US politicians chastise Activision-Blizzard for its handling of the Hong Kong fiasco

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Hello, I am still the villain.

If Blizzard thought its Hong Kong liberation fiasco couldn’t possibly get worse than international headlines, a wide-ranging boycott, Riot Games’ public pity, and a pile of canceled events, it was sorely mistaken. A bipartisan list of US senators and congressional representatives, including Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez and Marco Rubio, have now signed their names to a letter to Activision-Blizzard CEO Bobby Kotick, criticizing the company for its handling of a Hong Kong Hearthstone pro esports player who spoke out about Hong Kong during a post-match interview on one of Blizzard’s streams.

The group argues that the incident is part of a surge in China pressuring US companies into suppressing speech and urges Kotick to reconsider Blizzard’s decision.

Source: Wyden via Rod Breslau. Thanks, Pepperzine.
Our complete coverage of the Blizzard mess is here:

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Adam Russell

If you boycott Blizzard then it would only make sense to boycott all Made in China merchandise.

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Arktouros

Not really sure why anyone thinks this is some sort of momentous occasion. It’s an extremely easy no brainer PR opportunity for the politicians. There’s no risk for any politician to chastise a video game company which is why they blame video games for anything they can get away with.

And yes, thank you Politicians, for being the shining beacon of morality and righteousness. Please regale us with tales about why our corporations are taking foreign money and then bending to their will is wrong while you take corporation’s lobbyists/money and do literally the exact same thing.

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rafael12104

Heh. No. You are missing a whole bunch with that brush. First, those two aren’t just towing the party line and getting their check, they are ideologues. They are, in short, the future of their respective parties. Under normal circumstances, they wouldn’t be caught dead on the same side of a PR opportunity because they understand how such things can be used against them later.

But not this time, buckoh. Heh.

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Arktouros

There’s basically zero political risk going after a video game company let alone going after a video game company over the perception they’re bowing to foreign power in their actions. Like how does that argument even go? “How dare you stand with the (Republicans/Democrats) for democracy and freedom!?!”

If anything the bi-partisan nature only helps their PR because it’s not over a topic that would really compromise Liberal or Conservative values yet still can be held up as an example of willingness to work with the other side. So your response don’t really make sense.

Also if you think Politicians aren’t about collecting that money then you should probably learn how the system works (NSFW)

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rafael12104

Err… never said politicians weren’t about taking money. It’s their life blood. Heh.

But, I have to reiterate, you are wrong. Perception is reality in politics and big business. And political opponents will not care about the details. All they have to show is that politician is in league with the extreme right or left to score points. So there is risk in something like this.

Zero risk, would be to do nothing or to speak about it without signing anything. That is not what happened here.

I leave it to you to work out how the arguments would manifest but it really isn’t that hard to understand.

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Arktouros

You can reiterate all you want, your argument lacks substance and there’s examples to the contrary. Most Politicians who are attacked for working with people across the isle it’s over contentious topics such as funding or not funding various programs or efforts. When it’s a topic everyone can agree on, no one is going to attack each other over that. For example look at the recent bi-partisan rebuke of the way we pulled out of Syria.

Attacking Blizzard is literally a group of Politicians saying “Go democracy and freedom!” and you’re sitting here pretending like they’re so brave that they took that controversial stance.

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rafael12104

Lol. That is rich. I’m pretending they are brave? I’m sorry, but you have misunderstood me and the situation.

So I will try and clear it up for you one last time.

It is rare that they agree on anything. The fact that they did is an important message Blizz/Acti should pick up on.

Like all politicians, their boldness is based on opportunism but these two particular politicians are big contributors to their parties planks. So they have to be more careful. Their goal is to control of their respective parties and anything that can be used to undermine that is a risk.

Can this letter be used against them later? Sure it can. It can be twisted and turned into something it is not. It happens all of the time. Take note, not everyone signed this letter. But this letter means a lot more because these two did sign it.

They aren’t being brave, but they are thinking about living at 1600 Pennsylvania Avenue someday.

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Utakata

However and regardless, I am not going withhold my praise when they are doing the right thing, even if it’s the right thing is done so in their own best interests. And for what’s that worth. /shrug

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rafael12104

Fair enough. :)

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rafael12104

Not for nothing, but I would like a handwriting expert to analyze Alexandria Ocasio Cortez signature. Not only does it look like some sort of balloon animal, but it isn’t even close to the signature line. Heh.

Hey, just kidding… don’t ban me please.

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Bryan Correll

Ha! Looking at all the sigs only Malinowki’s is semi-legible, and even his seems to be missing a number of letters.

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rafael12104

Hmm… It’s almost as if they are trying to hide something. Heh.

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Utakata

A balloon animal is not even the most offensive thing though. It only makes me wish she signs in differing color (or colour) markers. <3

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rafael12104

Lol! Quite right. She should go all out and only sign in pink?

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Bruno Brito

As long as she taxes the rich, she can draw Picasso for all i care.

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Ashfyn Ninegold

An interesting signature to be sure. All those nice round, closed circles suggesting bringing things full circle, fullness and completeness. Conflict at the end, however, finishing flourish is full, but the last stroke of the pen is downward, suggesting negative finality. Or deep thinker. I dunno, that’s as far as my Cracker Jack manual goes.

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Adam Russell

Your forum id looks like a forgery.

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Utakata

…well least it’s not a faceless stand in. Just saying. o.O

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Bruno Brito

Yeah dude, because “Adam Russell” doesn’t sound at all like a fake pornstar name.

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DargorV .

Us politicians criticizing X company for sucking up to China’s $

How ironic

Quick dirty lesson for anyone without a clue how economics work in 2019 (surprisingly many apparently), you can’t do business on chinese soil and stay politically correct. You don’t get to do business with or directed at china and retain any sort of morality. From the moment you invest anything on marketing directed at the chinese market you’re automatically the chinese government’s bitch.

The only way to “win” and retain some level of “balls” is to NOT get onto china’s market. Once you’re in you’re already screwed.

Yes that means any and every company you see selling anything on chienese soil is already compromised, including companies owned (partially or fully, directly/indirectly) by (guess who) a LOT of US politicians. Those same hypocrits sending that letter to Actiblizz

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Dobablo

And now any mention of China or Hong Kong in the Hearthstone Master Twitch chat gets deleted and a 24 hour chat ban.

Twitch viewers receive 24-hour chat ban for typing “Free Hong Kong” during Hearthstone Masters Tour

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Bruno Brito

Wait, i just noticed the link for this mop thread:

/tfw-aoc-and-rubio-agree/

Lol that’s hilarious

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Paragon Lost

You know you done screwed up when both sides come at you jointly.

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Anthony Clark

Blizzard has no good PR group.

First the whole “Don’t you guys have phones” and now this whole being bought out by Chinese money.

Boo Blizzard

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Jeremy Barnes

large corporations often have personnel that are very experienced at looking like they’re doing something, but often are not effective or efficient.

It’s like marketers for Coke. Here’s a billion dollars…make some ads. They’re not going to be efficient, but it’s Coke and even if you’re bad at advertising…being bad at a billion dollars of it still works.

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Phubarrh

How unfortunate for the Kurds that they had no Hearthstone champions.

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rafael12104

Heh. I see what you did there. Well done.

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Bryan Correll

I like the joke, but Ocasio-Cortez and Rubio have both denounced the Syrian withdrawal. In fact, the House of Representatives passed a resolution condemning the withdrawal with a vote of 354 – 60.

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Phubarrh

The condemnation is good, but apparently irrelevant when the president is literally calling the withdrawal an “ultimate solution”.

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Techno Wizard

“Liberate Hong Kong!” It’s not that difficult to say, Activision Blizzard. I Guess I will be sticking with a few non-China dependent indie titles as a passive protest and boycott for a while.

And good on congress for sticking up for the oppressed and having a conscience, unlike some, eh Blizz?