Blizzard’s Overwatch is launching this week for the Nintendo Switch. As such, the developer and Nintendo had an event planned at Nintendo’s flagship store in New York City.
Usually, these events are thrown to celebrate a game’s release, get some autographs, and share the energy of something you love with others in attendance. In this case, the first 150 people in line would meet the voice actors behind their favourite characters.
Please be aware that the previously announced Overwatch launch event scheduled for Wednesday, 10/16 at NintendoNYC has been cancelled by Blizzard. We apologize for any inconvenience this may cause.
— Nintendo NY (@NintendoNYC) October 15, 2019
In this case, after the turbulent week of widespread backlash; which began after Blizzard banned a professional Hearthstone player after making pro-Hong Kong sentiments in his post-win interview. Since then, the gaming industry has been reeling at the aftermath of the event which also banned two casters for simply being there.
Late last week, J. Allen Brack, President of Blizzard, took to the company’s official blog to set the record straight. As you may have expected, it did not go over well, with Blizzard doubling down on their actions. The company halved the ban durations for both casters, as well as Blitzchung, restoring his winnings.
I don’t blame Blizzard for cancelling the event this week. It is unlikely the launch event would have gone as planned, instead of acting as a protest for the events occurring in Hong Kong, as well as to support Blitzchung. It wouldn’t be fair fo those working the event having to answer for the decisions of a company they have no part of, nor the voice actors who simply want to make an appearance.
In a few weeks, the annual BlizzCon event is set to take place in Anaheim, and as of this post, it is still on track to happen.