Blizzard censors ‘Heroes of the Storm’ character over ratings


Developed by Blizzard Entertainment, Heroes of the Storm is a multiplayer online battle arena (MOBA) game that is set to be released June 2, 2015, but questions have been raised as to why the developer is censoring one of the characters in the game.

A Reddit user created a comment thread insisting that Blizzard bring back the cigar that was removed from Tychus Findlay, one of the game’s characters. Phill Gonzales, a Blizzard developer, gave insight as to why such an iconic element of the space marine’s appearance had been removed.

Gonzales stated the rating requirements in different markets would have pushed Heroes of the Storm from the desired “Teen” rating to a more age-restricted rating if they showed the character smoking.

“[F]rom a development standpoint we prioritize making Heroes and Skins as utilitarian as possible, if a single model can be used in all regions, that’s a huge win for development. In the case of Tychus’ cigar there were regions where he wouldn’t be allowed to smoke.”

The developer also explained the reasoning behind such a decision and other possibly fixes that had come about, they (the developers) could either “make two versions [of the character], one smoking, one non-smoking,” or just “remove the cigar” altogether. Gonzales said that “making 2 versions means more data management, multiple duplicates of the asset,” and rationalized removing the cigar as “a decision based on productivity. The appeal of Tychus should not hinge on a cigar anyways.”

However, there was some disagreement on the thread. A commenter replied that he’s “pretty sure there are some regions that also frown upon cleavage, legs shown above the knee and even some that forbid women to show their faces in public. When should we expect [game characters] to be edited to appease these regions?”

Either way, would the lack of a cigar fully dissuade gamers from playing Heroes of the Storm?

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Loren Mc Clain
Loren Mc Clain 47 posts

Heroes are out; villains have taken over. Lifetime member of E.V.I.L. -- if you don't understand that reference, shame on you --

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