World of Warcraft players were shocked to discover that Blizzard had begun removing old voice lines from the game — another controversial change to the popular MMO amidst the fallout from Activision Blizzard’s on-going lawsuit.
In July 2021, Activision Blizzard were hit with a massive lawsuit filed by the state of California, which alleged that Blizzard employees had engaged in workplace discrimination against women and fostered a “pervasive frat boy culture” at the company.
After these accusations came to light, the World of Warcraft developer made several high-level personnel changes, and began updating in-game content to remove controversial NPC names and achievement titles — something many players immediately took issue with.
Outrage has continued to spread, with fans urging Blizzard to focus on combating toxicity instead of censoring the game’s art and quests. Now, anger has once again spilled over after players discovered that Blizzard had begun removing flirty voice lines on WoW’s PTR (public test realm).
Word of these changes began to spread on Reddit after one player posted their discovery. “I was curious on the PTR and decided to check and see if [Blizzard] removed Flirts and Jokes from the game. It turns out they have,” the post revealed.
The fan went on to express their unhappiness with the change: “I think this is severely disappointing. It also proves that they are indeed going after certain references.”
While they didn’t review the voice lines of every playable race, changes were noted for more than half a dozen. “Feel free to check the others,” the player remarked, “I’m sure [the changes are] extensive.”
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The post ended with a plea to Blizzard. “Please give us back some of these,” the player begged, before imploring others to voice their concerns as well. “Let the devs know what you miss and maybe they’ll reverse their decision?”
Fellow WoW players quickly voiced their agreement with the poster’s concerns. “Why would they remove that?” one player asked, after seeing a Mecha Gnome voice line that had been erased. “It’s cute and wholesome, not explicit in the least.”
Others didn’t hold back from blasting the devs over their latest decision to update World of Warcraft’s content based on the lawsuit. “There’s no denying it anymore,” another comment read, “The devs have completely lost their minds and grip on reality.”
Twitch streamer Asmongold, whom many would consider to be the top World of Warcraft streamer on the platform, also criticized Blizzard for their handling of the situation, referring to the devs as “mentally ill or socially maladjusted.”
While it seems more changes are in store for the MMO based on the aftermath of Activision Blizzard’s on-going litigation, it also appears that fans have no intentions of changing their stance on the updates any time soon.