US Congress sends Blizzard a letter regarding Blitzchung Incident
The United States Congress recently stepped into the controversy surrounding Blizzard Entertainment and Activision Blizzard. The letter was sent directly to Bobby Kotick and was signed by various senators Ron Wyden and Marco Rubio as well as congresswoman Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez, congressman Tom Malinowski and Mike Gallagher.
The source of the mail was due to the controversy surrounding Blizzard’s reaction over the actions of pro-gamer Ng “Blitzchung” Wai Chung.
So here’s the story so far:
- Chung showed his support for the Hong Kong protesters during a post-match livestream for Hearthstone.
- Blizzard stripped the pro-gamer of his prize money and also gave him a one-year ban.
- The two hosts were also fired, despite their claims that they did not support the comment.
- Later, amidst the anti-Activision Blizzard protests, Chung’s prize money was returned and his ban was lessened from 12 months to 6 months.
The letter that US Congress sent to Activision/Blizzard however focuses more on the first sentence that was given to the hosts as well as on Blitzchung.
The message is clear. Blizzard must choose between either “the bottom line” or their desire to “promote American values”. The representatives state concern over China’s ability to force US-based companies to suppress dissenting opinions, and they call Blizzard’s decision “disappointing”. While they don’t offer any consequences for Blizzard, the final words do carry weight.