Blizzard has revealed why it took so long to introduce ethically diverse player characters for 'World of Warcraft'.

World of Warcraft

World of Warcraft

After 15 years, the franchise's new expansion Shadowlands will finally let players choose alter egos with ethnic diversity and darer than tanned skin as par of a huge customisation overhaul.

Explaining the wait, senior producer Michael Bybee told Eurogamer: "One of the things that's just a reality of making video games is we have to figure out exactly where we spend our resources.

"We have time that we can spend on characters and art, and we have to make decisions about that.

"What's happened over the years is: we did HD resolution updates to all of the player models a few expansions ago, made them higher resolution, and that was a tremendous amount of resources, and we thought it made absolute sense."

Bybee added that the company wanted to "do it right" rather than rushing into any developments.

He said: "What we really didn't want to do is just slap a new skin colour on there and say: 'Yep, done, we've got diversity.'

"Instead what we're doing is we're actually remodelling the faces of these characters to match what might actually make sense for that particular ethnic background. Which takes time - but we wanted to do it right. The biggest piece there is we wanted to make sure this actually made sense in our game."