This week, Blizzard banned Hearthstone pro Blitzchung and revoked his prize winnings for expressing support for ongoing protests in Hong Kong. The action has resulted in worldwide backlash against the publisher, as fans threaten to boycott Blizzard. It seems many of Blizzard’s own employees are unhappy with the decision too, and have staged a walkout at the company’s Irvine, California office.
The protest took place on Tuesday afternoon, as a number of anonymous employees tell the Daily Beast. “The action Blizzard took against the player was pretty appalling but not surprising,” one employee says. “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.”
One employee suggests this is the start of a new era at Blizzard. “Doing business in China, it’s been easier to ignore the authoritarianism of the government because they were asking us to do things like remove a skeleton. The stakes are so much higher now. What was previously an obvious decision is much less obvious now.”