Blizzard thinks freedom is damaging to its company image

Ng Wai Chung is a professional gamer who has built a successful career playing Blizzard’s Hearthstone. He is also a resident of Hong Kong, where many people have been protesting against the Chinese government since June in an effort to maintain their legally-established freedom from the world’s largest dictatorship.

During a livestream of the Hearthstone Grandmasters tournament, Chung donned a gas mask and goggles before announcing, “Liberate Hong Kong. Revolution for our age!” Fearing for their careers, the hosts of the livestream hid their faces during Chung’s protest, then immediately cut to commercials.

Blizzard banned Chung from participating in Hearthstone tournaments for a year, confiscating prize money he’d already won as well. To be clear, this is an American company that is punishing a Hong Kong citizen for saying he wants to have the same political freedom enshrined in the US Constitution.

But the video game giant didn’t stop there; Blizzard also announced it would “immediately cease working with both casters” who happened to be on air during Chung’s protest.

A bad excuse for a bad decision

In what bizarre universe does advocating for your own basic freedoms — like the freedom to protest, or to elect your own leaders — bring you into public disrepute or damage Blizzard’s image? These statements only apply if Blizzard is more concerned with appeasing a brutal dictatorship than supporting the values shared by the people who make, purchase, and play their games worldwide.

Blizzard’s real motivation

The Chinese government won’t let 1.5 billion Chinese people watch this cartoon

Clearly, Blizzard took note; the multi-billion-dollar digital entertainment company doesn’t want to risk access to the lucrative Chinese marketplace. The personal liberty of its own customers and Esports participants, however, is expendable.

Tell Blizzard what you think

We’re asking you to show Blizzard that the real damage done to its corporate image was done by Blizzard itself. Here’s how to help:

  1. Tweet @Blizzard_Ent to respectfully voice your opinion.
  2. Join the Gamers Fight for Freedom Discord channel to learn about protests, boycotts, and other ways to exercise your rights.
  3. Delete your Battle.Net account; visit this link for instructions.

We believe there's hardly anything as important as ensuring that our shared future has freedom of expression and creativity at its core.

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