Hearthstone Team Quits Tournament, Citing Blizzard's "Hypocritical" Stance As Stock Price Dips
The fallout from Blizzard's decision to sack a Hearthstone pro player and two casters over pro-Hong Kong statements continues. Since yesterday's summary, which included mention of a collegiate team that flashed a "FREE HONG KONG" sign during a streamed tournament, that team has received ... well, zero punishment from Blizzard, though its members took it upon themselves to self-punish.
It's tough to see whether all this controversy -- which includes people cancelling their subscriptions to World of Warcraft or trips to BlizzCon, demanding refunds, or outright deleting their Battle.net accounts -- will have a significant enough effect on Blizzard's bottom line to alter their stance on their actions of earlier this week, and going forward.
There has been some financial fallout, at least. Activision-Blizzard's stock has dropped by 3.2% this week, with an analyst saying that Blizzard doesn't have "any good choices here, in terms of finding a solution that would protect their business interests."
As per its most recent financial statement, Activision-Blizzard made 12% of its revenue from the Asia-Pacific region, which includes China and other territories, such as Japan, Korea, and Australia. That total has generally fluctuated between 10% and 15% over the last 10 quarters, with the raw total being down for seven of those 10 quarters, which puts a bit of a damper on the notion that China is an "emerging market," at least for Activision-Blizzard. If it's required, a withdrawal from the region might not be as catastrophic as one might think, but it's still something the company is probably seeking to avoid.
About the Author
Jason Winter is a veteran gaming journalist, he brings a wide range of experience to MMOBomb, including two years with Beckett Media where he served as the editor of the leading gaming magazine Massive Online Gamer. He has also written professionally for several gaming websites.
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