Blizzard has apologised to a World of Warcraft player who was given an official warning for attempting to set up an in-game guild which welcomed lesbian, gay and bisexual members.
WOW fan Sara Andrews was told by a Blizzard customer service representative that she was in breach of the game's terms of service by inviting players to join her "LGB friendly" guild.
Andrews contested the decision, but was told: "While some language in and of itself may not be offensive, it may incite certain responses in other players that will allow for discussion that we feel has no place in our game."
Now, however, Blizzard appears to have had a rethink. In an email to Andrews published by US website InNewsWeekly, Thor Biafore, Blizzard's worldwide head of customer service, said that the company sends "Aplogies for any inconvenience this has caused you or your guild."
"The action that was taken by our customer service representative was an unfortunate interpretation of our current policies, which are currently under review... I have had the warning removed from your account. Please accept our apologies for the way our staff characterised your conduct, and rest assured that your account will not be penalised in any way."
According to INW, Blizzard COO Paul Sams has confirmed that a new guild recruitment channel will be set up, "Providing players with a designated area where they can advertise their guilds in an appropriate fashion." Blizzard is also set to provide "sensitivity training" for 1000 WOW Game Masters in North America, Europe and Asia to ensure there is no repeat of the incident.
Andrews told In News Weekly that she was glad Blizzard had made the apology, but added that she is "curious to see what they mean by their current policy being 'under review.'"