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.