It has happened again – another classic video game character has been changed to maintain a certain status and rating within the video game industry. This time, the character has taken on an no smoking phase of his life.
In a recent conversation on Reddit, the famed gaming company Blizzard confirmed that the decision had been made to remove the signature piece – a cigar hanging from the side of playable character Tychus Findlay’s mouth on account of the game’s rating.
Due to the Teen rating that the StarCraft game carries, there were certain locations where the game was released that if the game were to keep the same rating they would have to produce a separate instance of the character – a smoking and non-smoking version or they could simply produce the game without the cigar at all.
“Making 2 versions means more data management, multiple duplicates of the asset (if we update an animation, it has to propagate to all versions) such as the the death ragdoll model, The facial animations, his morph into the Odin, and apply that process to every skin as well,” a Blizzard developer said. “This mountain of work affects multiple departments and has to be addressed every time we’d adjust Tychus.”
Anyone who follows video game development or even cross nation development of almost any product – this type of a change is not an uncommon occurrence. Blizzard commented that any character that has a skeletal or bloody appearance has to be changed or remove entirely depending upon the region where the game is to be released.
“It is a full time job managing those exceptions, and the less we have to manage, the more time we can spend making more game!” Blizzard said.
Suffice to say – yet another chapter to add into the book of how cigars are slowly being removed from our culture. What do you think?