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BlizzCon 2019: After Blizzard apologizes, gamers are still not sure if they will buy Blizzard games



Although the company has just announced a new shooter game and more extensions to its nostalgic franchises, including World of Warcraft and Hearthstone, some gamers say they are hesitant about giving their company time and money.

The US-based company came under fire after banning Hong Kong player Ng "Blitzchung" Wai Chung in October for calling out the popular protest slogan "Free Hong Kong, a revolution of our time" during a live interview after the match. Blizzard ( ATVI ) stated that the act violated its competition rules because instigated the player in "public disrespect", offended the public and damaged Blizzard's image. Initially, Ng was deprived of his potential profits and was barred from racing next year.
The president of the company apologized on Friday. "We moved too fast in our decision and then, to make matters worse, we were too slow to talk to all of you," said President J. Allen Brack during Friday's commencement event. " But many of those who attend the annual BlizzCon gaming convention in Anaheim, California, or tune in online, said it wasn't enough.

  Protesters are showing up outside the event on Saturday. </p>
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  BlizzCon in Anaheim, California.

"The apology Blizzard made was absolutely controlling the damage to PR," said 23-year-old Fadel Ragheb, a Montreal gamer, streamer and podcast who joined the event online. as the CEO takes the stage and expects everyone to overcome it, saying basically "I'm sorry" and then showing a game trailer for "Diablo IV" shows how much they want to bury the story instead of coping with it and trying to fix it their image. "

The mass protests in Hong Kong, which began five months ago over a controversial extradition law in China, have grown into more violent demonstrations over fears of Beijing's tightening grip on an important financial center. China denies the accusation.

in China, and has spawned many Western companies, including the NBA. Some gamers believe Blizzard's move to punish Ng is an attack on free speech and a bow to China. Blizzard said its interests in China did not influence its decision to ban B litzchung, but gamers remain skeptical. "

" I don't see any legal change happening in the future. It sounds like people are hoping you don't pay attention to the language you use and you'll just forget about it, "says Eli Jackson. The 27-year-old is a gamer who works as a manager at a shipping center in Las Vegas and is also tuning in online.

Blizzard did not immediately respond to a request for comment from CNN Business on Saturday.

  Protesters distribute free shirts outside BlizzCon, in Anaheim, California, on Friday.

Many protesters also appeared on Saturday before BlizzCon after attending Friday's events. They handed out thousands of T-shirts to attendees in both days. Some wore Blizzard protests or pro-Hong Kong attitudes.

On Friday, an American University student and an actor in Thorin Wright's 19-year-old epic shared a poem he had written earlier in the summer as protests in Hong Kong invaded. "The wounding of your slaughter, the overflowing of the marshes, the wonder of touching childhood," he read.

He told CNN Business Saturday, "I chose to read it instead of my speech because I felt it was a great way to show how different passions of people can be expressed in free speech."

Charles Lam, 46 A protester at a non-profit Hong Kong forum, Los Angeles, said, "Blizzard is not in the business of thinking. I hate to see the company." 19659008] Protesters stand before BlizzCon in Anaheim, California on Friday. "data-src-mini =" // cdn.cnn.com/cnnnext/dam/assets/191101155237-04-blizzcon-protest-1101-small-169.jpg "data-src-xsmall =" // cdn.cnn .com / cnnnext / dam / assets / 191101155237-04-blizzcon-protest-1101-medium-plus-169.jpg "data-src-small =" http://cdn.cnn.com/cnnnext/dam/assets/ 191101155237-04-blizzcon-protest-1101-large-169.jpg "data-src-medium =" // cdn.cnn.com/cnnnext/dam/assets/191101155237-04-blizzcon-protest-1101-exlarge-169 .jpg "data-src-large =" // cdn.cnn.com/cnnnext/dam/assets/191101155237-04-blizzcon-protest-1101-super-169.jpg "data-src-full16x9 =" // cdn .cnn.com / cnnnext / dam / assets / 191101155237-04-blizzcon-protest-1101-full-169.jpg "data-src-mini1x1 =" // cdn.cnn.com/cnnnext/dam/assets/191101155237- 04-blizzcon-protest-1101-small-11.jpg "data-demand-load =" not-loaded "data-eq-pts =" mini: 0, xsmall: 221, small: 308, medium: 461, large: 781 "src =" data: image / gif; base64, R0lGODlhEAAJAJEAAAAAAP /////// wAAACH5BAEAAAIALAAAAAAQAAkAAAIKlI + py + 0Po5yUFQA7 "/>

dissatisfaction with Blizzard's response may respond to sales, some players said.

Blizzcon contestant Andrew Kane, 32, a game developer who has been in the industry for 9 years, said he and his three friends were thinking of delaying their purchases of any new Blizzard games until co-op mpany solve the problem.

But other gamers believe the prolonged turnout will be minimal.

"Unfortunately, it would be very uncharacteristic of the gaming community to stick with their weapons on this subject for an extended period of time," Jackson of Las Vegas said. "Gamers are predominantly users and above all, so game messages and trailers are like hanging a shiny object in front of a cat.

Nomura Instinet analyst Andrew Marrock told CNN Business, "There are certainly a number of gamers who feel very strongly about this issue, but we think it's a relatively small fraction of Blizzard's total player base. From a business point of view, we believe that the company's focus will continue to be on the production of high-quality games, and that will lead to results. "


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