Hearthstone was at the center of the dispute, Thompson said his team connection was not so different from other Blizzard teams.
"We saw it less as related to our game and more as related to our company," he said. "We all feel very attached to Blizzard as a whole. We're not so fired up in our teams that we felt like, "Oh, this is a problem
Hearthstone ." The reality is that this is something that happened at Blizzard level, and as a result, we wanted to know how Blizzard will respond to this and what Blizzard will do next. As he continued, Thompson expanded his point to include the broader situation in Hong Kong: "This is something that is, to be honest and honest, bigger than a gaming company. It's bigger than the games, it's bigger than our game. This is something that is being worked on at a global, sociological level. "
Thompson and Lee stated that even when Blizzard initially put a cone of silence that turned into a megaphone for people's rage, they encouraged team members to express their opinions
" We have a team that comes from all over the world "says Thompson. "For some of them [Blizzard’s response] it was felt on a much more personal level. This is something we really wanted to pay attention to. We wanted to help them feel as open as possible to express these feelings and be able to come to us as leadership with these concerns and problems wherever they fall on either side of the line or environment or whatever. " As for where Thompson and Lee fall in reaction to Blizzard's final decision – to reinstate Blitzchung's suspension but continue to ban political commentary during events – they largely think this is the right one way.
"It's bigger than games, it's bigger than our game. This is something we are dealing with on a global, sociological level. "
'Of course I celebrate – like everyone else to some extent – free speech,'" Thompson said. "You should be able to say what you want to say. I also understand what J. Alan Marriage himself has addressed in his own internal communications, and later on to the world at large, which is that being able to speak your mind and say how you feel from a personal level is always and always should be you are welcome. What you do from a platform that is not your own and is made by voice, not your own, to take control, so to speak, or on behalf of another, is not free speech. This is on behalf of something that is not yours in common. "
Thus, said Thompson, while the professionals and servers of
Hearthstone may be prohibited from expressing such views at events, they are free to do so in their own streams.
"Our strippers and content creators asked, 'What if I want [talk about this]? I have something to say,' he said. 'And our answer was always,' Say it. Do it. It's your Twitch stream. It's yours to deal with. "This is always something we want to support and celebrate."
This position can has pleased fans who think players should be allowed to speak, regardless of the forum or station, or who points out that Blizzard games have traditionally dealt with political topics such as war, peace and inclusion, but Thompson said Feels Like
Hearthstone is a "home away from home" where players need to "leave your world out and join this world where everyone is welcome."
Hearthstone ] was never meant to be more than that, "he said. "It was never intended to be 'me versus you' or 'I'm different from you', other than what my deck looks like and what my strategy is."
Of Blizzard's current stable game,
Hearthstone is easily the most thoughtful and escaped in nature. But no game can exist without context, no matter how much developers want players to just go in, sit and straighten their feet for a game or two. It becomes a double when a game like Hearthstone becomes a battleground for a problem like Hong Kong. To react the way Blizzard does is still to take a position, even if Thompson and company prefer to design neutrality. After all, this is where Thompson landed on everything: First and foremost is the individual problem.
"I think you will find, as you talk to people throughout the company, people are willing and able to express their personal feelings for [Hong Kong] because this is something we know that has nothing, really, very much to do with our game and it has little to do with our company and instead with the people, "he said.  However, this remains unexplored territory for Blizzard as a whole, and the developer has apologized repeatedly for its original decision. Lee and Thompson acknowledge that there is still room for education and growth.
"I think we all want things to be done differently," Lee said.
"We're learning," Thompson says.