Blizzard's cowardly decision to appease Chinese authoritarians by ejecting a champion player who expressed support for the pro-democracy struggle in Hong Kong has kicked off a global rebellion by the company's customers, who are furious that the firm has put its profits over an entire nation's right to self-determination and basic democratic freedoms.
The decision to capitulate to China continues to exact a price from Blizzard: now, the company has canceled a much-ballyhooed Overwatch event scheduled for NYC today, and while the company hasn't explained the last-minute cancellation, it's obvious that they fear more bad publicity from players, press and attendees.
Blizzard, which didn't immediately respond to a request for comment, has been struggling to contain a backlash after it punished the gamer Chung Ng Wai, known as Blitzchung. The player wore a gas mask and chanted a pro-Hong Kong slogan in a post-tournament interview, leading Blizzard to ban him from events for a year and strip him of $10,000 in prize money.
Blizzard Cancels Overwatch Event as It Tries to Contain Backlash [John J Edwards III/Bloomberg]