and get me out before the end of the month in full knowledge that benefits would expire the next day.
The former Blizzard employee also said, the company “made sure to hustle and get me out before the end of the month in full knowledge that benefits would expire the next day.”
Covington ended his thread with: “So if you’re going to be sour towards a company, don’t aim it at the devs who are working hard to bring their passions to life and make fun games we all enjoy. Make your voices heard to the decision-makers who act counter-intuitive to the wellbeing of their employees and games.”