Though there are scores of free to play online games on the internet, there are reasons to believe that Hearthstone is one such game that has caught the attention of thousands of players across the world. It has won the admiration and acceptance of both young and old players and players across both male and female genders also have started to develop a liking towards it. Hence whenever there is something that happens with regard to Blizzard, it certainly catches the attention of one and all. The recent China-Hong-Kong-protests took a bad turn and it may start directly impacting Blizzard Entertainment.
Those who know Hearthstone would know that Blizzard Entertainment is the producer of this game and therefore the company has quite a bit to win and lose if there is anything positive or negative happening as far as this Hearthstone and other such games are concerned. It is indeed very shocking when we hear the new that Blizzard has taken the extreme step of suspending three young college Hearthstone players. The suspension is for a period of six months. This is perhaps because they had taken part in a pro-democracy protest in Hong-Kong. The protest became all the more direct with reference to Blizzard Entertainment because it talked about boycotting Blizz and freeing Hong Kong from the clutches of what they consider is dictatorship. This news was known while the players were participating in competition stream that was official in nature.
Vice Games Broke The News
The ban was first reported by VICE Games. It comes within just seven days after Blizzard had to take the extreme step of suspending an official and professional Hearthstone Player. The name of the players was Ng Wai Chung – Blitzchung. The ban was a period of six months. The reason for suspending Chung is not difficult to find out. He was suspended for showing support for the various Hong Kong protestors. This was done when he showed solidarity and support for the thousands of Hong Kong protestors. He expressed his support in an interview. This happened immediately after the Hearthstone Grandmaster Competition.
It Created Heartburns
The incident was not well received and there have been widespread reports of complaints pouring in. This is mainly from the gaming community and many within Blizzard also have expressed their support and solidarity for the freedom movement in Hong Kong. Three other players were also suspended and it was carried out the same way. These college players did not receive a single word about their ban. They came to know about it after their sign up was held up for a few days. The Verge has taken the trouble of reaching out to Blizzard for some additional comment on the developments.
Casey Chamber’s Tweet
It would also be pertinent to mention here that Casey Chambers an important team player sent out a tweet through an email. This tweet was a reproduction from a member belonging to the Hearthstone Team located at some office of Blizzard. The tweet shared information that the ban extended to the entire team. The action was taken because the team has a whole had violated the official rules of the company. Casey Chambers and other members of his teammates had specifically done the mistake of violating important sections of the rules. These rules related to sportsmanship. The rule, seemingly states that the players are supposed to stay away from gesture or action that could be equivalent to insulting a group of people. The rules also state that such actions could incite many others to act in such a way that could be called as mocking, insulting, abusive or even disruptive.
Part of Global Protest
It would be pertinent to mention here that this ban from an entire team is just a part of the overall global protest against the various actions of Blizzard. The incident and the discourse that surrounded it are quite significant and important. This led the President of Blizzard Entertainment to issue an official statement. The President, J. Allen Brack, had to come out with a lengthy response. The statement talked about the ban on Chung was not one of the factors based on which the decision to ban him was taken. He also told that the company’s relationship with China did not influence the decision that they had to take as far as this ban was concerned.
It would be pertinent to mention here that Blizzard is just one of the many organizations that are coming under close scrutiny. The scrutiny is for the relationships that they have with China when the protests in Hong Kong are gathering steam. The protests have been building up since February and the protestors are unhappy about a proposed bill that is being planned to be implemented. If it is implemented, it could mean that residents of Hong Kong could be extradited to China and face trial for organizing and taking part in such protests.