The Blizzard China Controversy

The moment itself

I knew it. Of course when I take some time away from the site to deal with family matters something big in the gaming industry happens, just my luck.

Activision/Blizzard have not been having a good time as of late and with Blizzcon swiftly approaching it can only really get worse from here. In case you are not aware Blizzard has been involved in a massive controversy that has not only obtained the disgust of the gaming community but even American politicians have started throwing their hats into the ring to slam the company.

On October 6th a famous Hearthstone player from China known as “Blitzchung” was taking part in a professional Hearthstone tournament that was being streamed live. There was a small segment near the end of his appearance on stream in which he was allowed to say a small speech or phrase for the people watching the stream itself. He took this opportunity to don a mask that is associated with the recent Hong Kong protests taking place right now and stated his support for the protesters. After this happened he was placed on a 12 month ban from competing and had his earnings taken away from him, the casters for the event were also told they would not be working with Blizzard again.

Since this incident Blizzard have released a statement claiming that their investments in the Chinese financial market and their partial ownership by Tencent had absolutely nothing to do with the ban (yeah, right) and that they would be lowering the suspension of the player and giving his earnings back. As you can expect this has not quelled the outrage that people have felt online and many people are simply boycotting Blizzard for seemingly bending their knee to the corrupt Chinese oppressive government. There are loads of details and small things about this whole mess so I highly encourage you to take a deep dive into research if you are at all interested in the gaming industry or the current problems in Hong Kong. All I will say in the matter is that I stand for people’s freedom of speech and the rampant censorship and brutal regime of the Chinese government is not ok in my books.

That’s all for now, and as always. It’s not just a game, It’s a Life.

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