"And we know that actions speak louder than words, so we are challenging ourselves to draw from more diverse voices within and outside of the company and create more diverse heroes and content."
- Blizzard CEO Mike Morhaime
Last week, a concerned Blizzard fan known as "Starcunning" posted
an open letter to CEO Mike Morhaime calling for the developer to increase the diversity of its game casts, to better reflect the diversity of its fan base.
Today, Starcunning posted Morhaime's response
-- in which the Blizzard CEO vows to make a concerted effort to address the issues the company has so far had with diversity and inclusion.
"I want to start by saying that we’re grateful to have such a diverse and passionate player base, and we want everyone to feel welcome, safe, and included in our games and communities," Morhaime wrote.
Fans should not worry, however, as Morhaime says that the company will not force things: "We’ve always believed that positive, lasting change comes from examination, discussion, and iteration, and this applies as much to story as to gameplay. There is no reason why inclusivity should come at the expense of an amazing game experience."
This comes as an about-face for the company; former chief creative officer Rob Pardo recently said
that social progressiveness wasn't "really a value for us," and "We're not trying to bring in serious stuff, or socially relevant stuff, or actively trying to preach for diversity or do things like that."
This came after Heroes of the Storm
director Dustin Browder was forced to apologize
for comments defending overly sexualized female character designs in his game. "We're just making characters who look cool," Browder wrote.
The statements of both Pardo and Browder said that epic and fun were at the core of the company's values; diversity was not. Morhaime says they can co-exist, and the company is making efforts to make its "games and stories are as epic and inclusive as possible."