Blizzard is currently weighing its options on how to deal with the worldwide negative response to the ban of a Hearthstone player.
As we reported earlier, Blizzard has come under intense heat from everyone everywhere due to their decision to ban Ng Wai “Blitzchung” Chung after he declared his support for Hong Kong’s protests and right to political freedom from China live on a stream. The one-year ban came alongside the rescinding of his winnings from the tournament he was participating in. The two casters incidentally present have also lost their positions. As mentioned, nobody was happy about this, with responses ranging from boycotts, to criticism (from politicians and the mostly-Tencent-owned Epic Games, even!), to further public protests.
This has been going on for a few days now. Corporate Blizzard has finally broken their silence on the issue (some anonymous Blizzard devs seem to have joined in on the protest displays) via a spokesperson talking to Engadget. Apparently, they are “assessing the situation for now”. It makes sense not to be too hasty about something so volatile, but it is that way because the fires have already lit. Blizzard needs to come up with a response, and quick.
Several decades of abuse and thick tension have resulted in Overwatch’s Mei becoming the new face of the Hong Kong protests. This choice, facilitated by lots of fanart and an edit of her character trailer, is intended to provoke China into banning the game and delivering a huge blow to Blizzard in the process. China’s censored things for less, so Blizzard better act fast, or they might lose a foothold in one of their most profitable regions.
This is the latest in CGMagazine’s coverage of the Hong Kong protests and stories related to them, and we’re doubtful that it’ll be the last. When this story has developed further, we’ll be sure to let you know.