BlizzCon 2019 is officially underway. However, before we got started with the Opening Ceremony, Blizzard President J. Allen Brack took the the stage and actually addressed the backlash from the suspension of blitzchung last month. In what can only be described as very surprising, Brack publicly apologized on behalf of Blizzard Entertainment.
Blizzard President J. Allen Brack addresses his and the company’s role in penalizing Hong Kong pro Hearthstone player blitzchung
“We didn’t live up to the standards we set for ourselves. We failed in our purpose. And for that, I’m sorry, and I accept accountability” pic.twitter.com/Ud5U7XLV6A
— Rod Breslau (@Slasher) November 1, 2019
Brack began his opening statement by saying:
Blizzard had the opportunity to bring the world together in a tough Hearthstone e-sports moment about a month ago. We did not. We moved too quickly in our decision-making and then to make matters worse, we were too slow to talk to all of you. When I think about how most unhappy I am, I think about two things. We didn’t live up to the higher standards we set for ourselves. Second, we failed in our purpose. For that, I am sorry, and I accept accountability.
Brack, obviously aware of the protests that were already outside in the area of the Anaheim Convention Center, made a difficult decision and decided to take this head on. Whether or not this was the company trying to save face, it was quite shocking to hear these words come out of Brack’s mouth.
It really set the tone for the rest of the Ceremony. In a way, it made the crowd feel at ease, almost an insurance that they’ve learned their lesson and were ready to move on. Hopefully they have, as all we really want is for them to go back to what they do best, making video games. Either way this gives up hope.