Blizzard Entertainment, the company behind World of Warcraft, Hearthstone, and Diablo forced the guild “Make Azeroth Great Again” to change their name.
WoW Classic player and the leader of the guild Cogblast spoke to GameByte after they reported another guild called “GAY BOYS” was forced to change their name.
Cogblast told Gamebyte, “[Blizzard] did the same thing to my WoW Classic guild ‘Make Azeroth Great Again,’ which was just a tongue-in-cheek name for what was really just a social guild. We got it changed back, and then twelve hours later it was force-changed again.”
Cogblast shared emails he received from Blizzard with Gamebyte that detailed the name would be changed with the specific infraction being an “inappropriate name” and that the guild had been reported multiple times.
In fact, the original email stated, “Due to these player reports we have renamed your World of Warcraft Guild.”
However, a subsequent email from a Blizzard Game Master detailed that the name should not have been changed. The Game Master told Cogmaster, “took a look here and I am very sorry this happened. I fixed your name and removed the penalty from your account here.”
They added, “You are correct that the name does not break our [Terms of Service].”
However, as Cogblast told GameByte, the name would be forcibly removed again.
Cogblast explained, “[A Blizzard rep] contacted me in-game [and] he basically told me that the name was not ‘RP friendly,’ and that this standard was at least partially based on the opinions of the server.”
He detailed that the guild’s name was “meant to be a fun theme that allowed us to flex our creativity while joking around with each other.
Blizzard notes in their code of conduct guidelines that Role-Playing realms are governed with a higher standard than any of the non-RP realms.
You can see a screenshot of Blizzard’s guideline related to naming below:
However, Cogblast detailed that the guild operated within the Role-Play guidelines of the RP-PVP server he played on.
“This was on a server designated ‘RP-PVP.’ This means that the server focuses on roleplaying and player versus player combat. My guild recruitment messages were satirical parodies of Republican talking points using the in-game lore in place of real places and peoples.”
“For instance, instead of promising a southern border wall to keep out Mexican immigrants, we would promise a northern border wall to keep out the neighbouring troll civilisation. Trolls are playable, and Blizzard routinely makes references to real people using all of the available playable races, so this was never meant to be a slight against anybody.”
Cogblast even goes so far as to claim that though the guild was role-playing with elements of right-wing politics, it was still a welcoming guild for all, even going so far as to remove overly aggressive members for breaking their no political arguments from either side rule:
“We even kicked out several members that were too aggressive with their right-wing politics, because the guild was a social guild and we welcomed all sorts, so political arguments from either side were not allowed.”
After Blizzard forcibly changed the guild’s name twice, Cogblast told Gamebyte he is no longer playing WoW Classic.
“I’ve since quit playing WoW Classic, for now at least, in large part thanks to this stupid scandal. When I was playing on that server we were the only guild not specifically dedicated to RP that was recruiting without breaking character, and yet it was deemed ‘not RP friendly,’ which largely is typically meant to be like saying ‘not lore friendly.’”
He then criticized Blizzard for their apparent sensitivity.
“It’s really crazy to think that even obliquely referencing support for the president through satire is too political in a game where historically you could do almost anything with guild names as long as it wasn’t outright racist or something.”
As a veteran player who’s played both PVP realms and on Role-Playing realms I’d have to agree with Cogblast. Blizzard’s lack of consistent application of their rules have lead to guilds with names that are satirical, based off modern jokes, or borderline racist. An example is RKellyPvP’d On Me.
I’ve rarely seen Blizzard implement its code of conduct unless the names were way off the reservation.
What do you think of Blizzard’s removal of the guild’s name? Let me know your thoughts in the comments below!