‘World of Warcraft’ Update Covers Up Obscure, Horny Paintings

A reclining nude became a still life of fruit; a woman with a plunging neckline was given an all over redesign. 
September 16, 2021, 4:06pm
A screenshot from theQW
Image source: Activision Blizzard

Blizzard is continuing to make small changes in its games after stories about the developer’s sexist, abusive culture broke in July. This time, Blizzard is updating several small pieces of art in World of Warcraft, including one that covers up a character’s cleavage.

Like many video games, massively multiplayer online role playing game World of Warcraft features in-game paintings and artwork in order to build out the flavor of the game's world. Some of them are references to real world paintings, some are landscapes, some are still lives. Additionally, some of them are horny, like a portrait of a woman wearing a really strange dress with a plunging neckline.

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As noted on the World of Warcraft blog WoWhead, yesterday's patch to the game changed some of the hornier paintings remaining in the game. A reclining nude became a still life of fruit; the lady with the really weird dress was given an all over redesign. 

WoWhead wrote that there aren't very many paintings like this in the game, and that the paintings that were changed are also pretty obscure, only appearing in two locations in the world. The timing of this change is what makes it somewhat noteworthy. In July, Activision Blizzard was sued by the state of California for being a "breeding ground of harassment," and stories of the abuse and harassment that have occurred at the company are harrowing. 

In response to the news, Activision Blizzard has made a few cosmetic changes to their games. In August, the development studio said that they would change the name of Overwatch hero McCree, who was named after Jesse McCree, a developer who allegedly invited women to a hotel room nicknamed the "Cosby Suite."  Activision Blizzard also changed the names of World of Warcraft characters that were named after developers, including another character named after McCree, in this most recent update.

World of Warcraft fans have previously complained about the fact that the strong female characters in the game all dress like Victoria’s Secrets models, so while changing a small piece of background art might seem small, it is something players have indicated they care about. However, changing an in-game painting or a character’s name does not address the core issues at Activision Blizzard, which is that it mistreats its workers. Just this week, workers at Activision Blizzard accused the company of union busting

Updating some art is great, but nothing is going to be solved until workers are treated fairly.