Blizzard has come under heavy criticism for a Blizzcon 2011 presentation featuring a censored video, found to contain a string of slurs and implied violence against Alliance players.
GayGamer reports the incident occurred during the closing of the convention, when a performance from metal group Cannibal Corpse was introduced by a video of frontman George “Corpsegrinder” Fisher.
Although the video shown at Blizzcon was bleeped, the original source has turned up online. Fisher expressed his allegiance to the Horde faction, describing Alliance players in highly offensive terms including three homophobic slurs, and suggesting multiple times they should “die”.
Blizzard’s airing of the video – and an inferred sanction of the language and sentiments therein – has outraged many players, and discussion of the incident has spread over three threads on the official Blizzard forums.
Activism group GLAAD and several press outlets have taken both Blizzard and Activision Blizzard to task for the homophobia expressed in the original video. Community manager Bashiok posted a response from Blizzard’s band, Level 90 Elite Tauren Chieftan.
“Hey guys, we read and heard all the feedback from BlizzCon this year. The Corpsegrinder bit was never intended to be taken seriously. We are sorry that we offended anyone; everything at our shows is just meant in fun. Thank you all for speaking up. We’ll definitely keep this in mind for future shows.”
In addition to criticism of the slurs and implied threat of violence, some Blizzard fans feel the incident is just the latest manifestation of a deeper problem, with reports of verbal abuse and even physical assaults on Alliance players at Blizzard gatherings and events.
The majority of Blizzard staff are Horde players, a fact the faction’s player base is gleefully aware of, and the developer is often perceived to be egging on the rivalry between the two groups.