From Kotaku to the Washington Post to PC Gamer, people have been dying to know why Amazon Games banned Jeff Bezos (as a character name, that is). Heck, you can’t even call you character Jeffrey B. Zos or Jeff Bezoos. The bright side is that by being cagey about it they opened the door for the internet to work its magic and try much, much harder to be named Jeff Bezos. Even Jeff Bezos’ own newspaper The Washington Post had a go:
Credit: The Washington Post / Amazon Games
It would take 2.8 million years of normal work to amass an ungodly fortune like Jeff’s. Which leaves us thinking, surely he can’t be so thinned-skinned that he couldn’t take a joke? There must be a deeper reason why the name was forbidden.
So, as the valiant and cunning video-game journalists that we are, what could we do to get to the bottom of this mystery for the ages? Hack Amazon’s personal correspondences? Infiltrate the company and work our way up the ranks? Bribe an underpaid insider? Nah, we just asked.
As part of our just-published interview with New World’s Creative Director David Verfaillie, we asked a bonus question: “Just why can’t you name your character Jeff Bezos in New World?” This is what he said:
“Placing guidelines around player naming and limiting things like bad language and recognizable proper names is a pretty standard practice in gaming. I know the community is having fun with it and has come up with some creative ways to get around our policies. We’re always happy to see the community engaged, even if it’s sometimes at our expense, but don’t really have anything else to say on the matter.”
So that may not be the satisfying answer we’ve been looking for. Considering you're allowed to name your character Elon Musk and Mark Zuckerberg, things just don't add up. We suspect the true answer might be closer to Kotaku’s original theory, that the naming rule changes were a result of a player sharing facts about Amazon’s labour conditions while named AmazonOfficial.
What do you think? Anyone out there feel like infiltrating a gigantic multinational to solve a petty mystery?
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