The Loot Specialist character was added to the game in March and designer Eric Covington wrote some of their dialogue.
This included lines like “another record quarter for revenue”, “let’s call this a cost-of-living adjustment”, “looks like another yacht for me” and “time to go back to the office”.
According to a thread Covington posted on Twitter, he was let go from Blizzard after management saw the lines and didn’t see the funny side.
“I wrote jokes lampooning generic corporate greed for a Venture Company loot goblin (very in character), but then leadership walked face first into the joke after string lock while my focus was getting the patch done,” Covington explained (‘string lock’ is when text strings are locked in place and can no longer be changed).
“Because of their embarrassment, I’m no longer at Blizzard.”
I wrote jokes lampooning generic corporate greed for a Venture Company loot goblin (very in character), but then leadership walked face first into the joke after string lock while my focus was getting the patch done.
— Eric Covington (@covingtown) May 31, 2023
Covington noted that the official World of Warcraft Twitter account actually posted videos showing some of the Loot Specialist’s best lines, until he made them aware that they were promoting the thing he was reportedly being fired for.
“Funny how it was good enough for marketing and promoting the game before, during, and after I was separated,” he claimed. “They took it down after I pointed out the hypocrisy.
“No consideration or trust extended to at least ask me what my intentions were for the character (was it targeted at anyone? Nope). No polite request to let me handle it and hotfix some lines because of circumstances (I would have willingly and understandably helped).”
He added: “9 years of service, up in smoke without question because someone looked at an innocuous joke and saw a reflection. They made sure to hustle and get me out before the end of the month in full knowledge that benefits would expire the next day.”
When a follower replied and said it was a shame the character didn’t make it into the game, Covington replied: “It did. It was live for almost a week. Then they got hotfixed off as my termination process began behind my back. After someone ‘very high’ at the company was playing the content and saw the lines.”
When asked for clarification on whether he was fired or quit in protest, he replied: “The first one.”