Alternate skins removed reused monogram
Blizzard Entertainment has made changes to several alternate skins belonging to SurveillanceRussian powerhouse Aleksandra Zaryanova, best known to gamers by her call sign, Zarya. The changes were quietly made in a stealth update to remove a monogram that has unfortunately taken on new meaning in the current climate.
First spotted by PC Gamer, Zarya’s “Arctic” and “Siberian Front” skins both feature a simple “Z” character emblazoned on the hero’s chest. Z for Zarya, of course. However, as part of the horrific Russian invasion of Ukraine, the letter “Z” was reused by some in the Russian military and Russian society as a symbol of support for the invasion, painting the symbol on tanks and other military arsenals.
The letter “Z” does not exist as a character in the Russian Cyrillic alphabet, and it is assumed that it is used by supporters of the invasion of Ukraine as a symbol of victory, just as Western countries have used the “V” in past wars. . Sure, Surveillance‘s Zarya simply sports the initial as a monogram to their name, but given its current context, it’s a fitting move by Blizzard to remove the letter from the Russian soldier’s clothing.
Zarya is not the first Surveillance character to be changed due to actual controversy. In 2021, cowboy hero McCree changed his name to Cassidy after his namesake quit the company following Activision Blizzard’s California lawsuit, filed after an investigation found evidence of sexual abuse, harassment and a generally toxic work environment at the studio. The aftermath of that initial controversy is still ongoing, nearly 10 months after the initial complaint was filed.
The Russian invasion of Ukraine began on February 24, 2022. To date, tens of thousands of civilians and military personnel on both sides of the conflict have reportedly been injured or killed, while millions of Ukrainian civilians have been displaced from their homes.