Blizzard Apologises For 'Cultural Insensitivity' In New Australian Overwatch Map

But not the cultural insensitivity you might think...

Yesterday Blizzard announced 'Junkertown', a brand new Overwatch map set in Australia. The people rejoiced, but some raised an interesting point. In its voiceover for the trailer announcement it uses the words "they thought they could take our land", which some on social media called out as being a little insensitive considering Australia's history with indigenous communities. There's been a fair amount of discussion around it.

In context its a little less harmful ("they thought they could take our land and give it to the machines") but with an increasing amount of noise surrounding the issue we wondered if Blizzard would address it?

Turns out Jeff Kaplan was more concerned with another cultural error.

Blizzard messed up the signs.

Blizzard added a sign to Junkertown that says "Take-out", an American term, instead of "Take-away".


Kaplan apologised for the error, as well he should.

"I'd like to offer a direct apology to the entire country of Australia," he said in this Reddit post. "Please forgive our cultural insensitivity. We will fix this in an upcoming patch (the sign travesty will most likely go live for some period before being fixed).

"I've also been told by Muselk that our coffees are too large as well. We're learning... trying, over here..."

I can't believe that Blizzard is actually going to patch this sign.


    and yet he wont apologise for using american voice actors for junkrat and roadhog and most of the multi cultural cast. that is a big travesty.

      That's what an actor does, they play a role. It's almost never a role that is described as "be yourself".

        yeah, but when they dont portray their characters heritage convincingly, its noticeable and annoying.

          It just reminds me of the movie Enemy at the Gates, where every Russian has a strong English accent

          Fair suck of the sauce bottle, cobber, no need to come the raw prawn!

          Do we really want the rest of the world to see us for the bloody drongoes we are?

          I say stick with the fantasy Australia:D

            i still think there is happy middle ground where its fantasy australian but with a real aussie ocker voice actor.

          It's also a parody, y'know, like junkrat is, a parody of the Australian stereotype. All I can think of right now is a common Australian phrase, not to be taken literally please, unless you really want it to, "buy a bag of cement, and harden up."

            you mean "drink a cup of concrete and harden the fuck up."
            i realise the game is a parody, but they put effort into some of the characters voice actors for authenticity sake, so it would have been nice if they'd done so for others.
            dont get me wrong, i love junkrat, hes my main, and i was main with roadhog for a while too. i dont let it ruin my game or my experience.

          Sure, but I don't think that applies here. I'm definitely overly sensitive to these sorts of arguments after seeing people try crucify Naughty Dog for the casting decisions of Nadine Ross because the voice actor wasn't black. These are the same people who have enjoyed the on screen antics of Bart Simpson for years too, no doubt.

          I think Australian characters are always stupid and cringey in the best way possible. The more hammed up the better in my opinion, you don't necessarily want an Australian actor bringing the nuance to the performance. The Australian stereotype is best served completely over the top.

            i agree, but nothing serves the stereotype better than an true ocker aussie.

        I've actually never seen a non-Australian ever do a convincing Australian accent, ever. Even the best actors and comedians out there can't get it right. It must be really hard to emulate properly.

          I heard Dev Patel's accent in Lion was real good. Haven't seen it though.

            I haven't seen that either, but the issue with non-Australians trying to do Australian accents is that they try to move more down the "occa" route or try to sound stereotypically over the top like Steve Irwin. Nobody, and I mean nobody sounds like a "normal" Australian. Even the best attempts, I need to shake my head and say "sorry, nope, we don't talk like that".

            Americans especially are convinced we pronounce things differently to how we actually pronounce them in many cases, especially our vowels. I saw one video a little while ago that kinda triggered me where they got Americans to "accidentally" speak in another accent by giving them words to say quickly. They gave them the words "Good Eye Might" and apparently this was supposed to make them think they were saying "G'day Mate" in an Australian accent. WTF since when do we pronounce 'a's as 'i's? It was so far off the mark it wasn't funny.

      Mad Max, THE most iconic Aussie character (well, maybe with Croc Dundee) has only been played once by an actual Aussie, and that was only his voice for the Mad Max vid game. Given that Junkrat and Roadhog are inbreed deep within the Madmax roots, I feel its actually complete appropriate from them to not be voiced by actual Aussies. :P

    Maybe they should have just asked an aussie to assist?

      You think they could trust one of us to do that? Not sure an Aussie could be trusted with such a sacred charge as ockering this properly. We'd probably stick so much cringeworthy stuff in that nobody else would get, and ruin the entire thing.

      Its an Escort map for example, instantly meaning someone makes the vehicle look like a Ford Escort from the 70's. Doing burnouts.

      Then again, I'd probably play that...

        That sounds amazing. And would make it so much more aussie.

        haha. Payload definitely would be made better by being a hover ute

          shit! we need to start a petition to change it to a hover ute! brilliant.

        As long as all characters get an emote Swishing Flies, my cultural sensitivity is appeased.

        And they patch that damned sign.

          Wouldn't be hard, but then the cultural debate would be whether it should be the left hand or right hand doing the swishing...

          Note: The correct answer is the passive hand - the one not holding the beer/bunnings snag sanga.

    LOL, yeah mate, you should totally give us apologies
    (really we dont give a fuk, we arnt all care bares)

    But we would appreciate if you cared about how broken your game is, that makes me sensitive

      if you are talking about Hanzo's rubbish scatter arrows I can agree, not if you are talking about Mercy, because she is perfect. On every level.

    Good call, I heard that in one of the videos I was watching and wondered how long it would take to get it fixed, because, for the most part Blizzard tries really hard to remain cultural sensitive and that one was a really big mistake to make for our country.

    I wonder if the Queen of Junkertown will become a playable character?

      That'd be Shazza?

        hahaha. I'd like her to be indigenous but short of that I'd love it to be Shaz. just as long as they get Elle Dawe to voice act.

      Was thinking the same, they made an awfully big deal about a character we never even got to see... Hopefully hinting at something.

        I'm thinking flamer, would suit the tone of the junker community.

      Our one true queen... Dame Edna

    To be even more pedantic, the wreckyard sign should be changed to Bruce's Wreckers instead. I've never seen the word "Wreckyard" on an Aussie sign before.

      Now I'm trying to think about what I have actually used Wreckers I have used but that is specific to broken down old cars in my mind. Junkyard seems right in my mind but scrapyard doesn't seem off either. Wreckyard is wrong.

      "Junkyard" or "Scrapyard" is what I remember from growing up in rural Vic, but "Wreckyard"? Can't say I remember that one.

    Wouldn't exactly call two tweets with <10 replies a social media storm in the first instance.

      "... but the menu said galaxy of prawns, three prawns is hardly a galaxy" true but it was only launched during our night, so it obvious backlash wasnt too far away from happening.

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    It's probably not a *problem*, but I do feel funny about the aussies being the "anti machine" resisting lot, given machines are kindof the race relations allegory here.

    I think it's totally ridiculous that he thought such a minor thing deserved what appears to be a very sincere and genuine apology. I can't even fathom how entitled someone who thinks that this kind of thing deserved an apology must be.

    Hey our language is a serious thing. The minimum sentence is actually 1 year in jail if you are caught 'carpooling' or found to be in possession of a 'crawl space'.

    Well Billy bob jr w'll take the pick-up truck down to the drug store and on the way back get some chilli dogs from the gas station.......As ozzie as a shrimp on the barbie...

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