Blizzard has decided to remove their £13 WoW gender fee that prohibited players from changing the genders of their World of Warcraft avatar.
While the current version of World of Warcraft allows you to customise all other aspects of a character – hairstyle, skin colour and facial appearance – changing a character’s gender has been locked around an additional fee.
In an interview with Eurogamer, executive producer John Hight revealed that the WoW gender fee is going to be removed with the release of the upcoming Shadowlands expansion.
“A long time ago, we had the ability for players to go in – it was actually a paid service – and change their character. Much of that is now in the barber shop in the game,”Hight told Eurogamer. “And as we were adding things up in Shadowlands, we realised, ‘Gosh the only way you can change your gender in World of Warcraft is to go through this paid service.’ And we felt like that’s not the right message.”
“Unfortunately we can’t fix that right now but it is our intent with Shadowlands to take that out of being a paid service thing and [put it] in the barber shop,” the producer explained. “But that’s not something we can easily hotfix – unfortunately we can’t do that right now. It is something that we’re going to have in Shadowlands itself.”
This news comes after the news that Blizzard may be introducing the first trans character in the game after 16 years of release. The character, an Aspirant known as Pelagos, is described thusly:
“Aspirants are able to choose a physical form that represents their true self. Pelagos, who presented as a woman in his mortal life, chose to be a man in the Shadowlands.”
World of Warcraft has started to become more progressive in recent times. While the removal of the WoW gender fee is a great start for allowing players to self-identify within the game, Blizzard is also creating more progressive ways for differently abled gamers to play.
With the Shadowlands expansion, Blizzard will be including full controller support with specific support for the Xbox Adaptive Controller. Good stuff.