Epic Games CEO supports freedom of speech despite Tencent's stake in company

Joanna Estrada
October 10, 2019

As previously mentioned, this statement was in response to Ng Wai "blitzchung" Chung being banned from professional Hearthstone for a year after he "expressed his support of the protests while being interviewed by the official Taiwanese Hearthstone organization following his win against South Korean player Jang "DawN" Hyun Jae on October 6".

In the since-deleted tweet, Jayne said while he recognized Blizzard's right to enforce its rules, he condemns "the censorship and severity of consequences brought against an individual who was campaigning for a human right social movement".

An image posted to Reddit purportedly shows several protesters holding umbrellas, a symbol of Hong Kong pro-democracy protests.

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In the wake of Blitzchung's ban, social media sites dedicated to Blizzard's games have exploded with outrage over the perception that, due to the publisher's stake in the Chinese video games market, it has made a decision to prioritize profits over free speech. Protesters held up umbrellas, which have been adopted as a symbol for "Free Hong Kong" protests that are now ongoing.

We reported yesterday that Blizzard employees were beginning to implement silent forms of protest across Blizzard's Irvine, California campus with works covering up plaques that represented Blizzard's values as a company; the plaques in question read "Every Voice Matters" and "Think Globally".

"The action Blizzard took against the player was pretty appalling but not surprising", an employee told the site. The ongoing protests have already garnered global attention, with the territory's increasingly complex relationship with China's communist government as a core issue. Though Kibler agreed that Blitzchung had violated the company's policies, he said the punishment seemed too harsh for the situation. The heavy-handedness of it feels like someone insisted that Blizzard make an example of Blitzchung, not only to discourage others from similar acts in the future but also to appease those upset by the outburst itself.

Blizzard's response has also garnered attention from USA. lawmakers, including Republican Sen. Both of them lost their jobs, pertaining not only to Hearthstone but also the casting of additional Blizzard titles like Overwatch and World of Warcraft.

Other reports by Click Lancashire

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