Welcome to the newest episode of The Gaming Street Podcast, hosted by Steven Wong and Olivia de Silva. This week, we discuss mega-events that shook both the real world and the virtual one.
Political Activism rocks Activision Blizzard
Activision Blizzard sparked controversy when it suspended professional Hearthstone player Ng Wai “blitzchung” Chung for showing support for Hong Kong protesters after winning a Grandmaster tournament. The move sparked a whirlwind of criticism and protests from media, players, and even employees, with some calling for a total boycott of Blizzard’s games. The incident could not have come at a worse time for the company, which is hosting its annual BlizzCon fan convention – complete with esports tournaments – at the start of November.
Although Blizzard has reduced the penalty, is it enough to calm fans who feel that Blizzard betrayed its core values? We take a deep look at what Activision Blizzard could have done better and how the action has already resonated across other games in the esports space.
Fortnite ends the world
The world’s most popular battle royale game concluded its 10th season by pulling the plug on it. The game, including all its characters, were suddenly sucked into a virtual black hole and players were unable to log into the game for almost two days. In that time, developer Epic Games built up hype for Season 11, which went live on Tuesday. It was a move so bold that the blackout made headlines across mainstream media outlets, drawing more attention to the event. We break down how the stunt was just what the game needed to re-energize its fanbase as viewership and live streaming for the game were starting to wane.
Listen to the latest show here or on Apple Podcasts, and don’t forget to subscribe, like, and review the program.