In the past, I considered myself a Blizzard fan. Not exactly the most extreme one, no, but I respected the company’s legacy, and personally enjoyed World of Warcraft, Hearthstone, and most of all, Overwatch.
There was something about the hero shooter that really grabbed my attention – the matches weren’t super long, but were engaging, and the heroes and their abilities quite diverse. Ever since Ana was teased to us way back in 2016, I’ve been reading and following the lore, and played the game itself daily. It felt good. It was good.
But then the Blitzchung situation happened. Seeing a Western company kowtow to the Chinese government so drastically, without prompt on their end, left a bad taste in my mouth. Blizzard took it upon itself to act, and to act in defiance of freedom and their own supposed morality. For, of course, money.
As the company kept fumbling around the issue, I found myself looking at the heroes in a different light – some of whom were rebels, activists, champions for justice. In Blizzard’s world, would any of these people have actually helped somewhere like Hong Kong? Or would Lucio have joined hands with Symmetra and fucked over Rio together..?
Maybe it just reminded me of all the idiocy going on in the real world, what with Trump and a pathetic Democratic party more focused on destroying reformers than helping their own country. With people loudly and proudly cheering for Brexit, despite the fact it’ll fuck them over greatly in the end. With my own Prime Minister who vacations instead of helping lead his people during a major fire crisis.
It probably sounds stupid, but I found myself uninspired to play as people created by a corp to sound good on paper, but who they’d actively be against in real life. That shit, to be frank, is fake.
A friend managed to coax me back into a match recently, however, and it started out the same as the other times I’ve tried to get back into my once beloved game: Disdain for the characters and the world they live in. But as I kept going, I started to realise something.
Yes. Their lore, their characters, all of it, is just fake marketing bullshit, built around good gameplay. But that shouldn’t really be what matters. Story aside, it’s a good gameplay experience, and it’s one filled with people looking for a good time. A time I want to engage in, and help make the best for them, to. So, focusing on those, I’ve come to accept Overwatch for being a good game, and nothing more. It’s playable. Hooray.
But that being said, I have no intention of supporting Blizzard by buying any of their products, micro-transactions, or what have you. I’ll even openly recommend you do the same. They shat the bed with Blitzchung, and since then have only repeatedly rammed their face into the muck. They’re no different than any of the other large, shitty corporations out there, and it’s important to remember that. I’ll always respect what the company used to be, and absolutely despise what it’s become.