Blizzard makes it free to change gender in 'World of Warcraft'

The 'Shadowlands' expansion will remove a longstanding $15 fee


When World of Warcraft: Shadowlands comes out later this year, Blizzard plans to stop charging players a $15 fee to change the gender of one of their characters. Much like how you can tweak your character's appearance at an in-game barbershop, you'll be able to do the same with their gender once the expansion comes out.

In an interview with Eurogamer, Shadowlands executive producer John Hight said Blizzard felt the fee was "not the right message." He went to add the company can't implement the change through a hotfix, which is why it’s not dropping the fee earlier. Hight shared the tidbit after Blizzard put out a statement about a new character named Pelagos that will appear in Shadowlands. It's believed he is the first transgender character in WoW.

"... Aspirants are able to choose a physical form that represents their true self," the developer said. "Pelagos, who presented as a woman in his mortal life, chose to be a man in the Shadowlands."

As titles like GTA V show, video games still have a long way to go when it comes to their treatment of transgender characters and people. But at the very least, Blizzard is taking a step in the right direction, particularly in a genre that, at its core, is about giving players a safe space to explore alternate identities.