(sharon) #1

TOP: Some Hong
Kong protesters have
taken up Mei as a
symbol of their
movement, hoping to
embarass Blizzard.

Brack that “our relationships in China had no influence
on our decision”, and claims that the company was simply
enforcing tournament rules as it would with any political
statement, the backlash has been loud, clear, and angry.
Angry enough to convince Blizzard to backpedal,
reducing Blitzchung’s punishment to a six month ban,
with no penalty to his winnings. The damage, though, is
very much done, with even American officials getting
involved via a bipartisan letter from Congress
condemning Blizzard’s actions.
But to believe this a problem isolated to Activision
Blizzard would be naive. Tencent is the biggest games
publisher in the world, with fingers in a huge amount of
gaming pies—they have 300 listed investments including
owning five per cent of Ubisoft, 40 of Epic Games, 80 of
Grinding Gear Games (Path of Exile) and all of Riot. How
many of these would make the same decision if
Blitzchung had been at one of their events?
The blowback against Blizzard’s decision has been
intense, and rightly so, but it would be a mistake to see
this as an isolated blunder. Chinese influence in the games
industry is the new normal, and with it comes an
ever-present threat of the suppression of free speech by
the companies that make the games you love.
Rachel Watts

Highs & Lows


After its child-enraging black hole
event, Fortnite returned with an
impressive new map.

The Sims 4
The latest expansion for the life sim
behemoth is Discover University,
letting your Sims enroll in education.

Resident Evil 2
Modder ZombieAli is working on
replacing Mr X with the goose from
Untitled Goose Game. Genius.

Va mpi re: The
Masquerade—Bloodlines 2
Hardsuit Lab’s ambitious sequel has
been delayed until 2020.

Fallout 76
Following the delay of the next major
update, Bethesda launched an
ill-advised subscription service.

Planetside Arena
Daybreak Games has laid off more
employees, including a chunk of the
team working on Planetside Arena.


Seemingly giving up its last
shred of confidence in Origin,
EA has brought its games
back to Steam. Another blow
struck in Steam’s war with Epic? Or just
good business? RV




While a buggy game isn’t a
laughing matter, some WWE
2K20 videos are hilarious,
with wrestlers melting
through the floor, props turning invisible,
and the referee waddling like a crab. AK


With the Onslaught
expansion, Star Wars: The
Old Republic has added
Nautolans. There are new
worlds, a new storyline, and some big
gear changes. FB
Free download pdf