BlizzCon 2011: Blizzard CEO Mike Morhaime Public Apology

After a serious business incident at BlizzCon 2011, Blizzard Entertainment CEO took full responsibility and apologized.

Mistakes happen. Let’s move on. All the fun that was BlizzCon is what matters.

“Dear members of the Blizzard community,

I have read your feedback and comments about this year’s BlizzCon, and I have also read the feedback to the apology from Level 90 Elite Tauren Chieftain. I’d like to respond to some of your feedback here.

As president of Blizzard, I take full responsibility for everything that occurs at BlizzCon.

It was shortsighted and insensitive to use the video at all, even in censored form. The language used in the original version, including the slurs and use of sexual orientation as an insult, is not acceptable, period. We realize now that having even an edited version at the show was counter to the standards we try to maintain in our forums and in our games. Doing so was an error in judgment, and we regret it.

The bottom line is we deeply apologize for our mistakes and for hurting or offending anyone. We want you to have fun at our events, and we want everyone to feel welcome. We’re proud to be part of a huge and diverse community, and I am proud that so many aspects of the community are represented within Blizzard itself.

As a leader of Blizzard, and a member of the band, I truly hope you will accept my humblest apology.

– Mike Morhaime
President, Blizzard Entertainment

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medievaldragon

Tomas Hernandez is owner of Blizzplanet.com since 2003. I post news about World of Warcraft, StarCraft II, Diablo III, Hearthstone, Overwatch, Heroes of the Storm, Blizzard Careers, and the Warcraft film. Blizzplanet is a leading fansite covering news about upcoming Blizzard Entertainment licensed products. I also post previews and reviews. I have interviewed book writers and Blizzard game developers. I was previously an employee of the OGaming Network (2003), and IncGamers (2008-2010). I was a guest newsposter for GosuGamers (World of Warcraft) a few years ago and for Diablofans.com (formerly Diablo3.com) ***Fans who would love to watch Blizzard-related panels and appreciate our efforts can support Blizzplanet's patreon in a monthly-basis, or a one-time basis. Our staff are volunteer fans like you. Your donatives will help us travel to all the Blizzard events we attend year-round.
  • Mikeztarp

    I don’t remember any insulting content… oO²

  • Altrantis

    Look up -Blizzcon Corpsegrinder-

  • Mikeztarp

    You mean what George Fisher said in the video? That’s a meme, everyone has seen it and it’s more funny than insulting. ^^

  • eitjayar

    It was a joke. A bad joke that insulted many players and should not be done in an official presentation by a serious company like Blizzard… offensive to GLBT and alliance players! It doesn’t matter if it didn’t offend you or if it was just a very old joke, it was wrong to put it on the show.

    It’s even worse because they ban people every day in their games and in their forums for stuff like that. They should set up the example for everybody. There’s no excuse. It’s better now that Mike apologized for it (took a while though) and blizz will learn from it.

    Maybe they deserve a 72 hour suspension, or offer a free 72 hour credit for everybody. How about that?

  • el Greco

    I was absolutely stunned to see that kind of garbage unfold at a supposedly reputable place like Blizzcon. What astounded me even further was reading the reaction of plenty of fans on the Blizzard forums who considered the incident inoffensive. I am straight and do not really favor one WoW faction over the other, but this is what I have to say. Anyone who didn’t find that short incident at least a little bit messed up and immoral is not a normal human being; I don’t care how much of a Blizzard fan you are… It just wasn’t right.

    I’m a big fan of Blizzard as a company too and have enormous respect for people like Samwise Didier. There is no way to express how great of an impact him and other veterans at Blizzard have had on my life. Perhaps the best way to get that point across is to say that I grew up with Warcraft and was affected by it in the same manner that they themselves grew up with and were affected by D&D, Star Wars, and so on. I thus hold this company very close to heart, especially its veteran employees. However, this doesn’t revert the fact that what unfolded on stage for a couple of minutes at the concert was of utter bad taste and disgrace.

    Having intelligent, decent people, Blizzard veterans I may add, such as Sam Didier, Mike Morhaime, Alan Dabiri, Chris Sigaty, and so on, all standing by on stage, allowing that distasteful video to be played in front of all the fans was just plain ugly and embarrassing. I cringed, and if I did not know these developers, I would have honestly thought very low of them. It was a very awkward situation, and it fell especially bad on Samwise, as he had to interact with the nasty George Fisher he invited on stage soon after the video. I can imagine that people who don’t really know Samwise must have been left with a pretty bad impression of the man at that point, which is very unfortunate. I can’t say that I truly know Samwise myself since I’ve never met him personally, but as an art and architecture student who is now delving into 3d modeling I can affirm that I’ve studied him in depth, initially due to his remarkable concept work. And as I’ve got to know the person beyond the artwork, from several articles and interviews, I got the feeling that he is an unbelievably sweet man, with a passion for his job and fondness for his family. He also has a great sense of humor. I am convinced that this more or less can be said with regards to the rest of the developers that were on stage with him. Sadly, that incident put them in such a bad spotlight and made many of us fans feel so disappointed and embarrassed.

    Ultimately, what really matters to me is that an apology was made. It’s good that they stated to the world that this is not who they are and admitted how the whole incident was a complete lapse in judgment.