J. Allen Brack, Blizzard president, has offered a new statement about the Blitzchung controversy that has seen the company’s ‘protagonist’ over the last few weeks. You might recall that Blitzchung is the Hearthstone player who has been banned for supporting the Hong Kong fight for independency. It was so big that even US politicians addressed the case with an open letter to the developer and publisher.
Talking to IGN, Brack mentioned that he is a supporter of free expression and that protesters are a part of that culture. With that said, and with those values at heart, it was “a nightmare” to be involved in this case for everyone at Blizzard.
“We’re big believers in free expression. I’m personally a big believer in free expression. So, it’s a little interesting for me personally to be a person who’s involved in not being a supporter. The supporters there are welcome. Protest is part of what it is to be in our culture,” he said.
“I think this has been a humbling incident for Blizzard, really across the board, if you think about how this has really, kind of, taken over and kind of taken on a life of its own. I think there’s a lot of work that we want to kind of continue to do, to think about how to prevent something like this from ever happening again. It’s been a – I think – a nightmare for all involved.”
He also wanted to precise about what’s happening with Blizzard and China. Brack rightly mentioned that the company is not allowed to publish games over there, like any other western video games company, so it has to have a local partner, “in this case, Netease.” For example, Nintendo is working with Tencent, instead.
“I think there is a lot of confusion around how publishing games work in China. We are not legally allowed to publish our games in China. We must have a partner… in this case, Netease,” he added. “It is their quote. It is their employees that made that quote. It is not something that we approved. It is not something that we would have approved.”