A hot potato: Activision Blizzard's PR nightmare just won't go away. The latest repercussion of Blizzard Entertainment’s decision to ban Ng “Blitzchung” Wai Chung, are now being felt as it starts to lose sponsors at its esports events. Backpedaling and spin has not helped the company stifle the public outcry.
Blizzard's Blitzchung/Hong Kong fiasco is now leading to it losing advertisement deals. The first company to pull its endorsements is Mitsubishi. It was a rather quiet exit with no formal announcement by either company.
The change was first noticed a couple of days after Blitzchung’s suspension by an eagle-eyed Redditor who posted before and after pictures that clearly show the removal of Mitsubishi’s signature logo and prop cars that had been seen earlier in the Asia Pacific Hearthstone tournament.
With no official word from the company, there could have been any number of other explanations for the product to be missing. However, speculation ended today when Mitsubishi Motors' Taiwan division confirmed that it has pulled out of sponsoring Blizzard’s esports events.
The Daily Beast reports that Mitsubishi spokeswoman Erica Roberts said the car manufacturer ended its sponsorship two days after the Blitzchung banning. It should be noted that the company did not admit that the severing of ties was related to Blizzard’s actions and declined further comment. However, the timing of the departure shows the writing on the wall.
The game maker has remained silent in the more than two weeks that has passed since Mitsubishi's axed its endorsement. Understandably, the company does not want to bring further attention to the controversy it has raised.
Blizzard Entertainment seems to have dug itself a hole that no amount of PR spin can pull it out of. The company has stood behind its decision to ban Blitzchung and other players insisting that the punishments are not political. However, that has not seemed to matter to players, employees, and now sponsors.
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