Developer Blizzard has renamed a quest-giving character in World of Warcraft after homophobic statements by the musician it was based on re-emerged.
The character known initially as “Gorge the Corpsegrinder” was based on Cannibal Corpse vocalist George ‘Corpsegrinder’ Fisher. Encountered in the game’s Borean Tundra region, the NPC was an Orc commander in the Horde faction with a particular dislike for Night Elves and Gnomes.
However, as spotted by Metal Hammer, the character has been rebranded “Annihilator Grek’lor” after homophobic statements from Fisher resurfaced. In a 2007 interview, Fisher referred to the Alliance as the “homo-alliance” and called the Horde’s rival faction “fucking emo cocksuckers”.
The interview had made an appearance at Blizzcon, Blizzard’s annual fan convention, in 2011, prompting Michael Morhaime – the developer’s co-founder and, at the time, president – to issue an apology. However, the in-game character’s name stayed until now. The newly monikered Grek’lor is live in World of Warcraft’s public test realm now, with the change expected to roll out to all players of the PC MMO soon.
While neither Fisher nor Blizzard has commented publicly on the change, the rename to Grek’lor is likely part of parent company Activision Blizzard’s efforts to clean up the game. This comes in response to accusations of sexual harassment at its studios and a lawsuit brought by the state of California’s Department of Fair Housing and Employment.
In recent months, other changes in World of Warcraft include removing developers’ names from the game, stripping out sex jokes and innuendo, and even trimming “suggestive” dialogue.
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