WoW players confused as Blizzard remove “greenskin” name for Orcs

Blizzard Entertainment

Blizzard is continuing their purge of any and all World of Warcraft content they see as problematic, and now almost every reference to Orcs as so-called “greenskins” has disappeared.

WoW devs have been hard at work removing old content from the game during 2021, including references to developers and changing a ton of voicelines to get rid of sexual innuendos, among other things.

Now, the term “greenskins” is on the way out. The phrase is most often used by Alliance players and NPCs to refer to WoW’s Orcs, but now most instances of it are being changed or just removed entirely.

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Blizzard Entertainment
Captain Greenskin from the Deadmines is the one character who actually kept the “greenskin” name after the update.

Blizzard hasn’t come out and said exactly why they’ve removed almost every instance of “greenskin” from the game, but some think it could be because the phrase has racist connotations against the Orcs of WoW.

However, that might not be the whole reason the phrase is being scrubbed from the game. As Wowhead suggested, the change might also be to avoid potential issues with wargaming company Games Workshop, who commonly refer to their own Orks as “greenskins.”

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Whatever the reason behind the move there are now only a few items that still use the phrase after the update, and just one NPC: Captain Greenskin from the classic Deadmines dungeon. Players though, don’t seem thrilled by the change, with Reddit and Twitter users mocking Blizzard once again.

“We’re removing every joke and sexual reference guys! You’ll come buy our games right? Right?! What? What sexual misconduct? Predators in our workplace? Nahhhh,” @Kitsumei1 said on Twitter. “-Blizzard 2k21, thinking their term greenskin and a couple sexual jokes are why we’re upset.”

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Over on Reddit, users pointed out Blizzard’s hypocrisy for removing “greenskins” but still keeping an act of literal genocide (the burning of the World Tree) as a major plot point.

“Mass murdering of species = ok. Fictional slur in fictional world = DENIED,” one user wrote, with others lamenting the fact Blizzard seems to have lost the plot entirely.

“We’re at the point now where we’re removing FICTIONAL RACISM in a FICTIONAL WORLD,” another Reddit user added. “If you can’t handle fictitious racism in the context of fantasy media, then I suggest you stop playing games rated “T” for Teen, and try games rated “E” for Everyone.”

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There’s no sign Blizzard will stop this purge of anything and everything they deem problematic in WoW anytime soon though, so for now we just have to wait and see what gets put on the chopping block next.

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