Sometimes companies have worldviews so myopic that they ignorantly and horribly offend a group of people with their products. Other times, a game developer writes “Take Out” instead of “Take Away” on a sign.
That may not sound like something that could genuinely offend someone — and, in reality, it probably didn’t — but it’s still something that feels wrong to an entire country. Thankfully, the developer in question (Blizzard) was able to act quicker than it originally thought possible and corrected its Ugly American faux pas in Overwatch.
Reddit users have noticed a subtle change in the game’s new Junkertown map: the text on a restaurant sign has been altered from “Take Out” to “Take Away.” This may sound completely arbitrary to Americans, but Junkertown is set in Australia, where people tend to use the latter term instead of the former to describe food you order at a restaurant with the intention of taking home with you.
Blizzard hasn’t technically released Junkertown yet, but the map has been playable on Overwatch’s Public Test Realm (PTR) since Tuesday. Australians immediately noticed the cultural disconnect and pointed it out to Blizzard. Game Director Jeff Kaplan originally said that Blizzard would change the sign, but that it might not be able to do so until after Junkertown’s proper release.
“I’d like to offer a direct apology to the entire country of Australia,” Kaplan wrote on Reddit last week. “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 [YouTuber Elliott “Muselk” Watkins] that our coffees are too large as well. We’re learning… trying, over here…”
It turns out Blizzard was able to get the thing done quicker than Kaplan originally thought possible. Meanwhile, Blizzard has also taken flak for what many believe to be an actual bit of cultural insensitivity tied to Junkertown. A voiceover in the map’s trailer at one point says “they thought they could take our land,” which some people have found to be in poor taste given that the country of Australia was founded on land that kind of already belong to these people and these people.
In any case, the offensive “Take Out” sign is no more.