I know it’s old news at this point, but whatever.
Recently, at one of their yearly Blizzcon events, World of Warcraft creators Blizzard Entertainment held a concert featuring George “Corpsegrinder” Fisher, the lead singer of the metal band Cannibal Corpse. However, before they started the last song in their set list, Blizzard played a video interview featuring George bashing the Alliance faction of the popular MMO. This is nothing new, as the game is made to trigger rivalries between the lighter Alliance and the darker Horde groups. What is controversial, however, is the use of words such as “homo” and “faggot” when referring to said Alliance.
To Blizzard’s credit, they did censor out the offending words when playing the video on stage (although one quick Youtube search will let anyone find the original, non-bleeped version). Unfortunately for Blizzard, this was not enough, as the stage performance (along with the video clip) was posted on Youtube soon afterward. Sites such as gaygamer.net immediately took notice and blasted Blizzard for it. Larger gaming sites such as kotaku.com also swept in to cover the story. Everyone wanted to know “What was Blizzard thinking?”
Blizzard eventually released an apology for the shenanigans, stating “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.”
If that’s truly the case Blizzard, then why do it to begin with? You’re the largest MMO publisher in the game. I find it very hard to believe that you don’t have any kind of quality control, especially at your own convention. This whole debacle doesn’t even offend me as a gay person. It offends me as a guy with common sense.
For starters? That video you used is almost five years old. What genius thought it would be a good idea to dig that up to begin with? I can maybe see having the Cannibal Corpse guy play with the band. It’s been four years, who’s going to remember that interview anyway, right? Did anyone really need to be reminded of it? Yes, you probably would have had some controversy anyway with this guy on stage, but you could have at least played dumb about that interview afterward. Now you’ve got this crap-storm to deal with and you’re stumbling around, trying to put a Band-Aid on it.
And don’t tell me you only now realize how insensitive the whole thing is. There was no way you couldn’t know this would offend someone. Did you not think it would end up online? You’re hosting a convention for people that mostly play games online. In this age of smart phones, it takes less then a minute to air out bad publicity after you’ve made the mistake. It all goes back to quality control. I’m normally not one to suggest this because I typically think it’s full of crap, but assuming you have a quality control department, I think they’re in dire need of sensitivity training.