More and more former Blizzard employees are trying to speak out about the growing wave of protests against the atmosphere in the company. This time it was Greg Street, who was once the lead designer of World of Warcraft and is now working on MMOs in the League of Legends universe.
Thanks to the host of the People Make Games podcast, an annoying episode from the press conference during BlizzCon 2010 surfaced. The video shows a girl from the audience asking the developers: why do all the strong women in the World of Warcraft universe look like they left the Victoria’s Secret catalog pages?
A group of Blizzard men, including Jay Allen Brack, now president of the company, Alex Afrasiabi, whose name appears in the lawsuit, and Greg Street, greeted the question with laughter and jokes. They asked which catalog it would be better for them to work with, and continued to make fun of the question after the girl left.
Then Blizzard did not promise to remove the excessive sexualization of female characters, since this issue was not on the agenda of those years. It wasn’t until BlizzCon 2014 that the company announced that loincloths, armored bras, and stalkinis were being phased out.
Oh god, I'd not seen this before. It's heartbreaking.
Here's a 2010 Blizzcon panel in which a fan was brave enough to ask a panel full of men, including J. Allen Brack (left) & Alex Afrasiabi (right) whether there's scope for some of WoW's female characters to be less sexualised pic.twitter.com/Elaf3K7KVc
— Chris Bratt (@chrisbratt) July 23, 2021
Greg Street saw fit to apologize for not giving the girl the answer she expected.
I’m not trying to speak for Blizzard, and I certainly am not trying to speak for women or people of color at Blizzard. I believe that men in leadership positions have a responsibility to make women and other marginalized people feel welcome, happy and successful in our studios. In a sense, this should be done by all men in the studio, but this is especially true for the leaders.