Yesterday, Blizzard Entertainment announced that they had suspended professional Hearthstone gamer Chung “Blitzchung” Ng Wai from competition for one year. The gaming giant also stripped Blitzchung of all of his winnings from the previous season.
Blitzchung’s crime was expressing support for pro-democracy protesters in Hong Kong during a live stream interview this past weekend.
— 🎃 Inven Global 🎃 (@InvenGlobal) October 6, 2019
Blizzard Entertainment is, of course, the publisher of the extremely popular Warcraft and Starcraft strategy games. World of Warcraft, the MMORPG that Hearthstone is based on, has remained one of the most popular online games for over a decade. Blizzard’s properties make obscene gobs of money throughout Asia.
Blizzard censored Blitzchung in order to protect their extremely lucrative Asian markets.
During the latest episode of Trigger Warning Radio I had mentioned that backlash against Blizzard’s censorship had already begun. Gamers, as a rule, value their independence and freedom above all else. The gaming community was, quite frankly, outraged that Blizzard would side with a totalitarian regime over their customers.
#Blizzardboycott was trending on Twitter soon after Blizzard announced Blitzchung’s suspension.
— Ereshukigaru (@Ereshukigaru) October 9, 2019
Standing outside Blizzard’s headquarters in Irvine, California is a massive, 12-foot tall bronze statue of an orc warrior mounted on a wolf.
The statue, erected in 2007, is truly impressive, and was created in collaboration with New Zealand’s Weta Workshop. You might remember Weta Workshop as the company that created many of the props for the Lord of the Rings trilogies.
This plaque rests in front of Blizzard’s famed orc statue:
Empty words…especially when one considers that the statue itself was manufactured in China.
Full disclosure: I used to play World of Warcraft regularly years ago. Ended up joining a fairly high end raiding guild as well. I haven’t touched the game in years, however. I lost interest after Blizzard came out with Kung Fu Pandas. It would seem I’m not missing a whole lot.
Besides, Final Fantasy 14 is better anyway.