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.
Our complete coverage of the Blizzard mess is here:
• 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