Amid backlash Blizzard is facing following the suspension of a Hearthstone player for his pro-Hong Kong views, Epic games is clarifying its stance on the issue, saying that it fully supports free speech.
The Fortnite creator points out that, unlike Blizzard, it will not impose punishments on players for speaking up about their political views.
Epic Games Supports Right To Speak Up About Politics
Epic Games CEO Tim Sweeney, in a tweet posted Wednesday, said the company supports the right of players to express their views on topics such as politics and human rights.
Epic supports the rights of Fortnite players and creators to speak about politics and human rights.https://t.co/GWxDjKVjeJ — Tim Sweeney (@TimSweeneyEpic) October 9, 2019
In the same vein, a spokesperson from Epic released a statement via The Verge:
"Epic supports everyone's right to express their views on politics and human rights. We wouldn't ban or punish a Fortnite player or content creator for speaking on these topics."
Epic's statements are referencing to Blizzard's move to suspend Chung Ng Wai, better known as Blitzchung in the gaming community, for supporting the Hong Kong protests.
After yelling "Liberate Hong Kong, revolution of our age!" while wearing a gas mask similar to that of Hong Kong protesters, Blizzard banned Blitzchung for joining tournaments for a year. In addition to this, Blitzchung won't be receiving the prize money he got from Grandmasters season 2.
Despite this, the Hearthstone gamer said he does not regret his actions.
Blizzard's decision has been criticized by fans and politicians. Even its own employees staged a walkout last Tuesday to protest the incident, calling it "pretty appalling but not surprising."
Tencent Shares In Epic Games
Chinese tech firm Tencent has stakes in both Epic Games and Blizzard. In 2012, it acquired a 40 percent stake after it invested $330 million in Epic Games. Some people are worried that Tencent might pull out its shares after Sweeney's statement regarding Blizzard's decision.
However, the Epic Games head reassured them that such thing "will never happen on my watch as the founder, CEO, and controlling shareholder." He pointed out that although Tencent has 40 percent shares in Epic Games, it's still a U.S. company with other shareholders involved, such as employees and investors.