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TopicHandful of Blizzard employees walked out in support of Hong Kong and Blitzchung
10/10/19 8:31:09 AM

Blizzard's harsh punishment of former Hearthstone Grandmaster Chung 'blitzchung' Ng Wai over his call for the liberation of Hong Kong caused a powerful backlash against the company. According to a Daily Beast report, some of that reaction has come from within the company itself, as a small number of employees walked out of work yesterday afternoon to protest its actions.

One employee who took part in the walkout said participation fluctuated between a dozen and 30 people over the course of the day, which represents a tiny fragment of the company's total workforce. But the employees gathered at Blizzard's famed Orc statue, a highly symbolic locationOverwatch director Jeff Kaplan said earlier this year that Blizzard personnel do a champagne toast in front of the statue whenever a game shipsthat's within view of the executive offices.

"The action Blizzard took against the player was pretty appalling but not surprising," an employee told the site. "Blizzard makes a lot of money in China, but now the company is in this awkward position where we cant abide by our values."

A purported photo of the walkout was posted to the Hearthstone subreddit yesterday by someone claiming to be a Blizzard employee. It's not confirmed that the image actually comes from the walkout, but it certainly looks the part: Roughly 20 people are visible around the statue, several of them holding umbrellas, a highly visible symbol of the Hong Kong protests.

The walkout isn't the only way that Blizzard employees have used the Orc statue to express their displeasure with the company's "appeasement," as Hearthstone personality Brian Kibler put it earlier today, of Chinese authorities. Yesterday, employees covered up inscriptions on the statue saying "Think Globally" and "Every Voice Matters."

I think that there are some very good people working at Blizzard, but their deal with Activision and Tencent has led to a point where they basically have to get fucked in the ass over shit like this. Activision Blizzard wants to keep making money in China, so they have to put their worst foot forward and suck China's cock during a period where their country is trying to exert control over a territory they had next to no authority in.

Blizzard has had its hiccups, but it has a strong history of being benevolent towards its fans, of being the player's choice for a good many people. This reputation has been damaged by titles like Diablo 3 in the past, but that doesn't change the fact that they were adored once upon a time.

But then again, look at Bethesda. Look at Valve. Hell, look at Epic Games. Expansion has only ever hurt this industry, to the point that it's a handful of mega-corporations running most of the gaming scene nowadays. Blizzard's merging with Activision in 2013 put them on this road, and I feel bad for the people who went to work there expecting it to be one of the great cornerstones of American game development. Despite their own values, and what they see as the values that Blizzard has championed in the past, they're all complicit in China's war against Hong Kong. And that really fucking sucks.
And I am done with my graceless heart, so tonight I'm gonna cut it out and then restart
Now Playing: Yakuza 5, Final Fantasy X-2, Minecraft
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