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Jeff Kaplan offers cheeky apology to ‘the entire country of Australia,’ kind of misses the point

Jeff Kaplan apologized to all of Australia over a feature in Junkertown.
Overwatch game director Jeff Kaplan apologized to all of Australia for a small issue in the newest match, Junkertown. Photo courtesy of Blizzard.

Overwatch game director Jeff Kaplan offered a tongue-in-cheek apology to the entire continent of Australia following a slight cultural snafu in the game’s newest map.

Following Monday’s announcement of Junkertown, a new escort map for Overwatch, a video giving players a virtual tour of the map soon followed. One of the featured shots of Junkertown, a location in Overwatch’s post-apocalyptic Australia, included what looked like a food stall with a koala mascot with the words “Take Out” written underneath.

A Reddit user then complained that the phrase “Take Out” isn’t used in Australia in the context of food, but rather “Take Away” would be the correct term. The post has since received more than 12,000 upvotes, and even caught the eye of Kaplan, who replied to the post and offered his version of an apology.

“I’d like to offer a direct apology to the entire country of Australia,” he wrote. “Please forgive our cultural insensitivity. We will fix this in an upcoming patch (the sign travesty will most likely go live for some period before being fixed).

“I’ve also been told by Muselk that our coffees are too large as well. We’re learning… trying, over here…”

The apology was clearly made with a healthy dose of hyperbole, but it made for a spectacle for Overwatch fans, as Kaplan’s comment received more than 11,000 upvotes.

Junkertown is part of the new game features debuted at this year’s Gamescom. Featuring the two Australian Overwatch heroes Junkrat and Roadhog, the map is the first in-game look into what Australia looks like in the world of Overwatch following a devastating fusion core explosion that turned the region into a desert wasteland reminiscent of the Mad Max films.

Kaplan later replied to the Reddit thread to confirm the sign had been changed.

Another feature of the map has caused more serious controversy, though. In a separate video detailing what Junkertown looks like, a voiceover by a yet unidentified leader figure of Junkertown is quoted saying “They thought they could take our land” and “Your past lives are a dream.” The quotes came across across in incredibly bad taste, given the history of Australia’s indigenous people.

The quote is likely making reference to Overwatch’s history, where the Australian government was giving the Omnics land after the Omnic Crisis nearly destroyed the country, resulting in the permanent displacement of many citizens, including Roadhog, who would later cause the fusion core melt down which turned Australia into the wasteland it is.

It’s pretty clear based on the Reddit post that Kaplan is apologizing for the sign problems, and there has been no official response from Blizzard about the other topic.

Cover photo courtesy of Blizzard

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