Blizzard has yet to publicly respond to the widespread outrage over its decision to ban professional Hearthstone player Blitzchung following his statement of support for protests occurring in Hong Kong. This is already well-known (and let’s face it, if a public statement had been made, you’d have seen it here immediately). But there’s good news: According to an anonymous employee speaking with Vice, the company has also failed to respond to the outrage internally!
Looking back, I started that sentence with “but there’s good news” when the news was anything but good. My bad.
The anonymous employee states that not only have employees been regularly gathering at the wolf statue (which also hosts the covered-up signs claiming “Every Voice Matters”) but that no leadership has given any direction about how to respond, and in fact there has no communication from the top at all:
The internal silence is deafening. Besides two brief “I’m listening” emails from our president, we’ve heard nothing of substance. No one is helping us process what this means for us as a company, as individuals, or is identifying a path forward. No one has been told what to say or do in the aftermath of a legal yet insupportable decision.
At the time of this writing, a video is supposed to be released today addressing the issue, but has not yet been made available internally or elsewhere. It remains a matter of speculation whether this is due to legal teams examining their options or simply a confused mess even at the upper levels of management, but the lack of communication makes it impossible to be sure regardless.
If you’re still catching up on the developments on this self-inflicted terrible, horrible, no good, very bad week for Blizzard, our roundup is just below.
• Not So Massively: Reflections on Blizzard, one year after the Hong Kong fiasco
• Leaderboard: Four months after the Blitzchung Hong Kong mess, are you still boycotting Blizzard?
• Blitzchung: No regrets for speaking up for Hong Kong despite Hearthstone suspension
• Activision-Blizzard’s Bobby Kotick downplays the role of politics in games
• J. Allen Brack says the Blitzchung incident ‘exposed some immaturity’ in Blizzard
• Overwatch’s Jeff Kaplan thinks Blizzard’s Blitzchung punishment was too harsh
• Vague Patch Notes: Ethics, PR stunts, and the BlizzCon apology
• BlizzCon protesters remain unmoved by Blizzard apology as industry groups propose unified esports principles
• Even some Hearthstone devs thought Blizzard overreacted in the Hearthstone fiasco
• Despite BlizzCon apology, Blizzard stands behind ‘Hong Kong liberation’ suspensions
• BlizzCon 2019: Here’s Blizzard’s apology for its Hearthstone esports disaster
• Mitsubishi dropped its Blizzard esports sponsorship following the Hong Kong fiasco
• Lawful Neutral: What’s China really worth to the Western gaming industry?
• US politicians chastise Activision-Blizzard for its handling of the Hong Kong fiasco
• Riot Games expresses ’empathy’ for Blizzard after its Hong Kong fiasco
• Massively Overthinking: Are you boycotting Blizzard?
• Blizzard finally decides to ban the college Hearthstone team that called for a Blizzard boycott too
• WoW Factor: Blizzard’s nonpology and the ethics of boycotting
• Massively OP Podcast Episode 242: And then Blizzard said, ‘Hold my beer’
• Overwatch brings back Halloween today but cancels the Nintendo Switch launch event
• Blizzard solves its ‘one company, two policies’ problem by hiding pro players and canceling an event
• Not So Massively: The Blizzard I loved is dead
• BlizzCon protests begin to officially organize in response to the Hong Kong controversy
• Blizzard finally addresses Hong Kong esports fiasco, reducing bans and reinstating prize money
• League of Legends tells casters and pro players to avoid ‘sensitive issues’ at the World Champs
• Blizzard dev says there’s no internal comms over Hong Kong fiasco: ‘It’s pulling our teams apart at the seams’
• Mark Kern didn’t just quit WoW Classic: He accused his old Firefall studio of Chinese corruption
• Blizzard won’t punish the US college Hearthstone players who protested in support of Blitzchung – so they quit
• Analysts fret over Blizzard’s prospects following wildly unpopular ban of Hong Kong Hearthstone esports star
• Global Chat: The Hearthstone Hong Kongstraversy
• WoW Factor: The shabby ethics of Blizzard’s ‘Hong Kong liberation’ ban
• Players, pros, and politicians join in protest over Blizzard’s censorship of Hong Kong Hearthstone pro
• Blizzard bans Hearthstone esports player and fires casters over pro-Hong Kong protest
Update 15:55 PM EDT
reports that the use of Mei as a symbol of resistance to Blizzard has now been elevated, as protesters in Hong Kong themselves are now using Mei printouts on the streets. Mei is a popular Overwatch character depicted as being from Xi’an in mainland China; her slogan, “Our world is worth fighting for,” just couldn’t be more appropriate.
Lady’s And Gentlemen, Mei Is Now A Physical Icon from HongKong
Update 7:50 PM EDT