Blizzard has had a busy previous few weeks, receiving public blowback (and a focus from congressional U.S. lawmakers) after the decision was made to ban Hearthstone Grandmaster participant Ng Wai Chung, higher generally known as Blitzchung. The ban was later diminished right into a temporary suspension and Blizzard determined to award Blitzchung his winnings. These occasions blew up simply weeks earlier than BlizzCon 2019, the place Blizzard president J. Allen Brack apologized for Blizzard not listening to its followers, although he kept away from mentioning Blitzchung or stating precisely what it was Blizzard did unsuitable.
Whereas these concessions have appeased some, Jeff Kaplan, vice chairman of Blizzard Leisure and director of Overwatch and Overwatch 2, does not suppose Blizzard has gone far sufficient. In a cellphone interview with the Washington Post, Kaplan said that extra could possibly be completed. “I was relieved when they reduced his suspension,” Kaplan mentioned. “And I think the suspension should be reduced more or eliminated. But that’s just me.”
Kaplan additionally famous that Blizzard acted too quick and that the ruling got here as a shock to him and his group, who’re often knowledgeable in any discussions as a complete due to their half within the suspension or banning of gamers within the Overwatch League. “I’m obviously a huge supporter of free speech; it’s something that’s very important to me,” Kaplan mentioned. “It got to me personally. I think the punishment was too harsh and I was greatly relieved when they gave his money back. I think that was extremely important.”
Kaplan is not the primary director at Blizzard to share these sentiments, as in an interview with Kotaku UK, Hearthstone recreation director Ben Lee mentioned that “The initial decision was too harsh,” in addition to echoing Kaplan and Brack in stating that Blizzard acted too shortly.
With a number of main bulletins like Overwatch 2 and Diablo IV popping out of BlizzCon 2019, the street forward will probably be attention-grabbing for Blizzard in how they select to cope with these sorts of points sooner or later, in addition to whether or not the corporate will additional scale back Blitzchung’s penalties.