Blizzard Removed Tychus' Cigar To Meet Ratings Requirements

Blizzard Removed Tychus' Cigar To Meet Ratings Requirements

We discovered last week that Tychus' trademark cigar was missing from the open beta version of Heroes of the Storm, and some people were rather upset about it -- bro is always chewing on that thing, after all. And Blizzard artist Phill Gonzalez hopped on reddit to explain what the deal with that was.

As some had speculated, the removal of the cigar was related to age ratings. Blizz wanted to hit the equivalent of a teen rating around the world, some regions didn't allow for smoking with that classification. So they could have made models with the cigar for regions where that's allowed and models without it where it isn't, but they decided just going with the one, smoke-free model was a better use of time and resources.

As somebody who is presently addicted to cigarettes because I thought people smoking in movies looked cool as hell, I'm OK with it. Gonzalez added: "The appeal of Tychus should not hinge on a cigar anyways, and we have no issue with that aspect of his character."

Gonzalez said the cigar wasn't the only regional ratings hiccup they had on HotS: "Skelethur doesn't even show up in some regions because of guidelines about the depiction of human remains." Well that's something!

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Comments

    I seriously can't believe this is a problem for some people...

      They want it to hit a Teen rating, (I guess a PG over here? Maybe an M?), and you can't be depicting smoking in that classification bracket. It's not about it "being a problem for some people", it's about what they are allowed and aren't allowed to show to minors.

        Sorry. I meant I can't believe people are getting so angry about the removal of the cigar.

          Indeed, while it's a character trait (his smoking) it really has zero impact on the game.

          "Goddamn it, I can't blow smoke rings any more!"

          First they remove the cigars. Next thing you know, all the guns have been replaced by walky talkies. It's a slippery slope, so you should fight it while you can.

          I don't believe that's what people are angry about.

          I think it's more the principle of censoring stupid shit. Anyone with half a brain knows about smoking and the effects it has on the body. People seem to be more angry about the fact that the presence of a cigar in a character's mouth would be the difference between two ratings.

          I don't know about others, but I for one, am a little bit concerned where the line will be drawn. Once we start censoring silly things like a cigarette/cigar, then do we start censoring the characters that mention it? Do we begin to classify games that depict weapons as MA or higher? Car racing can be a stressful sport. Perhaps all racing games should be classified M. Wii Sports 2017 Edition has Archery! Awesome, except how archery was originally used for hunting and then killing other people. Therefore Wii Sports 2017 Edition should be R rated.

          I know I'm being ridiculous, but where do we draw the line?

    "As somebody who is presently addicted to cigarettes because I thought people smoking in movies looked cool as hell, I’m OK with it"

    ...really? You can still get away with that scapegoating?

      Actually, yes. When you are young and impressionable, peer pressure and the 'cool' factor can easily lead you to start smoking. He's not saying that's why he keeps smoking, only why he started.

      I don't think anyone wakes up at 15 years old and says 'I reeeeally want to cough up black shit and ruin my lungs 10 years from now, I'd better get started!'

        I think smoking can look cool. I grew up with characters like Wolverine, Dutch(Predator), original Nick Fury and J Jonah Jameson smoking a cigar. I think Gomez from the Adams Family did it too? It adds an element of character sometimes. Smoking itself? Disgusting habit. Smells terrible. Unburnt tobacco smells kind of nice. I made the decision early on that it wasn't for me. And how impressionable are we talking? Do video games cause violence? The answer is a unanimous "No.". Just because you see someone shoot someone in a game, doesn't mean that you're going to shoot someone yourself. At some point, your parents should be parents, or at the very least: you should think for yourself. In Australia, you can't buy tobacco until you're how old now? So I think that no "censorship" of smoking in media is going to dramatically alter that. And what about if the same 15yr old plays Starcraft 2, or picks up an old movie or Wolverine/Spidey comic?

        I know it's just to hit a broader market. Same with the movies. But I blame the government, not Blizzard... same minor annoyance with things like the vitamin substitute instead of drugs in State of Decay. Video games really just need a parental guidance mode so adults can enjoy the ludicrousness of virtual smoking in a space suit.

          Wolverine, Dutch, etc. were all awesome characters, sure, but during the time they were in the mainstream public consciousness (late 80's?), the hazards of smoking were already well established and the shift away from smoking had already begun in earnest.

          I don't know how old the author is, but go back even 10-20 years before and the story was vastly different. I remember a story from an older lady about her school track team - after they won a race, the coach would reward them with a cigarette. It was a different time, and I think without all the stigma that's been attached to smoking, it's easy to see why so many people got addicted. Today? Not so much - we have plain packaging, health warnings, and the dangers are well known.

          As to the link to video game violence, I think you're drawing a pretty long bow. That being said, did I consider becoming a cop after playing Max Payne, or joining the army after playing Call of Duty? Damn straight. Sure, I was young and the moment passed, but it was there. Just like I wanted to be an astronaut after playing through The Dig. Now compare that to smoking - easy to obtain (despite efforts to the contrary), and highly addictive. All that the 'cool' factor has to do is create a moment of desire, get a kid to try a few cigarettes, and they're hooked. As adults, it's easy for us to harp on about strength of willpower and the danger of smoking, but as a young teenager it's an entirely different story.

          And, if you think video games don't cause violent urges, you've never played an FPS with intermittent lag spikes...

            There are a lot of factors to this. Social/peer PRESSURE is one for sure. Is media pressure one? Maybe it is, according to the author. But there are many people... most people... who knows exactly how many people... that won't smoke because they see someone(virtual or real) smoke. I am one of those, and I was a kid at one point.

            It's really about freedom vs censorship. Like the "Fags" confectionery. I was perfectly okay with those... they never encouraged me to smoke. But in comes political correctness, and they're gone. The creative team behind Starcraft 2 designed Tychus with a cigar, and it's stifled due to ratings reasons. If you were a kid, your choice to see it is taken away and maybe that's okay, but as an adult... it's taken away and it's not.

            Winners don't use drugs!

              By that reasoning, kids should be allowed to see everything? There is a rating system for a reason, and at the end of the day this is a game that Blizzard is focusing on a younger crowd, and so that needs to be kept in mind. Does it make sense not to have drugs in Dying Light, which is R rated anyway? Hell no, that shit's whack. But when it's a game that kids can and will be playing, I agree that Blizzard should be erring on the side of caution.

              At the end of the day, this is more about archaic censorship laws than anything. I doubt any kids would be convinced to smoke by Tychus, but if that's what it takes to get the game to the wider audience then I guess that's what Blizzard has to do.

    So... they guy smoking is what defines the rating of a game? Not the fact that the same guy, smoking or not, is waging war allover the place and killing everything is his path?

    Nice... :D

    I am calling a hipster tychus with a vapour cigar skin in the near future

    Never mind the guns and sharp objects being used to kill one another, THAT cigar, that's too extreme to still get a teen rating...

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