World Of Warcraft Removes 'Racist KKK' Robes
Things are going from bad to worse for Activision Blizzard, and this time, it's World of Warcraft at the centre of the scandal. As games try to clear up their image and World of Warcraft has censored some of its more risque artwork, the MMO just took a big step backwards in terms of restoring its tarnished reputation.
While Activision Blizzard has the keys to everything from Call of Duty to Overwatch, the company has been ravaged by accusations of sexual assault and misogyny against women from the upper-tiers of management and beyond. It's a high-pressure time for Activision Blizzard, so the marketing team could probably do without accusations World of Warcraft is being "racist".
Why Is World Of Warcraft Being Called Racist?
The World of Warcraft Shadowlands patch 9.2 welcomes the return of class-based Tier sets. It's the first time these will be in-game for years, and while Tier sets are a beloved feature, there are a few raised eyebrows at the latest addition. Taking to social media, there were concerns that the Warlock Tier set for Eternity's End looks a little too close to the robes of the Ku Klux Klan.
Others spotted the worrying similarities and quickly took to Twitter to share their own thoughts. Someone wrote, "You literally cannot convince me that it makes any sort of logical sense that the team changing designs and art to be less offensive, should also not have caught this." Another added, "Yikes. I'm not sure how I didn't notice that before. That needs to be changed."
A third concluded, "They’re renaming that class to Warlokkk I guess?! Seriously, how does this make it that far in development without anyone saying “Hey guys, this is a bad idea”, especially in the situation they’ve been in for months now. This just proves to me that leadership are catatonic atm."
We're pretty confident the team never intended for there to be comparisons between the Warlock Tier set, however, it's true that it's baffling to think the design made it this far.
Is Activision Blizzard Tackling These Complaints?
With the internet turning on the WoW community once again, it didn't take long for those behind the game to speak out. The Warcraft Twitter confirmed the set won't be making it officially into the game - describing the look as an "oversight". The timing couldn't be worse for Activision Blizzard, and while the set is being changed ahead of its full release, this wasn't enough for some.
After Warcraft's response, one angry player wrote, "So sexism, renaming characters to porn stars and now racism. You really don't leave anything out. Will definitely avoid buying anything from you for the next years..." There's a murky past with racism and Warcraft with Republican Senator Lou Correa calling out racist Halloween costumes in-game back in 2019.
What the future holds for Activision Blizzard remains to be seen. Over 1,700 employees have called for CEO Bobby Kotick to resign, while Microsoft and Sony have threatened to cut ties. Either way, the implication that a KKK-inspired outfit could've slipped into World of Warcraft isn't exactly a positive news story.