Blizzard President Says Studio Will Do Better to Create "More Diverse Heroes"
Mike Morhaime issues detailed response to fan who was upset over lack of diversity in Blizzard's games and marketing material.
In response to a fan's letter pointing out a lack of diversity in the company's games, including promotional material for World of Warcraft: Warlords of Draenor, Blizzard Entertainment president Mike Morhaime has responded (via WoW Insider) by pledging that the company will do better in the future to create "more diverse heroes."
"We know that actions speak louder than words, so we are challenging ourselves to draw from more diverse voices within and outside of the company and create more diverse heroes and content," Morhaime said in response to a well-stated piece of criticism from a fan going by the name of starcunning. "We are also actively looking at our story development and other processes to ensure that our values are fully represented. We've always believed that positive, lasting change comes from examination, discussion, and iteration, and this applies as much to story as to gameplay. There is no reason why inclusivity should come at the expense of an amazing game experience."
"This will be an ongoing process for us--it's likely that we will make mistakes again in the future, but we will continue to listen, learn, and grow" -- Mike Morhaime
Morhaime adds, "There have been times when we’ve been seen or painted as being uninterested in hearing feedback or making changes. I want to be clear that this goes against the philosophies and core values on which Blizzard has been built and continues to operate. We will always listen, and we will always work hard to make games that appeal to as many people as possible."
He went on to make it clear that Blizzard is always open to feedback and is willing to engage in discussions to help the company improve. He also acknowledged that there might be rocky times ahead. "This will be an ongoing process for us--it's likely that we will make mistakes again in the future," he said. "But we will continue to listen, learn, and grow. We care very much about what you think and what you’re getting out of our games, and we're committed to reflecting our core values in our words as well as our actions."
Blizzard most recently found itself in hot water over diversity issues when Heroes of the Storm developer Dustin Browder, in response to a question about the way in which some video games "sex up" female characters, said, "We're not running for president." Browder since apologized, saying that, "This is a serious topic and I don't want anyone to think that I, or anyone else at Blizzard, is insensitive about how we portray our characters."