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Heroes of the StormMay 27, 2015 5:00 pm CT

Heroes of the Storm’s Tychus loses his iconic cigar

Tychus from Starcraft 2

One of the most iconic presentations of Tychus is from StarCraft, where he’s in space marine armor, gnawing a cigar at the side of his mouth. But in Heroes of the Storm, the cigar is gone: in a movement to keep the game’s rating low, the iconic armor will remain, but the cigar will not.

According to a statement posted to Reddit, Blizzard artist Phil Gonzales explains the choice between cigar and no cigar.  In this case, ratings were the main issue, and Heroes of the Storm has its sights set for a “Teen” rating — and in some regions, showing a character smoking would prohibit that. On one hand, Blizzard could release two models of Tychus — one with a cigar, and one without. However, this would mean double the amount of assets required for the character, in addition to adding data management for different regions.

Given that the cigar would hardly be noticeable to most players, the decision came to completely remove it rather than being held back by something that, while iconic, could limit the game’s intended audience.  Gonzales does touch on a few areas in which the game already has features localized — such as the depiction of human remains, which has long meant that World of Warcraft‘s corpse runs look a bit different for players in China — but with the wide array of themes already touched upon by Heroes, it made sense that this particular asset should be simplified.

While the cigar will be sorely missed, removing it seems to come at a much lower cost than keeping it.  As it stands, Heroes of the Storm is slated for a June 2nd release, only a few short days from now.

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