Blizzard Entertainment has come under fire yet again for its stance on free speech after the company issued suspensions and punishments to players who voiced their opinion on the Hong Kong protests during tournaments.
Democratic and Republic lawmakers have penned a letter to CEO Bobby Kotick, urging the company to reverse its decision and correct its course. Below is an excerpt from the letter signed by Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez, Marco Rubio, Mike Gallagher, Ron Wyden, and Tom Malinowski.
Your company claims to stand by ‘one’s right to express individual thoughts and opinions,’ yet many of your own employees believe that Activision Blizzard’s decision to punish Mr. Chung runs counter to those values. Because your company is such of pillar of the gaming industry, your disappointing decision could have a chilling effect on gamers who seek to use their platform to promote human rights and basic freedoms. Indeed, many gamers around the world have taken notice your company’s actions, understandably calling for boycotts of Activision Blizzard gaming sites.
As China amplifies its campaign of intimidation, you and your company must decide whether to look beyond the bottom line and promote American values — like freedom of speech and thought — or to give in to Beijing’s demands in order to preserve market access. We urge you in the strongest possible terms to reconsider your decision with respect to Mr. Chung. You have the opportunity to reverse course. We urge you to take it.
Blizzard Entertainment has yet to issue a response to the letter.