Last week Nintendo’s New York City store made the announcement that Activision-Blizzard would be holding a launch event for Overwatch: Legendary Edition with it set to take place on October 16th. Overwatch is releasing today for the Switch. The event was advertised to have the voice actors present where fans could meet with them and talk about the game. However, Blizzard got caught up in controversy regarding the Hong Kong protests after initially banning player Blitzchung who expressed his support for the protestors and firing two casters who allowed him to express his opinion.
The whole situation led to people criticizing the company for bowing down to pressure from China, with US Senators also getting involved in the case. Blizzard Entertainment President J. Allen Beck released a statement regarding the situation and it did very little to appease anyone. The company lowered the bans for all involved and stated it would pay out prize money, but the gist of the statement was that China had nothing to do with the decision. This was despite Blizzard’s Chinese partner NetEase using the official Hearthstone account on Chinese social site Weibo to say it would defend the country from the actions of people like Blitzchung. Further, Blizzard had said its broadcast were solely for focusing on games despite previous broadcasts championing social causes.
It’s a mess and now it seems to avoid any confrontations the decision has been made to cancel the Overwatch launch event at the Nintendo New York store.
Please be aware that the previously announced Overwatch launch event scheduled for Wednesday, 10/16 at NintendoNYC has been cancelled by Blizzard. We apologize for any inconvenience this may cause.
— Nintendo NY (@NintendoNYC) October 15, 2019
In other Overwatch related news, it has come to light that physical copies of the Switch version don’t actually contain a cartridge, but instead a download code. It seems like a waste of resources considering players could just purchase the game off the Nintendo eShop instead of buying what will be a useless plastic case. It also bears questioning why in a time of increased environmental awareness and companies aiming to reduce plastic waste Nintendo has decided to create more cases when it isn’t required.