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Blizzard Entertainment have postponed their Word of Warcraft 15th anniversary event in Taiwan.
The announcement came via Facebook on October 15th. The following translation was via machine:
“2019 is an important year for World of Warcraft. To celebrate the 15th anniversary, we have planned a variety of online and offline events, inviting players to share with us.
We would like to inform you that we have postponed the party celebration of the 15th anniversary of World of Warcraft in the Huashan 1914 Cultural and Creative Industry Park from October 18th (Friday) to 20th (Day). We understand that many players are looking forward to this event as we do. We are considering different options and will announce new event dates in the future. For the long-awaited players, we will open the World of Warcraft 15th Anniversary Collector’s Edition, which was originally scheduled for sale at the PChome 24h shopping, momo shopping network and MyCard Mall at 10am on October 19th (Sat). A total of 300 sets. The 15th anniversary coin will be sold simultaneously at the 15th anniversary celebrations held in the future. Thank you for your support and understanding.
Thank you all.”
The comments are filled with memes, anger, and mockery; all centering around the Blitzchung controversy. It would seen that users are citing that as the reason for Blizzard pulling out- be it further alleged kowtowing to Chinese business interests, fear of backlash at the event, or the comments still being angry about the Blitzchung incident and voicing their frustrations in the company’s most recent social media post. A Blizzard spokesperson told Polygon they had no statement “at this time.”
Following the pro-Hong Kong protest statements from professional Hearthstone player Chung “blitzchung” Ng Wai and Blizzard Entertainment’s suspension of the player, the internet exploded in condemnation of Blizzard.
This was only made worse when Blizzard’s Chinese social media further condemned Blitzchung and stated “We will always respect and defend the pride of our country.” In addition Overwatch Esports Assistant Coach Justin “Jayne” Conroy was forced to delete a tweet condemning Blizzard’s actions.
Fans turned Overwatch character Mei into a symbol of the Hong Kong protests, Hearthstone caster Brian Kibler quit the tournament, former Blizzard Producer Mark Kern joined the Boycott Blizzard movement, Blizzard employees walked out in protest, a collegiate tournament team was banned for conducting a similar protest (after the team complained they were not banned initially), and even US Senators condemned Blizzard’s actions in an open letter to Activision Blizzard CEO Bobby Kotick.
Blizzard finally released a statement, revealing they had returned Blitzchung’s confiscated prize money and reduced his suspension time. The statement also claimed that “relationships in China had no influence on our decision.” We recently looked into Blizzard’s financials to see if that was the case.
For those curious, Taiwan is officially known as the Republic of China, while “China” is the People’s Republic of China.
In short, “China” has united and divide many times over the years. While the Republic of China formed in 1912, the Chinese Civil war saw the faction retreat to the island of Taiwan in 1949, with the other faction becoming the People’s Republic of China forming and controlling the mainland along with several other islands. The Republic of China lost its status as “China” in the United Nations’ UN Resolution 2758, in 1971.
Under the Chinese government’s “One China” policy, they claim that the Taiwanese government is not legitimate, and that “China” has the right to rule that territory. Suffice to say, the government of Taiwan does not agree. It is likely that those living in Taiwan would be sympathetic to the Hong Kong protests.
War Thunder recently removed the Taiwanese flag from their game, and replaced it with the Chinese one.