Blizzard president and co-founder Mike Morhaime outlines his target in an open letter, made in response to a fan who was concerned about the companies approach to ethnic minorities and females in their games.
“We take the topic of inclusiveness seriously, and we don’t want any of our players to feel we are being insensitive in how we portray our characters.” Morhaime wrote.
“There have been times when we’ve been seen or painted as being uninterested in hearing feedback or making changes. I want to be clear that this goes against the philosophies and core values on which Blizzard has been built and continues to operate. We will always listen, and we will always work hard to make games that appeal to as many people as possible.
“We are very conscious of the issues you raise and are discussing them more than ever, at every level of the company, in an effort to make sure our games and stories are as epic and inclusive as possible.
“Blizzard’s employees form a broad and diverse group that cares deeply about the experiences we are creating for our players. And we know that actions speak louder than words, so we are challenging ourselves to draw from more diverse voices within and outside of the company and create more diverse heroes and content.
“We are also actively looking at our story development and other processes to ensure that our values are fully represented. We’ve always believed that positive, lasting change comes from examination, discussion, and iteration, and this applies as much to story as to gameplay. There is no reason why inclusivity should come at the expense of an amazing game experience.”
This is not the first time the question of Blizzards’ approach to diversity has been raised. Back in November, the creative director for Heroes of the Storm Dustin Browder came under fire after comments in an interview with Rock, Paper Shotgun regarding the over-sexualised design of female characters.
He said: “We’re not sending a message. No one should look to our game for that.” Browder later apologised for his comments.
What are your thoughts on this standpoint?