Last month Blizzard was heavily criticized for banning Hearthstone-pro Blitzchung after he announced his support for the independence of Hong Kong. The World of Warcraft-publisher apologized during BlizzCon 2019 and went into detail on why the ban happened. Sadly for Blitzchung and the two casters, the ban will not be lifted in any way.
Developer Blizzard apologized to it’s fans during BlizzCon 2019, last weekend. Blizzard CEO admitted that Blizzard did not react in the way it should have in an interview view with PC Gamer). “We moved too quickly in our decision making, and then, to make matters worse, we were too slow to talk with all of you.”
Pro-Hong Kong protesters lined up outside the Anaheim Convention Center to speak out on Blizzard’s apparent alliance to China. But the company went out of it’s way to highlighting that people are free to express any opinion they have, just not via Blizzard’s official channels.
Again, it’s not about the content of Blitzchung’s message. (…) [Interviews] would become times for people to make a statement about whatever they wanted to, on whatever issue. That’s just a path that we don’t want to go down. We really want the content of those official broadcasts to be focused on the games, and keep that focus.
The company still did not clarify why the two Esports casters were banned. The two men appear to know what’s coming prior to the political statement. They even duck out of sight when the actual statement by Blitzchung is made. After the initial backlash Blizzard ‘reverted’ the firing of the casters to banning them for six months.
[BREAKING] Hong Kong Hearthstone player @blitzchungHS calls for liberation of his country in post-game interview:https://t.co/3AgQAaPioj
@Matthieist #Hearthstone pic.twitter.com/DnaMSEaM4g
— Inven Global (@InvenGlobal) October 6, 2019
Like we talked about in this article, controversy can make or break a game and it’s developer. Even though the Esports player violated Blizzard’s terms during the tournament, public outrage has since targeted the American company. We will have to wait and see if their recently announced sequels (including Overwatch 2 and Diablo IV) will suffer from the public’s perception of the company.
And as always, when reports on that information drops, Game Enthusiast will be here to cover the news. If you’d like to offer an opinion or get into the conversation leave a comment below or visit us on Facebook and Twitter.