A recent lawsuit accuses the WoW team of being part of a "frat boy culture" - does that impact the story?

Honestly? We’ll know how much it’s affected the story more recently once we see if/how Arthas is handled in regards to Sylvanas. However, I will say it does not seem to be a blanket influence overall, WoW’s lore and the story, and their treatment of certain topics, has always been piecemeal in terms of how good and appropriate it actually is.

In fact, I’d say that while reading this… does make sense in terms of the story direction of late, the influence on it really only started to take shape in Cata. Though it was always, like I said, piecemeal, even before that. Lots of good and bad.

It would explain a lot for a variety of reasons, especially in the last decade, but there does seem to be a duel of influences there. And before someone mentions Golden pushing back on it, well… I’d argue the opposite. Her writing is very 90s fantasy which, while not necessarily aware of such, is… questionable, in modern standards, when it comes to portrayal of women.


dw everyone they got rid of the B Word!


Activision-Blizzard just released a statement regarding the lawsuit. Notice, in particular, phrasing like “Blizzard’s past” when it is clearly a present and pressing situation; or the blatant gaslighting of the Department of Housing and Fair Employment for including an employee’s suicide after facing sexual harassment as irrelevant to the case.

We value diversity and strive to foster a workplace that offers inclusivity for everyone. There is no place in our company or industry, or any industry, for sexual misconduct or harassment of any kind. We take every allegation seriously and investigate all claims. In cases related to misconduct, action was taken to address the issue.
The DFEH includes distorted, and in many cases false, descriptions of Blizzard’s past. We have been extremely cooperative with the DFEH throughout their investigation, including providing them with extensive data and ample documentation, but they refused to inform us what issues they perceived. They were required by law to adequately investigate and to have good faith discussions with us to better understand and to resolve any claims or concerns before going to litigation, but they failed to do so. Instead, they rushed to file an inaccurate complaint, as we will demonstrate in court. We are sickened by the reprehensible conduct of the DFEH to drag into the complaint the tragic suicide of an employee whose passing has no bearing whatsoever on this case and with no regard for her grieving family. While we find this behavior to be disgraceful and unprofessional, it is unfortunately an example of how they have conducted themselves throughout the course of their investigation. It is this type of irresponsible behavior from unaccountable State bureaucrats that are driving many of the State’s best businesses out of California.
The picture the DFEH paints is not the Blizzard workplace of today. Over the past several years and continuing since the initial investigation started, we’ve made significant changes to address company culture and reflect more diversity within our leadership teams. We’ve updated our Code of Conduct to emphasize a strict non-retaliation focus, amplified internal programs and channels for employees to report violations, including the “ASK List” with a confidential integrity hotline, and introduced an Employee Relations team dedicated to investigating employee concerns. We have strengthened our commitment to diversity, equity and inclusion and combined our Employee Networks at a global level, to provide additional support. Employees must also undergo regular anti-harassment training and have done so for many years.
We put tremendous effort in creating fair and rewarding compensation packages and policies that reflect our culture and business, and we strive to pay all employees fairly for equal or substantially similar work. We take a variety of proactive steps to ensure that pay is driven by non-discriminatory factors. For example, we reward and compensate employees based on their performance, and we conduct extensive anti-discrimination trainings including for those who are part of the compensation process.
We are confident in our ability to demonstrate our practices as an equal opportunity employer that fosters a supportive, diverse, and inclusive workplace for our people, and we are committed to continuing this effort in the years to come. It is a shame that the DFEH did not want to engage with us on what they thought they were seeing in their investigation.

Source: https://www.ign.com/articles/activision-blizzard-sued-by-california?


This lawsuit also explains Bottegoni’s hiring after Afrasiabi left and her recent statement focusing on diversity via gender and sexuality but avoiding the topic of race like the plague


I can’t believe any sane human being would write that let alone release it after watching how the rest of the industry has handled these situations.


Ah yes, the proper response to such allegations. Already in over their head and that statement is a shovel.


A point to remember here, “Blizzard’s past” includes episodes from 2019, before a global pandemic physically forced employees to separate.

Also, when did Afrasiabi “depart” the company again?


Absolutely disgustingly evil.

Burn the entire company to the ground, burn out the rot. And start again.

Who cares about the dumbass game.


Not that my 15 bucks a month really matters but honestly, I unsubbed. I’m not so self-delusional that I think this will be the last time I ever pay Blizzard money for something but tbh I’m just kinda angry rn. Will definitely keep an eye on the situation.

I wanna say early 2020? People only noticed quite some time after he’d left.


Like 6 months ago (maybe more like 12-15 months). Alex was part of the OG team, he was literally guildmates with some of Blizzard’s biggest names before WoW was a thing. I want to know who knew what about Alex and when. And the rest of it too.


I was aware of the date. June 2020, announced in December. I mentioned it to again underline just how recent this content was. This was also concerning a two-year investigation, not a look into episodes that took place a terribly long time ago.

The idea that this is “Blizzard’s past” is just wrong.


His now deleted LinkedIn profile listed his date of termination as June, 2020.

Edit: Daggum forum latency.


IMO it’s pretty bad to try to capitalize on this by tying it to whatever lore cause you want so you can accuse forum enemies of being misogynists due to their video game elf opinions


That he was so ingrained was likely why he was able to get away with it for so long. Not because others agreed but because people like that are adept at dancing on the line of reasonable doubt, taking advantage of past bonds while giving little in return. Behaviour like this goes on for so long and becomes part of a company culture in large part due to the passion the employees have for the work and thus they become terrified of ‘ruining it’ by pushing back too hard.

He in particular got, it seemed, some slaps on the wrist, and it’s likely because he was very adept at leveraging the emotions of others. People like that will say anything, take advantage of any history with someone, to keep doing what they do. Nothing is sacred.

As had been mentioned earlier, Afrasiabi, who is named specifically in the lawsuit, was THE lore guy for quite some time. He had quite a lot of influence on Garrosh and Sylvanas if memory serves - his involvement is worth talking about.

To whatever extent you are being defensive about statements that no one here is making? That’s completely on you.

This impacts all of the lore decisions made since at least Cata. Knowing this literally does change how some of these decisions Blizzard made can be understood. Obviously there are a lot of aspects to this, but Alex was directly responsible for most of the major lore decisions since mid-Cataclysm.

I mean if nothing else the way that Blizzard has portrayed their female characters, which I have always found to be extremely suspect, can now be examined in a new light.

I just wish they had been more up-front about the reason Alex left because now I feel like the current lore team who are probably still trying to fix his stuff are tainted in my eyes now.

So I don’t necessarily agree with Kyalin, but I think it is totally reasonable to re-examine some of this stuff in light of today’s news.


And given he was overruled on Garrosh (by Metzen, on presumes), this does lend itself to his “reveal” that Sylvanas planned Wrathgate as done out of spite.


I mean the current lore team is also writing the equally problematic current story.

Problem runs deeper than one guy.


I would not personally describe a bad story as “equally problematic” to rampant sexual harassment resulting in a womans death but you do you fam.


We’re comparing Afrasiabi’s writing of Sylvanas to post-Afrasiabi writing of Sylvanas, but okay