Said actions come days after the National Basketball Association entered its own controversy after Daryl Morey, General Manager of the Houston Rockets, tweeted his own solidarity for the ongoing efforts in Hong Kong. Said tweet eventually lead to several Chinese companies cutting ties with his team. Chinese media company Tencent owns a five per cent stake in Activision Blizzard, and Hong Konger's pro-democracy protests are reacting to the extradition bill that would give China the power to bring criminal suspects in from the administrative region.
There has been further fallout and growing anger over the past 24-hours over Blizzard's decision to ban Hearthstone Grandmasters Tournament player Chung "Blitzchung" Ng Wai over comments he made regarding the demonstrations in Hong Kong following a Hearthstone match at the tournament.
Blizzard has taken another hit on the Hearthstone esports front as Nathan "ThatsAdmirable" Zamora, one of the main casters of the Grandmasters league, has announced that he is withdrawing from the casting team for the remainder of the Grandmasters season, and will not take part in the Masters Tour in Bucharest, or cast at BlizzCon. The orc sculpture is encircled by a compass featuring Blizzard's "eight core values".More news: US House Republicans to Seek Sanctions on Turkey Over Kurd Offensive
Since this happened a few days ago, there has been a vocal and global backlash against Blizzard - with many people voicing concern or withdrawing support for Blizzard games as consumers.
One Blizzard employee told Daily Beast: "The action Blizzard took against the player was pretty appalling but not surprising". If Overwatch were to be banned in China, Blizzard would lose a lot of money, which is exactly what internet trolls are hoping for.
Another said: "I'm disappointed". Another employee echoed those sentiments, stating, "We want people all over the world to play our games, but no action like this can be made with political neutrality".More news: Jamie Vardy’s wife gets death threats after allegations by Wayne Rooney’s wife
In the wake of Blitzchung's ban, social media sites dedicated to Blizzard's games have exploded with outrage over the perception that, due to the publisher's stake in the Chinese video games market, it has chose to prioritize profits over free speech. Marco Rubio, R-Fla., wrote on Twitter.
"Recognize what's happening here". Both men touched on China using its economic power to impose blocks on free speech. "Implications of this will be felt long after everyone in US politics today is gone". "No American company should censor calls for freedom to make a quick buck", stated Senator Roth Wyden, a Democrat representing Oregon. A spokesman told Engadget that they are considering their options about how to handle the matter, but has said nothing since.More news: Pentagon says United States not abandoning Kurds