It appears that last weeks’ Hearthstone controversy has spilled over into this week. You may remember that Blitzchung, a professional Hearthstone player, was censured by Blizzard for voicing his support for the Hong Kong protests while on an official live stream after winning the Grandmasters Tournament. Players immediately took to the airwaves condemning Blizzard for stripping Blitzchung of his winnings and banning him from competitive play for the next year. The storm of angry fans even caught the attention of the mainstream media around the world. It took Blizzard until Friday to issue an official statement about the events. You can read more about the timeline of the controversy here.
It’s likely that Blizzard hoped the issue would die down after addressing the problem it had created. However, it seems that players and fans aren’t as willing to quiet down. As a result, a celebratory party in New York City for the Switch launch of Overwatch has been canceled.
Nintendo NYC was to have taken place today for a chance to meet and greet some of the voice actors from the popular team-based shooter. However, late last night, Nintendo NYC issued a terse statement:
Please be aware that the previously announced Overwatch launch event scheduled for Wednesday, 10/16 at NintendoNYC has been cancelled by Blizzard. We apologize for any inconvenience this may cause.
— Nintendo NY (@NintendoNYC) October 15, 2019
While not explicitly stating that the event has been canceled due to possible protests, it’s likely the cause. In many ways, it appears to be a good move so as not to place the voice actors and other store personnel in the midst of a situation to which they have no connection.
Blizzard’s next showcase event is BlizzCon, its annual fan celebration of all of the company’s games. There are currently plans in motion to conduct protests, though how large they’re likely to be is unknown. We’ll be covering BlizzCon, so keep your eyes here for all the latest.