Backlash continues in wake of Blizzard Entertainment’s ‘pro-Hong Kong’ ban
Hong Kong native Ng Wai Chung, who plays Hearthstone competitively under the name Blitzchung, was banned from competitions for a year and had his $10,000 winnings declared forfeit following his pro-Hong Kong chant at the 2019 Hearthstone Asia-Pacific Grandmasters Tournament.
Blizzard cited tournament rules that prohibits participants from undertaking any action that “brings you into public disrepute, offends a portion or group of the public, or otherwise damages Blizzard image.” The decision sparked considerable controversy and a very public backlash against Blizzard’s ‘heavy handed’ treatment of the Hearthstone pro and apparent kow-towing to Chinese interests.
The Chinese tech giant Tencent owns a minority stake in Activision Blizzard
“Today I lost Hearthstone, it’s only a matter of four years,” Blitzchung told fans, referring to his time playing the game. “But if Hong Kong lost, it’s a matter of a lifetime.” The on-going demonstrations against the Chinese government’s attempt to put Hong Kong under Chinese jurisdiction has led to a violent crackdown against protesters, which has drawn considerable attention and condemnation worldwide.
Other major studios and online communities have also condemned Blizzard’s actions, and many are accusing the company of ‘choosing profit over principles’. Even Blizzard’s own employees have staged walk-out protests. How will this affect this year’s BlizzCon, which starts on October 31st?
Time For A Quick Daily Quiz?
Who is the star of the Bad Blood expansion for Watch Dogs?
- Aidan Pierce
- Jordi Chin
- Raymond Kenney
- Marcus Holloway
The answer will be revealed at the end of this issue!
Funcom to publish Darkborn by former Dice and Overkill devs
The Outsiders is a new development studio made up of former Battlefield and Payday developers. It was founded by David Goldfarb, and is hard at work on their first project: Darkborn. It’s about a monster seeking revenge on a band of Vikings, and the twist is that you are the monster.
Moons of Madness for PC on October 22nd, consoles in January
The cosmic horror awaiting us in Moons of Madness will first arrive on PC on October 22nd, before reaching PlayStation 4 and Xbox One on January 21st next year. No Switch version has been announced yet. The game tells the story of what happens when a signal from Mars appears to confirm intelligent life on the red planet, leading to a corporation building a secret research base to study it. What could go wrong?
Duke Nukem: Land of the Babes versus Planet of the Apes
n-Space and 3D Realms’ third-person shooter Duke Nukem: Land of the Babes once was the Planet of the Babes – until a certain simian blockbuster franchise started beating its chest and demanding a name change. The parties holding the rights to Planet of the Apes won that particular tug-of-war handily, and Duke Nukem was forced to resign himself to a more modest Land of the Babes.
The PlayStation game was not well-received despite its Nobel-worthy story about how all men on Earth have been exterminated, leaving women alone to resist enslavement. These brave rebels form the UBR (Unified Babe Resistance) and opens a portal Duke Nukem can emerge from so he can save all mankind from extinction.
It was clearly too high-brow for the critics of the time, because those uncultured swine did not appreciate the beauty and subtlety of Planet, er, sorry, Land of the Babes.
Under the Radar - Little Briar Rose
Will you find your sleeping beauty?
(Elf Games – PC, Nintendo Switch, iOS, Android)
Release: October 10th 2019 (Switch)
Inspired by classic fairy-tale Sleeping Beauty, Little Briar Rose is a point-and-click adventure brimming with gnomes, fairies and magic. Dropped into a vibrant world fashioned from stained glass, you play a prince stranded in the woods and surrounded by thick walls of bramble that stop him finding his princess.
As is one’s wont in point-and-click adventures, you must explore your surroundings, solve puzzles and help a variety of quirky creatures to find your way out of the woods. The inhabitants of the woods present you with puzzles and minigames that must be solved to progress, but unlike most modern point-and-click adventure failure has a price.
Princes by the dozen!
If you fail, your prince is vanquished, and you’ll have to carry on your adventure as a different one. Fortunately this doesn’t affect your progress, and won’t put you at much of a disadvantage – though it would certainly be satisfying to make it all the way to the princess’ castle as the first prince, Stephen. If you keep failing at a task and get tired losing your princes, there’s a hint button that summons a fairy who will nudge you in the right direction.
The real star of the show is the art direction: every scene looks like a beautiful stained-glass window, and the bright colors and attractive locations make exploration a joy. The game feels right at home on Switch, and while we haven’t tested it on mobile, it feels like a good fit.
If you’re fond of point-and-click adventures and enjoy a good fairy-tale, Little Briar Rose is definitely worth a closer look, particularly considering its reasonable price.