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Following the pro-Hong Kong protest statements from professional Hearthstone player Chung “blitzchung” Ng Wai and Blizzard Entertainment’s suspension of the player, Epic Games CEO Tim Sweeny has stated the company’s commitment to free speech, and will not be banning players for political speech.
Sweeney stated “Epic supports the rights of Fortnite players and creators to speak about politics and human rights.” While linking to an article on The Verge, also containing a statement from an Epic Gamers spokesperson.
“Epic supports everyone’s right to express their views on politics and human rights. We wouldn’t ban or punish a Fortnite player or content creator for speaking on these topics.”
Sweeney even confirmed that if any e-sports players said Free Hong Kong in a post-game interview, he would allow it.
Others still had doubts, one “Cherrish Choerry” stating “40% is a big cut though. They’re already apparently pulling out of the NBA League. Can you honestly say if a similar event happened you wouldn’t have to, sever ties with said influential figure, i.e the NBA coach/Hearthstone Champ”
Sweeney replied “Yes, absolutely. That will never happen on my watch as the founder, CEO, and controlling shareholder.”
Sweeney would certainly have no love-loss for the Chinese market, as Fortnite was banned in China in a leaked document in 2018. It is worth noting World of Warcraft and Overwatch– both Blizzard games- only needed to make “corrective action” to allow their game to be sold in the country. Tencent has a 5% share of Activision-Blizzard, according to The Daily Beast and PC Gamer.
Nonetheless there will be much speculation, even from as little as Fortnite having Chinese New Year-themed events. Some feel the Epic Games Store’s rapid expansion via exclusivity would match the hallmarks of
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