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Blizzard chief apologises for Blizzcon “error of judgement”

Friday, 28th October 2011 04:13 GMT By Brenna Hillier

Blizzard president Mike Morhaime has issued an apology for the use of a controversial video during Blizzcon 2011, and taken responsibility for what he describes as a mistake.

GayGamer posted an apology letter sent from Blizzard, signed by Morhaime. Here’s the missive in full:

“I have read your feedback and comments about this year’s BlizzCon, and I have also read the feedback to the apology from Level 90 Elite Tauren Chieftain. I’d like to respond to some of your feedback here.

“As president of Blizzard, I take full responsibility for everything that occurs at BlizzCon.

“It was shortsighted and insensitive to use the video at all, even in censored form. The language used in the original version, including the slurs and use of sexual orientation as an insult, is not acceptable, period. We realize now that having even an edited version at the show was counter to the standards we try to maintain in our forums and in our games. Doing so was an error in judgment, and we regret it.

“The bottom line is we deeply apologize for our mistakes and for hurting or offending anyone. We want you to have fun at our events, and we want everyone to feel welcome. We’re proud to be part of a huge and diverse community, and I am proud that so many aspects of the community are represented within Blizzard itself.

“As a leader of Blizzard, and a member of the band, I truly hope you will accept my humblest apology.”

Prior to a performance by death metal group Cannibal Corpse at Blizzcon 2011, Blizzard aired a bleeped-out version of a video featuring front man George “Corpsegrinder” Fisher. An uncensored version of the video revealed a violent and offensive tirade against Alliance players, featuring multiple homophobic slurs.

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44 Comments

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  1. Ireland Michael

    Christ, the world really is fully of over-sensitive twats, isn’t it?

    #1 3 years ago
  2. OrbitMonkey

    Oh i don’t know… I imagine if this had been a Activision conferance and old Corspe Grinder had been on about how he was a huge CoD Fanboy and all BF fans were fags we’d see a similar reaction…

    #2 3 years ago
  3. Errinaya

    He should apologize for not giving us a release date for D3!
    At least the collectors edition has been recently available for pre-order:
    http://www.amazon.com/gp/product/B0050SZC5U/ref=as_li_tf_tl?ie=UTF8&tag=httpbetterand-20

    Although some may be overly sensitive, this is still very nice of Morhaime to do this.

    #3 3 years ago
  4. TheWulf

    @1

    Being over-sensitive to something can be an illness caused by trauma. Likewise, I’d also call an illness on your part with such a clinical and cold lack of empathy. You’ve never been what I’d think of as even beginning to border on sociopathy, but your inability to relate to people makes me wonder.

    You’re very often right on logical points, and you’re great with objectivity, but you don’t seem to understand this whole ‘feelings’ thing a lot. Not that I blame you for it. I’m just noting that you don’t. Some people have been through some fairly horrible shit, and it can leave them a bit on the sensitive side, yes.

    Sure, it’s fine for all the young, cool kids to run around calling each other ethnic, homophobic slurs, but they’re too young to know what prejudice is like. Some of us still carry scars. I’m not sure if I’m asking for your understanding because I’m not sure whether you can, but I might be trying to reach you considering you’ve been an intelligent sort in the past.

    Some of us, some of us, are just sick and tired of seeing homosexuality talked about in a derogatory way after the fun times of the ’70s and the ’80s. Not depressed or sad, no, just really completely and utterly fucking fed up of it. Some of us just expect better.

    English is a massive, beautiful language, there are many other words you can use to express yourself that don’t invoke memories of prejudices in people. And if asking that makes me an over-sensitive twat, then I guess I’m an over-sensitive twat, and proud of it.

    #4 3 years ago
  5. silkvg247

    And now we can remove Blizzard from the list of being one of the few gaming companies who do crazy and funny shit from time to time.

    Moaning wankers +1
    Rest of world that actually has a sense of humour -1

    #5 3 years ago
  6. TheWulf

    @5

    My cool kids comment above certainly applies to you. It’s easy to have a sense of humour about something you haven’t lived through.

    See, you’re the sort of person who’d joke about war in front of a war veteran, just because you don’t understand what they’ve been through, and what scars it’s left on them. Ireland Michael I’d expect a little better from, but you? I think you’re just very young. You’ll learn, or maybe you won’t.

    But yeah, a little empathy goes a long way.

    #6 3 years ago
  7. YoungZer0

    I wonder when exactly the whole human society lost its balls.

    #7 3 years ago
  8. TheWulf

    @7

    So machismo in place of an enlightened society, then? If that’s what you want, then this isn’t exactly an audience I’m going to be able to talk of anything that will actually be understood to.

    Comprehension > Hormones has always been my policy.

    #8 3 years ago
  9. YoungZer0

    @6: Have- have you lost your mind? Did you really just compare the trauma of a real war to a videogame?

    #9 3 years ago
  10. OrbitMonkey

    Wait a sec we’re defending this low rate, talentless bucket growler now?

    He’s a fucking troll!! Understandable as a member of the horde I guess.

    Even odder are those defending this eejit. I’ve lost count of the amount of time Ireland has accused guys of trolling…

    Maybe its cuz CorpseGrinder is so kewl?

    #10 3 years ago
  11. viralshag

    My money is on them making up for this by including a really camp Pandaren Monk as a main character in the next expansion.

    #11 3 years ago
  12. Ireland Michael

    @4 Your rampant assumptions, fueled by nothing more than a single line of text, are hilarious. Thanks for giving me a laugh.

    I’m not even going to waste my breath defending myself against all that presumptuous bullshit, except to say this – the only thing that annoys me more than idiots are over-sensitive idiots.

    I can rest fairly easy at night knowing that almost every single argument you just made about my supposed character (again, based on a single line of text) couldn’t be any further from the truth.

    @10 I’d never even heard of this band until this “controversy” broke out. Metal (as I’ve been led to believe these guys sing) isn’t a genre of music I’ve had any active interest in in over a decade.

    But hey people, feel free to make sweeping assumptions based on flimsy circumstantial “evidence”, using birad logical fallacies. The pseudo-intellectualism is entertaining if nothing else.

    #12 3 years ago
  13. Kabby

    The video they showed was old by the way. Vanilla World of Warcraft, old. It’s been on youtube for years. I’m not saying it was great idea to use it during an offical event but the video is ancient.

    #13 3 years ago
  14. Gurdil

    What I don’t get is why Blizzard had to apologize? Or did I get a part of the story wrong? The video they showed at BlizzCon didn’t have anything offensive in it, right? And then someone released the unedited version of the video but it wasn’t officially released by Blizzard, right?
    If it was released by Blizzard, I understand why he apologizes even if that says something really unpleasant about the society we live in (and TheWulf, don’t start your BS again, yes I’ve been “harrassed” for being who I am and still am sometimes but I don’t give a shit about those dickheads and I certainly wouldn’t want them to be censored, especially when it’s done with a humorous intent). If I was right, however, what’s the fuss all about? It’s not even Blizzard’s fault to begin with so WTF?

    #14 3 years ago
  15. viralshag

    @14, I imagine they probably have to do it for face value, regardless of whether or not they actually should have to do it. It does seem like something that has been blown out of proportion.

    I have never heard of this band and from the sounds of what they are, I’m not even going to bother googling them. Not my cup of tea really.

    Like I said though, I have no idea who the band that played is, so they might have been a perfect chocie for all I know. It does seem like people over acted a little bit.

    Edit: I had to take some of my comment out as I was wildly incorrect! ;)

    #15 3 years ago
  16. OrbitMonkey

    “using birad logical fallacies”. Wtf?

    “The pseudo-intellectualism is entertaining if nothing else”. YOUR accusing OTHERS of pseudo-intellectulism?

    #16 3 years ago
  17. viralshag

    @16, Should be “you’re”. ;)

    GRAMMAR POLICE!

    #17 3 years ago
  18. Gurdil

    @15 Well yeah, you’re right when saying they had to do it because of all the fuss. Blizzard is facing a weird reaction that forced them to apologize. My question was more about how people could make all this fuss about… Well about nothing in the end (again, if I understood the story correctly). That’s the weird public reaction I don’t understand (hence the use of ‘weird’, I guess I’m being redundant here sorry lol)

    #18 3 years ago
  19. silkvg247

    @6 ; Oh the irony of your rather incorrect assumptions. I’m 33, and lesbian (omg I’m so gay!).

    I just don’t take offense easily, I don’t really think you should call me young (i.e. calling me immature in a roundabout way). “Thick skinned” would be more accurate. It comes from living through the experience of being gay, something you automatically assumed I had not done. I learnt to deal with it and stop having angst against the world. As for being cool, sure, I can accept that. I don’t use the word gay as an insult personally though, it’d seem a bit backwards as I find the word to be more of a compliment. ;)

    I’m sort of seeing here that you are one of those people who blows up everytime the word gay is used as an insult. Hey I used to be like that too, 10 years ago when I was actually “young” as you so eloquently put it. The word has evolved, get over it. It’ll continue to be used like this, nothing you can do about it and certainly not worth getting your knickers in a knot.

    I can tell the difference between the word being used descriptively or as an insult. Many other words work like this, it’s called an evolution of language.

    Bitch; a female dog
    Bastard; A child whose birth lacks legal legitimacy

    Do you want more examples?

    To be honest gay people acting in outrage at the use of the word gay is getting far more tedious and annoying than the act itself. You give us a bad name. You need to learn to lighten up, i.e. be gay as in the older definition of the word.

    By the way, gay never used to mean homosexual. Isn’t it funny how the meaning of words can change.

    #19 3 years ago
  20. DSB

    Humor 0 – Forced indignance 1

    @19 Well, most of the gays I know would react in exactly the same way you do with regards to this.

    This is just what happens when organizations like GLAAD become all about promoting themselves and using the most ridiculous excuses to put their name out there and secure their funding, rather than actually doing something about the real issues for the people they claim to represent.

    They’re hardly alone in that, but it’s just pathetic. There’s a huge difference between persecuting a minority and swearing. At least to any halfway sane person.

    #20 3 years ago
  21. viralshag

    @19, You are so gay… Take it as you will. :P

    It’s true though. I have gay friends that are also gamers and they actually laughed this very incident off. To be fair, it actually took this incident for me to find out they’re gay, but that’s just because it never occured to me to ask. That and I didn’t care all that much which way they swing.

    @20. Spot on.

    #21 3 years ago
  22. silkvg247

    @21 Yes, yes I am :p

    #22 3 years ago
  23. OrbitMonkey

    Why thank you viralshag -_-

    Sorry though its pretty obvious why theirs the outrage. A large group of people pay Blizzard for a service. Blizzard thank them by showing a video where some guy makes It pretty obvious he thinks their losers… If fact he’s quite vehement.

    By showing it, Blizzard seem to be condoning this sentiment. Hence the apology. Isn’t good business to alienate your customers.

    I find it amusing however that theirs a few guys here who seem to think this Is a non-issue. Guys who would hit the fucking roof if at a Sony conference, some singer strolled onstage & called 360 owners fags.

    #23 3 years ago
  24. DSB

    @23 The people who freaked about the same thing at a Sony or EA or CoD conference would still be idiots though.

    It should be quite obvious to anyone that Corpsegrinder isn’t speaking for Blizzard, the WoW team or Mike Morhaime. He’s quite obviously speaking for himself, as a WoW player, who happens to be in a death metal band.

    Where’s the big fucking deal that I can’t seem to find anywhere? I’m pretty sure that an event like Blizzcon offers plenty of stuff to do that is purely Alliance oriented, and for the record, the band itself is called Level 90 Epic TAUREN Chieftain. It’s a Horde themed band, it’s always been a Horde themed band, so I guess the offended Alliance should ask themselves what they’re doing there anyway.

    Sure, it’s a biased statement, but it’s just a fucking statement. If the Alliance are such a bunch of fags that they can’t take a bit of smack talk, then all that does is prove that we of the Horde are both right, manly and utterly superior in every single concievable way, standard or fashion.

    Fuck the Alliance!

    See? It just happens.

    #24 3 years ago
  25. viralshag

    @23, From what I understand, I think he is only calling alliance players losers? From what I have seen on the inside of Blizzard, which isn’t much but still first-hand experience, quite a few Blizz employees feel the same way.

    I was lucky to get to the face to face interview stage for a position in their office in France and they asked me “what faction do you mainly play?” and at the time I was playing Alliance due to a majority of friends also playing Alli and they basically looked at me like I just slapped them in the face.

    I didn’t get the job, obviously, otherwise I wouldn’t be allowed to tell you that! I probably can’t anyway as I had to sign an NDA for the bloody interview (OTT if you ask me) but what the hell, eh.

    #25 3 years ago
  26. Gurdil

    @23 But your analogy isn’t right since the video presented at BlizzCon didn’t show the member of this lame group (because yes it is lame) calling allys fags, or did I miss something? Those statements were made in the unedited video that WASN’T shown at BlizzCon, hence our surprise.
    Plus I’d really don’t give a frak if Sony’s president himself called 360 owners fags, I’d just think it’s plain stupid, that’s all…

    #26 3 years ago
  27. DSB

    @26 It did.

    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=U2yvZM1wn04

    Who cares?! It’s a legendary WoW-related clip.

    You’d think the “pathetic nerd” and “elemental plateau, motes of air” comments would tip people off to the fact that he wasn’t being super serious.

    #27 3 years ago
  28. Gurdil

    @27 Oh ok then, so at least the statements were shown. I still don’t see why it’s a big deal (since it was obviously humourous) but at least their complaints are about something that was really shown, so…

    #28 3 years ago
  29. OrbitMonkey

    Not the point DSB. The Horde/Alliance can say whatever they like… But Blizzard have to stay impartial.

    MY MAIN POINT however is that some guys here get all defensive if someone slates their particular holy cow, but then mock those who react in EXACTLY the same way….

    Oh and pulease “we of the Horde are both right, manly and utterly superior in every single concievable way, standard or fashion.”

    Methinks the Horde doth protest to much ;)

    #29 3 years ago
  30. DSB

    I don’t see how they’re supposed to stay impartial, and I especially don’t see how anyone expect a band called Level 90 Epic Tauren Chieftain to do so. Blizzard has to cater to both sides, they can’t take the middleground and still expect to make it interesting for anyone who plays the game.

    I’ve never been to Blizzcon, but I’m sure that the core idea is ultimately love for the game. However I still don’t think you can really manifest that without catering to the people who play the game, who really do identify with the faction they choose.

    You can’t make a “Horde Alliance Friendship Booth” unless it’s meant as a joke, because it is a fundamental rivalry within the game. There’s no chat across factions, the other side is an alien enemy that you can’t communicate with, only fight against. Raid guilds from either side compete to be the best, and if one faction is on top, then that’s humiliation for the other side. With PvP it just obviously gets even worse.

    I’m not saying that I wouldn’t have fun with someone on the other faction, but I would still sure as fuck smack talk him all night while we have fun partying together.

    You’re backing different teams. If Blizzard stays impartial, then they have absolutely no relevance to either.

    #30 3 years ago
  31. OrbitMonkey

    Well the easiest way to stay impartial would be to have had an Alliance stage show, with Enya coming onto stage and performing a sonnet about how stoopid the Horde are or something…

    Not that i care… Christ i don’t even play WoW and have no idea about these factions -_-

    #31 3 years ago
  32. DSB

    There’s your problem :P

    You can’t compare WoW to things like CoD and Battlefield. You don’t run around in CoD killing Battlefield players, or vice versa. And only a deluded fanboy would imagine a world where you couldn’t possibly play and enjoy both, even if preference for either is totally valid.

    In WoW it’s Alliance versus Horde, with no ambiguity beyond a few story twists, none of which affect the players. You’re facing a set of alien races, speaking languages you won’t understand, killing you and your fellow faction, unless you do the same to them.

    Of course the investment that comes with WoW in terms of time and just playing the game means that you get into it a lot more, so instead of just being “WoW player number 11.565.987″ you’re “Armagedda, OF THE HORDE” – And like Corpsegrinder rightly points out, it does turn you into a pathetic nerd that spends way too much time on a videogame, sometimes doing nothing more than collecting flowers – or motes of air in his case.

    It’s not comparable to any forced or imaginary rivalry among fanboys, it’s a very real rivalry, that has been engineered on purpose by Blizzard, as part of the game.

    … And they did put Foo Fighters on at the end of the conference. I’m not gonna make any whild assumptions, but for a long time their logo carried Horde colors.

    #32 3 years ago
  33. viralshag

    Listen right, them there motes had some serious worth at one time! ALL MY TIME SPENT WAS WORTH IT! Oh god… please say it was worth it… :’(

    #33 3 years ago
  34. DSB

    I don’t want to think about how much time I spent just getting ready for raids. Like an hours grind for a 4 hour raid. Shit :P

    And I maxed out my fishing once…. Oh my God…

    #34 3 years ago
  35. viralshag

    I don’t want to think about how much time I spent in that game. My main, at the last time I remember checking, had accumulated something like 38 days worth of play time.

    And I had like three other max level characters. Scary stuff.

    #35 3 years ago
  36. silkvg247

    Over 200 days here in total acrosss all characters. Since launch.

    *Cries*

    #36 3 years ago
  37. OrbitMonkey

    i’m never getting involved in a WoW thread EVER again… T_T

    #37 3 years ago
  38. DSB

    I’m not sure I got more than 27 on my main, but I’ve blissfully forgotten. Probably more. I had a few pointless ventures into WoW, but I played all the way through Burning Crusade, then a bit of Lich King, then left it for dead. I had a maxed out alt and a completely pointless DK.

    I was hoping to get into serious tanking in Cataclysm, but for whatever reason there wasn’t a single spot anywhere.

    Still, blood in, blood out. Horde 4 life yo.

    #38 3 years ago
  39. OrbitMonkey

    ^ FAG!!

    *swaggers off to play BF3*

    ;)

    #39 3 years ago
  40. Ireland Michael

    @16 Lawl. Pointing out a typing mistake and then making one of the most basic ones possible.

    Well played, sir.

    And no, I wouldn’t give two flying fucks where this kind of comment were made, whether it was a Battlefield conference, and 360 conference, or any other damn conference.

    It was a bunch of idiotic metal heads being loud and obnoxious, and idiotic metal heads tend to he. They gave it far less thought than 90% of you people certainly are.

    Get over it, you over-sensitive babies.

    @19 Best post on here in a long time. Very well said.

    #40 3 years ago
  41. OrbitMonkey

    @ireland, I was not pointing out spelling mistakes, i’m not that asinine. I genuinly didn’t get the whole “birad logical fallacies” thing… seriously Wtf?

    And anyhoo as I’ve tried to say, my point was that taking the piss out of those guys getting all offended is very hypocritical of some people here.

    *swaggers off to play BF3, now its installed*

    #41 3 years ago
  42. Ireland Michael

    @41 It was meant to be “blind logical fallacies”. I was on my phone.

    I’m not “taking the piss” out of people who are getting offended. I just don’t agree with people getting defensive, offended and demanding over the most stupid, meaningless things.

    That “Gaymer” article on Kotaku was one of the worst examples of this. I’m all for empathising with people’s suffering, but there is a time and a place and in front of a million or more gamers on the internet is not one of them. It was self indulgent tripe.

    #42 3 years ago
  43. Jadefire

    From what I understand from those that were there, it wasn’t even so much the video but the fact that many felt it created a hostile environment for Alliance players. It’s not the first time that claim has been made at Blizzcon, but it’s the first time a video like this was played, by a band containing the big boss, on the main stage. Afterwards, people report being abused, spat on and in one report, a woman was physically assaulted. Now, I know you’re going to say that Blizzard shouldn’t be held responsible for the actions of those that take it too far and I agree to a point … but they know their fans are passionate and the knowledge that even one person could potentially take it too far outside of the game should be enough for them to sit back and take a second look at that environment. If something they allowed to happen at one of their events was the catalyst for even one of those assaults, then yes, they bear responsibility.

    And therein lies the rub. It’s one thing to say Alliance are petty whiners for objecting and if it were just the video, I’d agree. But it wasn’t. It was the threat that eked out of the game and into their personal lives. As someone said above – it’s just a video game. Nobody should be threatened outside of it.

    #43 3 years ago
  44. DSB

    And then all you have to do is prove that that band and that video compelled people to commit violence.

    Which to my mind still has no bearing on reality. If they were to do anything about it, it would be through hiring more security, handing troublemakers over to the cops, and taking the names of those who misbehave so they can also face the consequences of their actions within the context of Blizzcon and possibly the game.

    #44 3 years ago