Blizzard Postpones World of Warcraft Event in Taiwan Amid Continuing Fan Backlash and Protests Header Image

Blizzard Postpones World of Warcraft Event in Taiwan Amid Continuing Fan Backlash and Protests

Written by on | OpenCritic

Games discussed: , World of Warcraft Classic

A bad week for Blizzard is quickly becoming a worse month as they announced last week their upcoming World of Warcraft 15th anniversary event scheduled to be held in Taiwan is now postponed. They've not said why the event will be rescheduled and have not announced a new date for the event.

A post on Blizzard's Taiwanese Facebook page revealed the postponement on October 15th, and their Facebook page has promptly been overwhelmed with players and protesters alike leaving messages of support for the ongoing pro-democracy protests.

It's just the latest in a string of bad looks for the massive game publisher, which first put itself under the microscope when on October 8th it suspended and revoked the prize money of Hearthstone esports player Chung Ng Wai, better known by his handle blitzchung for his on-air political statements. During an interview at the Hearthstone Grandmasters Tournament, Chung donned a gasmask and spoke in support of the Hong Kong protests, saying "liberate Hong Kong, the revolution of our times."

The act of protest got him suspended for a year by Blizzard and got his interviewers fired, but after tremendous backlash, the publisher reduced all penalties to six-month suspensions and returned Chung's prize money. All of that was announced in a statement that did them few favors.

Another upcoming Blizzard event, the October 16 Overwatch launch party at the Nintendo store in New York City, was cancelled as well, and like the Taiwanese Warcraft event, has only stoked the flames of protests even more. It couldn't likely come at a worse time for the huge company, which is about to host its annual BlizzCon on the weekend of November 1. Players have begun a boycott of their products, and the convention, typically meant to celebrate Blizzard's many successful games, now looks like it will become a target for protests.

Blizzard tried to assure fans they haven't acted on the basis of their own Chinese financial interests, but few have given them the benefit of the doubt. Polygon reached out for comment on the Warcraft event postponement, but Blizzard declined to provide a statement.

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Mark Delaney Avatar Image
Mark is a Boston transplant now biking around in Portland, Oregon. He likes most game genres, binge-watching HBO, and fighting for animal justice. He can be read on OpenCritic, GamesRadar, and over a dozen other outlets to date. He especially enjoys covering battle royale, horror, and sports games.