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News Blizzard in hot water for pro-Chinese censorship in Hearthstone tournament

Discussion in 'Article Discussion' started by bit-tech, 10 Oct 2019.

  1. bit-tech

    bit-tech Supreme Overlord Staff Administrator

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  2. Jeff Hine

    Jeff Hine Nothing special

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    Wonder how much of this has Activision behind it? I get that they're both is partnership, but I dunno Blizzard on their own would been that harsh.
     
  3. RedFlames

    RedFlames ...is not a Belgian football team

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    The 5% stake held by China's Tencent might've had something to do with it...

    ...that said Epic [~40% owned by Tencent], sided with those railing against ActiBlizzard.

    There are also those using Blizzard characters [specifically Overwatch's Mei] as poster-children for the protest in an attempt to get the games banned in China. Similar to how Winnie the Pooh was banned when people started saying Xi Jinping looked like the character.
     
  4. fix-the-spade

    fix-the-spade Well-Known Member

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    I think fear of Hearthstone/Overwatch being banned in China for failing to respond was behind it, Tencent might have sped things up but they would have gotten there on their own. Also COD Mobile is awaiting approval for sale in China. With the account deletion process currently suspended the reaction seems to have been bigger than Blizzard expected.

    Now the whole Mei Meme thing is kicking off it would be delightful if they end up getting banned anyway. On a related note I'm hoping this ends up on Trump's desk and he throws one of his famous shitfits over a US company so brazenly bowing to China.
     
  5. RedFlames

    RedFlames ...is not a Belgian football team

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    Quite possibly, but Tencent's stake in Actiblizzard is what everyone immediately singled out.

    Like hollywood and SV, the chinese market for gaming is so potentially large, and the barriers to entry so high, once they are in they're **** scared of being locked out again as for most of them that's where they're increasingly reliant on for growth.
     
  6. Anfield

    Anfield Well-Known Member

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    Just one of the many consequences of anonymity having been lost on the internet, preemptive censorship to appease government feelings.
     
  7. edzieba

    edzieba Virtual Realist

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    Because people have no idea what Tencent is, other than CHINA BAD.
    Tencent is the investment vehicle (one of many) China's oligarchs use to get their money out of China and out of potential Party control, because China operates tight restrictions on currency and asset exportation, but much lighter controls on investment. The entire point is to put that money into companies over which the Chinese government has as little sway as possible. Hence why investment by Tencent has no correlation with kowtowing to Party whims (e.g. 5% stake in Activision = block and ban mentions of HK, 40% stake in Epic = straight up https://twitter.com/TimSweeneyEpic/status/1181933071760789504]we're not doing that). [/URL]
     
  8. VipersGratitude

    VipersGratitude Well-Known Member

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  9. perplekks45

    perplekks45 LIKE AN ANIMAL!

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    I wonder why hardly anybody mentions the fact he had a clause in his contract that political activities while doing his job are strictly forbidden? Oh, it doesn't fit the agenda of those raging and walking out.
     
  10. Gareth Halfacree

    Gareth Halfacree WIIGII! Staff Administrator Super Moderator Moderator

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    Source? My article quotes the rules of the competition, which I guess technically serves as a contract - but not a contract of employment, which appears to be what you're suggesting with the above - as stating only that:
    Nothing about political activities there, but of course it's written so broadly that Blizzard could kick anyone out for any reason at all. Playing a computer game? That's offensive to Jack Thompson and his supporters (remember him?): you're out! Doesn't matter that it's a computer game tournament, you offended 'a portion or group of the public.'

    In the actual rules (PDF warning), the word "politic" (and thus "politics" and "political") does not appear once in the entire 18 pages.
     
  11. perplekks45

    perplekks45 LIKE AN ANIMAL!

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    He's a professional player who I'm sure had to sign a contract with the league he's competing in. I can't provide proof as nobody has seen the contract but it's been discussed pretty widely and on Blizzard's own forum that Blizzard does not accept any political activities. He would've gotten banned for campaigning against the Chinese Government or Trump or Guantanamo or the AFD in Germany as well seems to be the most common view.
     
  12. Gareth Halfacree

    Gareth Halfacree WIIGII! Staff Administrator Super Moderator Moderator

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    The only document anyone has provided, and the only document Blizzard has used to justify his ouster, is the Hearthstone Grandmasters rulebook. Which, as I say, doesn't mention politics at all, so to say "he has a clause in his contract that political activities during his job are strictly forbidden" is either based on knowledge you have which is not public or, I suggest, an assumption you have made. To accuse others of having an agenda for not making the same assumption is a stretch, I'd argue.

    Blizzard hasn't said "he breached the terms of his contract." Blizzard hasn't said "we don't allow any political speech." Blizzard has said Chung broke the rule mentioned in the article, and that's the reason for his ouster.

    Now, it's entirely possible that Blizzard does indeed view any political speech of any type whatsoever as being in breach of that rule, but that's not what the company has stated publicly. And, again, it hasn't said anything about breach of contract. Seems to me if they had his signature on a contract which clearly says "don't get political or we'll can your ass" they'd have mentioned it at some point...
     
  13. Anfield

    Anfield Well-Known Member

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    Translates pretty much straight into "mention politics or religion at your own peril".
     
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