The company announced its plan to honor Williams’ memory in the world’s most popular massively multiplayer online role-playing game on Twitter, saying: “Thank you. You gave us so much joy in our lives, and we hope you enjoyed your time in our world. We’ll see you in-game.” It did not provide further details on how exactly Williams will appear.
Non-player characters, or NPCs, are usually characters controlled by the computer through artificial intelligence in games.
A tribute to Williams already appears in another online game, “APB: Reloaded.”
“Because of his presence within our community, we the players of World of Warcraft are asking Blizzard to kindly create an NPC within the game that memorializes the actor/comedian,” the petition’s creator Jacob Holgate requested. “Many have expressed a wish to this character perform some of Williams’ best jokes within the Worlds End Tavern, so that he may continue making us smile long after his passing.”
After more than 11,000 signatures were collected, Chadd Nervigga, a technical game designer at Blizzard, tweeted, “Yes. We’re taking care of it.”
“It is with a growing sense of pride for the world of warcraft community that I declare victory for this petition,” Holgate soon responded on the petition’s site. “In less than 24 hours we’ve earned 11,000 signatures, a huge amount of traction on many gaming and new outlets, as well as assurance from Blizzard employees that our desire for a Robin Williams tribute and or NPC will be handled with great care.”
During interviews to promote projects, Williams would admit that he was an avid gamer, and spent hours playing “World of Warcraft,” which Legendary Entertainment is working with Blizzard to produce a film adaptation that Universal will release early 2016.
Williams’ online identity in “World of Warcraft” was never made public.