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Gamers are accusing Blizzard, an American video game company, of blocking users from deleting their accounts.
Users tried to delete their accounts en masse after Blizzard issued a year-long ban and revoked the cash prize from the winner of the Hearthstone Grandmasters, an esports tournament. Chung Ng Wai, aka Blitzchung, faced sanctions from Blizzard after showing his support for Hong Kong protesters in a post-game interview.
“Liberate Hong Kong, revolution of our time,” Wai said after removing a gas mask, Polygon reports.
Wai’s comments come months amid the pro-democracy protests that occupy the streets of Hong Kong. In an attempt to deter the riots, the Hong Kong government banned face masks last week.
The reparations against Wai sparked outrage among the gaming community. But Blizzard users said when they attempted to delete their subscriptions, the company was blocking their efforts.
Holy shit. Blizzard is apparently blocking people from deleting their accounts and cancelling subscriptions. https://t.co/7gB9GtezYi— Mr. Boo (@RealMrBlue) October 9, 2019
“So now Blizzard have disabled ALL FOUR authentication methods to actively stop people from deleting their accounts. This is beyond disgusting. Spread awareness of this. #BoycottBlizzard,” @Espsilverfire2 tweeted.
So now Blizzard have disabled ALL FOUR authentication methods to actively stop people from deleting their accounts. This is beyond disgusting. Spread awareness of this. #BoycottBlizzard pic.twitter.com/AyUiABgMXD— Charlotte Mather (@Espsilverfire2) October 9, 2019
#BoycottBlizzard trended Wednesday among gamers. Some users were apparently successful in deleting their accounts.
“Feels good cleaning up 500+ Gbs of storage on my computer after deleting every blizzard game from it. Go fuck yourselves @Blizzard_Ent @BlizzardCS #BoycottBlizzard,” @PandamoniumFTW tweeted.
Fucking yikes. Leave it to Activision and Blizzard to make it clear as daylight they fully support authoritarianism and pro-corporationism and don't want the freedom of these people...— Celly (@CatgirlCelly) October 8, 2019
Deleting my Blizzard account. That's the last straw.
An anonymous Blizzard employee told the Daily Beast that the company’s position with China is not a surprise.
“Blizzard makes a lot of money in China, but now the company is in this awkward position where we can’t abide by our values,” the employee told the Daily Beast.
Blizzard did not immediately respond to the Daily Dot’s request for comment.
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H/T Business Insider
Libby Cohen is a third-year University of Texas student originally from New Jersey. She has written for ORANGE Magazine, the Daily Texan, and most recently interned for 1010 WINS in NYC. She's now back in Austin writing for the Texas Standard and the Daily Dot.