Blizzard Employees Staged a Walkout After the Company Banned a Gamer for Pro-Hong Kong Views
A small group of Activision Blizzard employees walked out of work Tuesday afternoon to protest the company’s actions against a gamer who expressed support for pro-democracy protesters in Hong Kong during an official livestream.
The game publisher behind online multiplayer hits like World of Warcraft and Overwatch banned Hong Kong-based professional Hearthstone player Chung Ng Wai from thegame’s lucrative pro league for a year on Tuesday. Chung, who uses the handle “Blitzchung,” prompted the ban after saying “Liberate Hong Kong, revolution of our times” during an interview about his tournament wins. Blizzard’s actions forced him to forfeit $10,000 in prize money he had already won.
“The action Blizzard took against the player was pretty appalling but not surprising,” a longtime Blizzard employee told The Daily Beast. “Blizzard makes a lot of money in China, but now the company is in this awkward position where we can’t abide by our values.”
“I’m disappointed,” another current Blizzard employee said. “We want people all over the world to play our games, but no action like this can be made with political neutrality.” The employees spoke on condition of anonymity for fear of professional consequences.
Protesting Blizzard employees from multiple departments gathered at an iconic statue of an Orc warrior charging into battle in the center of the company’s main campus in Irvine, California, starting around 10 a.m. Pacific Time. The demonstration’s numbers fluctuated throughout the day, the two employees said, ranging from a dozen to 30, and the protesters ...
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