'We Moved Too Quickly': Blizzard President Apologizes For Hong Kong Incident

Image via Blizzard Entertainment

Image via Blizzard Entertainment

"Blizzard had the opportunity to bring the world together in a tough Hearthstone esports moment a month ago, and we did not", he said. Introducing that the business "failed to stay up to the higher expectations we established for ourselves" and "unsuccessful in our goal", Brack reported, "I am sorry and I take accountability".

The second of these is the fact that, according to Brack, Blizzard has "failed" in its goal as a company. "For that, I am sorry, and accept accountability".

He went on to say, "So what is our objective?"

According to Brack, Blizzard's objective is to "aspire to bring the world together in epic entertainment".

And that is the positive power of video games, to transcend divisions that surround us in so many places today.

Lastly, Brack made a promise: "We will do better going forward".

An apology is a start, but action matters far more.

The exec also said, "As you walk around this weekend, I hope it's clear how committed we are to people expressing themselves".

A brief pause, and then cheering, as well as a shout or two referencing Hong Kong and Hearthstone Pro Blitzchung within the audience as well.

These incidents sparked strong protests about restrictions on freedom of expression and expression, and sparked debate about whether politics should be excluded from games, sports or anything else.

Brack's mentioned determination to allow these protesters "convey them selves" rings a minimal hollow, considering that they are demonstrating on a community sidewalk exterior of Blizzard's handle. One issue many critics acknowledge is the fact that Brack never directly describes the incident or condemns the nations involved. "I didn't know initially, and even holding up the sign, I was like, 'How can I create some pressure, and how can I make my voice heard enough where I'm not just sitting around sulking about Blizzard [not] giving [blitzchung] his money back?'" While fans filed in, ready for the announcements that Blizzard Entertainment had in store across its most popular franchises, like World of Warcraft and Diablo, they were not the only ones. surrounding the convention center, different locations handed out shirts in support of Hong Kong. That punishment was shortened to a six-month suspension and blitzchung's prize money was honored after online outrage, worldwide news coverage and mass cancellation of Blizzard's subscriptions and deletion of accounts on Battle.net, Blizzard's client for access to its games. Past year the Chinese government banned a Winnie the Pooh film after memes comparing the appearance of Xi to the beloved cartoon character spread online. The American University Hearthstone team faces the same penalty.

No wonder the slight sense of trepidation as the opening ceremony -in which Blizzard prepared to reveal its new games and updates for the coming year- as protestors formed outside and attendees strolled around the halls in Winnie the Pooh costumes - an act of defiance towards Chinese leader Xi Jinping.

What are your thoughts on Blizzard's response to the blitzchung backlash?

Nomura Instinet analyst Andrew Marok told CNN Business, "There are certainly a number of gamers who feel very strongly about this issue, but we think it's a relatively small part of Blizzard's total player base".

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