Blizzard Removes Most "Greenskin" References In World Of Warcraft

The phrase, often used as a slur by humans in Azeroth in reference to orcs, has largely been erased from the game, with a few exceptions.

97 Comments

Blizzard is continuing to update older World of Warcraft content to be less problematic, this time targeting the phrase "greenskins" as well as a number of dialogue changes that include the removal of additional developer references and toned down sexual remarks.

The term greenskins is often used by human NPCs or members of the Alliance in reference to the game's orcs. While most instances of the phrase have been removed or altered, there is still one NPC named Captain Greenskin, as well as two legendary items, that use the phrase.

Please use a html5 video capable browser to watch videos.
This video has an invalid file format.
00:00:00
Sorry, but you can't access this content!
Please enter your date of birth to view this video

By clicking 'enter', you agree to GameSpot's
Terms of Use and Privacy Policy

Now Playing: World of Warcraft: Shadowlands Story Trailer

It appears the phrase is being removed to avoid racist connotations directed towards the game's orcs, but, as pointed out by Wowhead, it could also be to avoid any potential conflict with Games Workshop's Warhammer series, whose ork and goblin races are often referred to as greenskins.

More developer references have been removed as well. In addition to the renaming of a city named after former lead level designer Jesse McCree and all the necessary dialogue changes to go along with it, Blizzard has also removed an Easter egg from the Auchindoun dungeon. A boss in the dungeon, Levixus the Soul Caller, would shout out phrases in Demonic that, when translated by Warlock players, revealed the names of various developers who worked on the game's Burning Crusade expansion. Those references are now gone.

A somewhat iconic NPC, Finkle Einhorn, has also undergone a major change. The NPC's original name was an amalgam of the characters Ray Finkle and Lois Einhorn from the film Ace Ventura: Pet Detective, a film which has been criticized for being transphobic. The NPC's new name is Pip Quickwit, and items using the character's name have also been changed. The change is present in a Hearthstone card involving the character as well. In addition to the changes above, numerous instances of dialogue involving lack of consent or sexual innuendo have been updated.

It's just the latest rounds of changes that have come or will be coming to Blizzard's long-running MMO. The Public Test Realm build of the upcoming patch 9.1.5 has revealed the renaming of old achievements, the removal of crude emotes, and more will be coming to WoW in the weeks ahead once the patch goes live, along with a whole host of player-requested changes.

The changes come in the wake of multiple lawsuits and investigations accusing Activision Blizzard of sexual harassment and discrimination against women. Numerous Blizzard veterans, including former Blizzard president J. Allen Brack, departed the company following the lawsuit's allegations. Blizzard recently outlined its thought process for the changes in a blog post, stating that "goofy jokes and occasional mature innuendos are part of WoW, and probably always will be" but that the developer wants to "remain mindful of whether certain elements...are welcoming to all players."

GameSpot may get a commission from retail offers.

Got a news tip or want to contact us directly? Email news@gamespot.com

Join the conversation
There are 97 comments about this story