If they decide not to ban Overwatch, thinking that this Mei thing is a ploy, HK gets to use a symbol that won't be banned. If they ban Overwatch, they send a message to US companies that complying won't protect them. HK wins either way. The best solution for China would be to instruct Blizzard to release a version of Overwatch that didn't have this character, and if you want my prediction that's what they're going to do.
The funny part is, if you go by the lore and backstories assigned to each character, the majority of them would support Hong Kong. None of them are (written to be) particularly fond of authoritarianism.
Which is just hilarious that Blizzard's own IP would oppose their decision if they were real people.
World of Warcraft is filled with characters that'd side with Hong Kong. Probably the most "symbol worthy" being Thrall from a lore standpoint.
That is probably the case for 99.9% of all IP worldwide, isn't it? The only exception I can think of is Scrooge McDuck, but very few IP characters are pro-corporatism.
I don't think any of the half a dozen or so characters that are part of Talon (the terrorist organisation trying to take over the world) would bat an eyelid
Which would amount to ordering a foreign company to remove Chinese representation from a game. (Mei is Chinese, and is the only such character in Overwatch.) So that looks pretty bad, too.
It's with a heavy heart that in order to ease tension and restore an healthy and stress-free environment for players from China and other countries we have decided to retire Mei from the rooster.
I'm very curious to see if this kind of strategy is effective or starts to become commonplace.
It’s like if Twitter were to ban the poop emoji, so people use an alternative emoji with no connection except the understanding that it represents the poop emoji and then Twitter banned this emoji and then people come up with another alternative...
Leveraging the heavy handed approach of China to pit them against the western companies.
As a second order effect, by getting Overwatch and the likes banned (if that were to happen), maybe create some dissent within China itself, though that's a bit far fetched.
They don't care. Blizzard's well being is none of their concern, their only job is to prop up the party, even if it means genera disdain from the West.
All of these Western companies kowtowing to the Chinese market could pack up and go away and the CCP wouldn't care. They have enough domestic industry to not be bothered.
As the paranoia ramps up expect over-censorship to ramp up too. Not because of official policy but because of individual decisions made by people who don't want to be fired for a too-liberal interpretation of the policy at the wrong time.
Beijing can easily transform the whole lesson to "make sure your company never finds itself in a situation as stupid as Blizzard, or else." I don't like it any more than you do, but that's the reality as far as I can tell.
Good strategy indeed.
Blizzard can't just change that logo either, as it's not only buried everywhere in the game but also used in countless places on the internet, not to mention merchandise, comics, official advertisements etc.
The title of the article is:
> Overwatch's Mei Is Becoming a Symbol of the Hong Kong Resistance
Without benefit of hindsight it's impossible to know, but I'd wager that this is the single most important political event in the world right now.
If the people of Hong Kong can stop the aggressive imperialism of the CCP that will be a guiding light for everybody. Conversely, if the CCP succeeds in crushing HK who else is there to stop them consolidating their power?
Matt Stone and Trey Parker?
Maybe Chinese censors will then ban Xi.