Things are already bad enough for the video game company, Blizzard. After banning an e-sports championship player for making a pro-Hong Kong statement, and even firing the two commentators who conducted the interview with him, many have been turning on the developer.
Now, news has surfaced that may just make the problem even worse.
According to IGN, once the player, Ng Wai “Blitzchung” Chung, was suspended from the championship, an official Blizzard account on the Chinese social media platform Weibo issued a statement. IGN translated the statement to English:
“We express our strong indignation [or resentment] and condemnation of the events that occurred in the Hearthstone Asia Pacific competition last weekend and absolutely oppose the dissemination of personal political ideas during any events [or games]. The players involved will be banned, and the commentators involved will be immediately terminated from any official business. Also, we will protect [or safeguard] our national dignity [or honor].”
It should be known that this account is run in conjunction with Blizzard’s Chinese publishing partner “Netease.” At this time, it’s unclear if this is an official statement from Blizzard, or if Netease issued this statement on its own, without the consent of the parent company.
IGN has reached out to Blizzard for clarification, but Blizzard has yet to respond.
In fact, Blizzard has yet to make any response to any of the controversies it’s currently embroiled in.
While it could be said that Netease is only a publishing partner, and the statement was made strictly from their end on a Chinese government-run social media network, and acted without the go-ahead of Blizzard, it’s still an official Blizzard account and no action has been taken against the statement from the parent company.
It’s unlikely any action will be taken at this point. It’s clear that Blizzard is concerned with its reputation within the Chinese market, and deleting this statement would look very bad for them to Chinese officials.
No matter how you slice it, Blizzard is bowing to China’s “national dignity.”
RedState will keep you updated in the event Blizzard releases a statement or takes any action.