'We Moved Too Quickly': Blizzard President Apologizes For Hong Kong Incident

Before Blizzcon’s opening ceremony, Blizzard president J. Allen Brack somberly addressed the crowd with an apology for Blizzard’s harsh punishment of Hearthstone esports pro Chung “Blitzchung” Ng Wai.

“We moved too quickly in our decision-making and then, to make matters worse, we were too slow to talk with all of you,” said Brack. “We didn’t live up to the high standards we set for ourselves.”

Brack went further: “Blizzard had the opportunity to bring the world together in a tough Hearthstone esports moment about a month ago and we did not. . . “I’m sorry and I accept accountability,” he said, pausing for applause.


Comments

    Empty hollow apology from a now empty hollow company

    Fuck blizzard.

      "We fucked up and now we're losing money, please buy our shit again" That's what I'm hearing

        Damned no matter what they do right? If they say nothing they're supporting China, if they apologise it's a fake apology to make money?

        I'm sorry, but I feel like there is nothing they could have done or said that would make people happy. I'm not sure whether it's a legit apology of not, but I have to give them some credit for at least trying.

          This far along? No. If they'd been honest and open from the get go, things may have been different. Instead they shut all conversation down. They acted like a company with something to hide.
          That's not to say they won't be forgiven in the future, maybe if they do a bunch of good deeds but for now, they need to take this hit and realise that their western audience matters as well.

            Are they being more honest and open though, their position hasn't actually changed.
            I also can't recall them shutting conversation down, unless you're referring to the conversation of Hong Kong brought up by Blitzchung, which I would sort of agree with.
            (Even though I believe allowing that means they would also need to allow pro China players to make statements as well, which would prob not go down all that well)

              I meant shutting down their reddit. Just not a great move.

                Ooooh, I thought that had nothing to do with Blizzard though.
                It's certainly believable that they could've influenced it but none of their official forums were shut down during the height of the controversy.
                (Some posts did get deleted though)

                  honestly, I don't like when they delete posts if it's not hugely offensive. It feels like a very slippery slope

                Nah I'm not a big fan of that either.

                Had to respond to your reply here since our thread was shut down.
                I hadn't realised our exchange had become so heated xD

                  Nah, it wasn't shut down, we just reach the reply limit. Otherwise we'd break the page. (they move slightly right, eventually they would take up the whole screen and the article wouldn't fit =P)

    Impressive that they publicly admitted they got it wrong with a promise to do better.

    Good to see such integrity from a AAA publisher.

      No, this was a classic misdirection.

      He apologized... but not for the thing we’re mad about.

      He didn’t apologize about turning Blizzard into an extension of the Chinese government’s censorship department.

      He didn’t apologize for the fact that out of all the political speech on official channels the only kind of political speech they’ve ever punished was that which might upset the CCP, and that it is a punishment far harsher than you even get for cheating.

      That hasn’t changed. They stand by that. What he’s apologizing for is that they handed out the punishment so swiftly and communicated so late.

      That’s worth apologizing for, sure, but it’s not the thing that’s making us mad.

      It’s as if I apologized to my wife for not ‘communicating with her more‘ about my decision to start sleeping with her sister. That’s not why she’d be fucking mad. And it’s worse if I made no commitment to even STOP fucking her sister.

      This is a fucking non-apology and a bullshit misdirection. They’re apologising for something tiny and pretending it’s what everyone’s mad about, hoping that will mean they don’t have to apologize for the big thing.

      This was an insult to the intelligence of everyone who hears it.

        "This comment is awaiting moderation. Check back soon!"

        Almost every post I make gets flagged for this so doesn't show on site.

        It's beyond frustrating, Kotaku. Fix this bs please!

        Last edited 02/11/19 8:16 am

          You most likely hit some internal limit, probably got a huge amount of downvotes or 'reports' on a comment. It'll pass in a few days.

            I think 5 downvotes and you end up in moderation hell. It's annoying, but it was put in after a bunch of trolls took advantage of the non-moderated situation

        We're? Us? Everyone?

        You can't speak for everyone. You certainly don't speak for me.

        I disagree with what you're saying his apology was for. I didn't read into it what you did at all.

          You're a myopic apologist irrelevant to the conversation, wilfully ignoring the incredibly basic and common English technique for setting frames of reference around collective 'we', so what you read into things doesn't count for much at all.

            Come on guys. Let's not fight. That's what Blizzard wants.

            *hugs*

              Except that's not what they want at all.

              Besides, I'm not the one throwing cheap insults around instead of remaining civil.

            "This comment is awaiting moderation. Check back soon!"

            Again... sigh.

            Last edited 02/11/19 11:57 am

            Awaiting moderation for a 6th time....

            That's it. I give up. This posting system is rubbish.

            Last edited 02/11/19 12:02 pm

            Resorting to insults. How disappointing.

            Guess it was too much to expect a civil discussion.

            Last edited 02/11/19 12:02 pm

            Comix, don't reply. The number 1 trigger for supposed freedom of speech activists is an opinion other than their own

            why cant't he give his opinion tho? because it different from yours?

              Because he was basing it of incorrect stuff?

              It's my opinion that have 2 humps because you are a camel. <-- that is an opinion that can be shut down because it's based of something false.

          Auto moderated.

          Last edited 02/11/19 3:58 pm

          +10 to your social credit score comrade. The communist party appreciates your support of our country! Long live president Winnie the Pooh!

            another useless comment, me n a couple guys got a bet going on how many triggered comments you'll post between now and Xmas, closest guess gets the pot.
            I've bet big mate don't let me down

      You're getting a lot of downvotes, but I assumed you were being sarcastic?

      edit: whoops, read the other comment. nevermind

      Last edited 02/11/19 11:00 am

        I also read it as sarcasm, until I noticed they downvoted everyone who disagreed with them.

      You're allowed to have your opinion and people are allowed to disagree with you.

      You accept the apology, Transient says that for him, it was misdirection and explained why.
      You picked out something that had upset you (the use of we), Transient didn't seem to appreciate the topic going on a tangent.
      Can't you both agree to disagree?

    Nice to see #cancelculture still out in force. Especially from those commenting from their iphones, wearing their China made clothes..

    Looking forward to being downvoted into moderation hell by those hypocrites. *shrug*

      Have you tried to buy anything not made in China? It's friggin' hard. You'd have to make it yourself. It's not like everyone has a lot of options. (Also, screw Apple)

        There's *always* an option, the issue is, people only care about these things when it doesn't impact on their day to day lives.

        Blizzard pull this stunt, you have the virtue signallers crying from the rooftops, "boycott Blizzard! I'll never buy another Blizzard product ever again."

        But they'll gladly turn a blind eye when it starts to impact on their lives... We ALL know about Apple's issues and their connections with China, but you don't hear these same people boycotting Apple or throwing their phones away do you?

        There's *always* a choice.

        Here are some phones not made in China:
        ASUS ZenFone 6 (Taiwan)
        LG G8 ThinQ (South Korea)
        LG V40 ThinQ (South Korea)
        LG V50 ThinQ (South Korea)
        Galaxy S10 series (South Korea)
        Sony Xperia 1 (Japan)

        But nope.. Gotta have those precious iphones

        But as you can see from my downvotes, I'm not wrong :-)

          Are you recommending someone buy the V40 or V50 phone? Friends don't do that to friends.

            Look... I just wanted to fill out the list and make it look like I knew what I was talking about haha

          I have a Sony. Mainly because I wasn't a fan of all the phone looking the same.
          As for there's always a choice, maybe there is, but sometimes that choice is "Do I eat, or pay my bills". Choices aren't always easy.
          You keep talking about apple, do you just really hate apple? I mean, I get it, I'm not a fan either.

            Apple is just the biggest and best example off the top of my head, especially because I know their exploits have been more then we'll documented.

            One could easily live without having to buy any products made in China (or other countries with shady laws/practices).

            Just means you have 4 pairs of shoes instead of 15, for instance

              I have four pairs of shoes. Runners, gumboots, sandals (which murder my feet) and slippers. Slippers are Aussie made. I wear my shoes into the ground as I don't really have the money to always be buying shoes

                Cool. I have 3.

                Runners, work boots and wog tappers, made in Japan, Australia and Italy respectively.

                I also have a brother in law that has 11 pairs of shoes.

                I'm just making the point, that there are choices... Because for most people, the choice is either "should I buy food/pay rent or buy my cigarettes/the latest iphone". Etc

                  Yeah, I'm a pensioner. Bills come first. Often I don't have much choice but to buy things made from china. It's usually what's in my price range =(

    We teach children to apologise better than that. What he said was even less than "I'm sorry you got hit" after hitting someone.

      Next they'll be telling fans they're the ones responsible... Just one of those straight up lies a company tells about how they've 'listened to player feedback', as the excuse for when they do something only they or those pulling the purse strings ever actually wanted.

      "We've been keeping a close eye, and 'the data' tells us that majority of players all clearly told us to bow down to China."

      "I'm sorry that after you got hit I didn't make a concerned enough face."

    "Pausing for applause" sounds about right. We did the absolute bare minimum and apologised for nothing, please shower us with praise!

    What a gutless thing to do, stick to your guns, don't explain, he broke the rules you punished him. Never feel the need to explain actions to children

      Never feel the need to explain censorship to your customers

      FTFY

        Didn't need fixing, I would bet the average age of the snowflakes upset at blizzard tops out at 20 maybe 25. So yes children, my comment didn't need fixing but thank you anyway for your attempt

          Whatever contempt you feel entitled to shower at people based on their age, it doesn't take away from my point: They are the company's customers; as such they are entitled to expect and demand certain things. It's in the company's best interests as well: It's much better when disgruntled customers voice their discontent than if they just stopped giving your company their businesses.

      You do realise the rules were purposely ambiguous so they could change them at their discretion right?

        Yeah I do, but ambiguous or not he knew what he was doing and the risk of punishment, yet he chose to continue with it. Blizzard should never have to apologise for enforcement of rules or their over reaction.

          It's entirely possible that he didn't. There was no mention of "no political statements" so it may not have occurred to him that it was an issue. Without being able to ask him ourselves, we don't know.
          And people are pissed because they are not a fan of what appears to be censorship. It's a very thin line. People will be die hard fans, but the minute they think you're censoring them, they'll drop you like a bag of bricks. (*cough*f4focc*cough*)

          I just wanted to add, I don't think sticking to their guns would've helped them either. I'm not entirely sure what I would do if I was stuck in their position. It's definitely not an enviable place to be in

            It was damned if you do, damned if you dont, but they handled it correctly, you can't be using businesses platforms for political motivated speech. Businesses are neutral or meant to appear neutral in politics, honestly who cared what blizzards stance on hong Kong is, I want to know when the next Diablo release is, and I certainly don't care what some upstart, so called professional gamers view is either!!

              It is a crap situation for sure. However, it could have been handled better. They were probably too harsh. If they had just said "We want to be neutral. We don't want to support either side" but they didn't.

    Re. moderation comments - it's the weekend and I'm the only one on call, but I'm also juggling that between being at Blizzcon, transcribing, getting hands-on time in and all the rest so ... if a comment gets stuck it might take a day or so.

    Sorry all. Doing what I can.

      Don't stress Alex. If people want to start flame wars, that's up to them.

    Can't put my finger on it but J. Allen Brack's hair disturbs me.

    *blizzard* "sorry, not sorry." lol

    What a joke. Like Transient said, he only apologised for acting too quickly. The problem was that they acted at all in this case. This was not an apology for the oppressive punishment they've handed out. This should not change anyone's opinion of them what so ever.

      So they should've let the guy break the rules and get away with it?

      Doesn't matter what he said, the fact remains he broke the rules of the competition that he agreed to and deserves to be penalised for it.

      If he really wants to speak out on the issue, let him do so on his own stream. Hijacking someone else's stream and taking the focus away from an esports tournament was not the way to do it.

        You mean the rule that Blizzard wrote that allows them to punish someone for whatever reason they like? Sure sounds fair /s!

        And yet they did not punish others for doing the same, funny that. Kinda hypocritical, like how this punishment is weighed against their motto "Every voice matters".

        No, Blizzard deemed he broke their rule to pander to the Chinese shackles that are placed on Blizzard for doing business in that country. It's simple really, they value money over the simple act of someone showing support for a good cause.

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