A new report claims that a small group of Blizzard employees walked out of work on Tuesday afternoon following major controversy around the company's stance on political speech. The PR disaster for Blizzard began when the company rolled out disciplinary action towards the Asia-Pacific Grandmasters Hearthstone tournament winner, Chung Ng Wai. The statement he made during a live broadcast involved the ongoing protests in Hong Kong, which he endorsed the liberation of the area from China's government.
Consumers have since vocalized their displeasure for the decision online, with the intensity of the controversy only building in the days since this action occurred. It's clear that fans are upset with the stance being made by Blizzard, but apparently, not all of the employees are aligned with the moves made by higherups. Which is why a small group of Blizzard staff have allegedly staged a walkout.
According to The Daily Beast, a petite group of Blizzard staffers walkedout on Tuesday afternoon to show their displeasure with their company's controversial decision. Reports state that employees from a number of different departments of Blizzard met at the Orc warrior statue at the centre of the company's main campus in Irvine, California. The attendance fluctuated throughout the latter half of the day, ranging from 30 to a dozen or so employees at different times.
The protestors were also gathering singatures from other employees with the intent to deliver them to higherups at Blizzard. As of Wednesday, there were still people said to be particpating in the walkout. Whether or not the plan is to continue doing it longterm is unknown, but it's not a particularly good look for Blizzard when employee morale is notably low.
According to one unnamed Blizzard employee that spoke to The Daily Beast, “the action Blizzard took against the player was pretty appalling but not surprising. Blizzard makes a lot of money in China, but now the company is in this awkward position where we can’t abide by our values.” Blizzard has yet to issue any statement about the backlash it has recieved so far, but the general belief amongst the community is that the decision should be reversed.
Meanwhile, gamers have begun trying to cancel their Blizzard accounts in protest, only to be met with errors making it impossible for them to do so. Competitors like Epic Games haven't made things easier for Blizzard either, after commenting that Epic Games would never punish players for voicing a political opinion. With BlizzCon 2019 quickly approaching, one would think that fans should expect some sort of response sooner rather than later.
Source: The Daily Beast