It made me sad to have to throw all that away yesterday.
But the conversations we're having as a result of this is great. The mainstream media is talking about it. Congress is talking about it. We're going to have to ask ourselves: can we really let China have this much influence? Is it really worth it? (Remember: this is what Europe is asking about Silicon Valley with things like GDPR, and it's working out quite well for them.)
Banning someone from Hearthstone GM doesn't matter. But we are heading down a path where we decide what our values are, and they're looking pretty good.
This is not a question of a foreign country being different. This is a question of a foreign company forcing us to slowly give up the very things we consider to make us human -- our freedoms -- in exchange for a couple extra bucks. The fact that companies are willing to do it is pathetic. And I'm glad that people are finally waking up to this.
Hong Kong is literally protesting to have the right to a trail by jury! How anyone in The West could not take their side is baffling to me. I wish I was a gamer so I could boycott Blizzard. But I am a basketball player, and I'll make sure to tell everyone I can to boycott the NBA until they make this right.
The protesters are not wrong. The CCP is antithetical to our way of life in The West. Apologist companies to The CCP -- in my view -- are a direct threat to my freedom as a human being.
“We are strongly dissatisfied and we oppose Silver’s claim to support Morey’s right of free expression. We believe that any speech that challenges national sovereignty and social stability is not within the scope of freedom of speech,” CCTV said in its statement in Chinese, which was translated by CNBC“
This is not just wrong, it’s so wrong it’s not even remotely compatible with how we define freedom. To see this in writing is just disturbing and sad that after all these decades of lip service on moderation and opening up and being a global participant, China is basically no different than it was under Mao.
But, yes, something fucky is going on with their account management system, which is actively blocking people from disabling their accounts (via blocking account verification attempts, I believe).
This is very much not true. For one, there's rampant consumer capitalism, very little social net, no tens of millions starving to death, and something like 10-100x more personal income.
I don't know if you have family that grew up under Mao or not that you can go check with, but, this is a really, really false statement to make.
I'm not saying it's all peachy now, just that it is a far cry from Mao.
I do agree that CCP's statement there about freedom of speech is ridiculous to say about something spoken in the US.
Is this a list of four different differences? Under Mao, when tens of millions of people starved to death, how much of a social net was there?
Under Mao, despite an ostensibly strong social net, many still starved to death. I intentionally listed those two together because Mao time was not so great for many.
If you look at free speech in Europe for example, in eg Germany there are laws against hate speech or defamation of individual people (quite differentiated, an opinion is ok and true facts are ok, but invented facts are not). One of the targets is Nazi propaganda, and in general the support is good.
Still, the goal is similar, social stability, peace and protection of minorities. People do not get disappeared, but they do get sued.
Let’s not act as if that’s an unimaginable term.
Despite the kind of hand-wringing about this that folks such as yourself routinely engage in over this subject, German society has somehow managed to survive and thrive despite this relatively minor limitation on their freedom of speech. They even have some hateful racist shitbags gaining seats in the Bundestag.
Most countries: Has a fairly clear legal definition of hate speech, in statute or precedent.
The judge explicitly asked his defence to explore freedom of expression. He chose not to. The rest of his "defence" was laughable and easily disproved lies. The judge pointed out his failure to explore freedom of expression in his summing up. Short of using neon, how much more clearly could the judge have telegraphed it? The conviction was therefore on pure technical breach of the law with no mitigation.
Markus Meechan was left looking like a complete moron who threw away his opportunity of defence. In addition to being a bottom feeding racist. Oh, and a scammer as he crowdsourced a load of money for the defence he didn't bother offering.
> In addition to being a bottom feeding racist.
It surely was a dog whistle all along. A pug whistle to be exact. I am not sure what to say to this.
> a load of money
deserved in my opinion and he is not the one looking like an idiot coming out of this story.
Admittedly, some jokes live only from the reaction.
Reading the judgement took my opinion from surprise at an apparently ridiculous verdict, to one that was entirely fitting.
>> a load of money
> deserved in my opinion
For what? A defence he did not use after encouragement?
I watched the actual video in question, and with regards to the judgement, I disagree that it was menacing, anti-semitic, or racist.
The video, if anything, is anti-racist and anti-anti-semitic. It's certainly not threatening to anyone of reasonable mind, unless one considers the pug to be a danger to the Jewish community.
It's not painting Nazi atrocities as a positive thing, it's making clear that it's literally the most horrendous thing possible.
The judge takes issue with some things having a different impact when part of a joke.
>"You accepted that the phrase “* the *” was anti-Semitic though not, you said, when used as part of a joke."
It isn't anti-Semitic in context. Did you watch the video?
He had a defence. He chose not to use it, despite the judge explicitly encouraging him to. So after the judge points to the exit, he faces the other way and sulks.
He deserved conviction. Except we're not nearly done.
(From memory) His tale of the joke intended solely for his girlfriend was completely shredded as a pack of lies in court. His girlfriend didn't even subscribe to his channel, or know of his joke. The judge had a better awareness of how Youtube worked than the guy with the channel. In context the "private joke" was for mass distribution and nothing to do with his girlfriend.
Now he deserves prosecution for perjury. Moronic and obvious perjury, but perjury nonetheless. So bad I was laughing while reading the judgement. I think perjury carries the lengthier maximum sentence. We're still not done.
> It isn't anti-Semitic in context. Did you watch the video?
[Yes I did. The judge very clearly states the conviction is on the simple breach of the law. Context and mitigating circumstance is irrelevant as Meecham chose not to use the freedom of expression defence. Thus "in-context" does not matter at all.
So forget the pug. Forget the joke, the context, the way he made it totally not funny unless you're seven. It's obviously anti-semitic, but not especially harmful. Meecham accepts it's anti-semitic. It's not threatening compared to a march with dozens of thugs chanting the exact same phrases, into the faces of actual people. The law must cater for both ends of the threat scale being videoed and distributed. Clearly it is reasonable for there to be some offence, and some chance of mitigation for the lesser or technical breaches and parody or humour.
Repeating a phrase he accepts as racist, over and over, to clips of Hitler, jews and for some reason Buddha (IIRC, it's been a while), is clearly anti-semitic in context. Clearly it's not threatening on the scale of possibility of people using the same phrase and actions in a different context. Just a feeble joke, but accepted as anti-semitic by Meecham in court nonetheless. Still, he's not on trial for how funny he is or isn't either.
This is all 99.9% pointless discussion. None of this section is relevant as it's mitigation that the defendant chose not to use. Were he not a complete moron he would have most likely been reasonably acquitted for freedom of expression.]
He was offered an out by the judge in the context of the legal system. Then ignored it.
Reading the full judgement warmed my heart and restored a little faith in British justice.
OK, he's a moron as well as a convicted criminal, and clearly shown to be a perjurer. End of. I wonder what happened to the thousands he crowdsourced for his defence, but no-defence-offered really.
Is that the judgment? If so, when you say "He had a defence. He chose not to use it, despite the judge explicitly encouraging him to", are you referring to this part?
> I should note that although I invited both legal representatives to make legal submissions during the trial about the law on freedom of expression, that was done only to a very limited extent. In the absence of focused submissions on that topic by either the Crown or the defence, all I can say is that, while that right is very important, in all modern democratic countries the law necessarily places some limits on that right.
The next paragraph is relevant to the context, as he makes clear that in the absence of those explorations, the conviction rests solely on the narrow fact of whether the law was breached or not. i.e. without any mitigation taken into account:
“This trial, unusual though some aspects have been, was therefore concerned, ultimately, only with the narrow fact-based question of whether the Crown has proved beyond reasonable doubt that your using a public communications network on one day to post the video onto your video channel, constituted an offence contrary to section 127(1)(a) of the Communications Act 2003. I found it proved on the evidence that it was. My finding establishes only your guilt of this offence. It establishes nothing else and sets no precedent.
Because local prejudice can provide bias, jurors can be influenced by a lawyer's courtroom performance, most juries aren't actually a random sample of the population, long trials usually create hasty verdicts, most jurors don’t have a background in law, and jurors do not need to reason their decision.
Not to say that there aren't pro's to trial-by-jury, but not every Westerner is convinced that trial-by-jury is better than many of the alternatives, and that doesn't make a Westerner any less of a "Westerner."
Nullification is rare and unfortunately that line of defense largely failed during the drug war. But I think that's largely because the government was able to successfully make it a racial issue. It's not always easy to take advantage of deep social divisions for all kinds of policies, and that's why dictators don't like juries.
Kind of like guns. How useful are they against tyranny really? Useful enough that tyrants try to take them away, and that's all I need to know.
Is that actually the case? A dictator should have little problem punishing jurors for bad judgments, incentivizing them to fall in line like judges. But in (western) democracies, dictators seem to arise from demagogues / populists winning elections. Such a zealous fan base will be reflected in the jury.
WE have thrown it away already, China is just trying to speed things up.
I've thought quite a bit about this, and my conclusion is that everything is cyclical and has a rise and fall because it only takes a few generations to unlearn hard-fought lessons. Only this time around technology is going to enable a level of control that has never been achieved before. I can only hope that technology will also allow the escape of that same level of control.
A perfect example is how larger and larger swathes of the populace is ok hampering free speech in the name of empathy. They don't fully understand the implications, and there will be generations that will be forced to relearn those lessons, and it won't be a cheap lesson.
Thank you again for recommending it, I really enjoyed the insights it had. I found the idea that democracies tend to end up dictatorships/authoritarianism to be extremely fascinating.
And the observation that market driven economies have happened in the past helped me realize current times are not nearly as unique as I believed.
I'm not generally interested in history, but this particular topic interests me due to the changes I've seen in just my lifetime.
I don't disagree with your post at all, but I wanted to note that it's important to remember that companies aren't people, they're machines generally designed to maximize profit. Morals don't apply to them - only the law, and money does.
Personally I've boycotted Blizzard in response, and I hope more people do.
One might suggest that encouraging freedom / democracy is in the long run health of all for-profit companies. I haven't seen any boards or shareholder activists argue against this yet.
That is "technically correct" but meaningless in practice. It's like saying that people are just a collection of molecules. While technically not wrong, humans are of course more than the sum of its parts. The collection of molecules, arranged in a certain way, exhibits emergent behaviour; it will seek food or have intelligent thoughts, which molecules individually can't be said to do.
Likewise, companies as institutions are more than the sum of their people, and will display behaviour that cannot be fully explained by looking at their people individually, and this has very much real consequences. Like a nation is more than a collection of people, and this fact has consequences on the real world.
Each company has different behaviors, some broadly can be assumed, like, a company won’t usually want to deliberately destroy or bankrupt itself (there have been exceptions to this!). Others will contribute greatly to social or environmental programs that directly hurt short term profits. how they get to those decisions is complex and requires strategy, execution, leadership, etc. Not something so 19th century as “profit maximization”
My original post was to state that’s it is false to suggest that a company is always a profit-maximizing amoral machine. People aren’t machines and The emergent behavior of any given corporation rarely is “Profit maximization”. It is sort of like saying the emergent behavior of a sports team is “point maximization”. It is meaningless and not true.
What's with the apologist mindset there?
If you can't hold a group of people accountable for ethical conduct, from whence comes the idea that singular actors should be regulatable by traditional justice systems?
Corporations were intended to distribute risk to enable collective groups to attempt something which none individually could have hoped to do without a significant chance of losing everything.
They were not intended as a bulwark through which to engage in ethically dubious behavior in search of profit. Profit is not a right. Merely a happy byproduct of a job well done.
Ethical behavior, and actually performing a valuable service for the society hosting the corporation is the primary goal. Not profit generation.
The sheer bullheaded insistence that profit is the be all end all of human activity needs to die.
> E. Access to Your Account and Content
> We reserve the right to take steps we believe are reasonably necessary or appropriate to enforce and/or verify compliance with any part of this Agreement. You acknowledge and agree that we may, without liability to you, access, use, preserve and/or disclose your Account information and Content to law enforcement authorities, government officials, and/or a third party, as we believe is reasonably necessary or appropriate, if legally required to do so or if we have a good faith belief that such access, use, disclosure, or preservation is reasonably necessary to: (a) comply with legal process or request; (b) enforce this Agreement, including investigation of any potential violation thereof; (c) detect, prevent or otherwise address security, fraud or technical issues; or (d) protect the rights, property or safety of GCBD, its users, Apple, a third party, or the public as required or permitted by applicable law. You understand and agree that Apple and GCBD will have access to all data that you store on this service, including the right to share, exchange and disclose all user data, including Content, to and between each other under applicable law.
They sleep at night with the sad belief that because they hand it over to the Chinese and don't do it themselves it's all fine...
Apple can chose to operate in China and backdoor iCloud there or they can chose not to operate in China at all. It's hard for me to see how either choice will substantially affect people's liberties in China, it's not like apple products are in any way vital to the surveillance state.
On the other hand more and more companies retaliating (out of a desire to curry economic favor with China) against people who exercise their freedom of speech in non-authoritarian countries would seem to affect people's liberties to me.
Tim Cook defied the US goverment over the exact same issue, and even said:
"Compromising the security of our personal information can ultimately put our personal safety at risk. That is why encryption has become so important to all of us."
So to me, seeing him allow Chinese authorities access to that same data in China in the name of sales is incredibly hypocritical.
Apple is compromising the freedom of Chinese residents in China.
While I don't really support Apple's action it's easy to see why the first issue should be Blizzard's blame while the second issue is China's blame.
It's hard to see this account (jbang5) as anything but an internet troll who, if not literally on the payroll from the Chinese government, is still a useful idiot for their cause.
What I usually do, to counter this trolling tactic, is to provide them with the source that they were asking for, and then I call them an idiot for not being aware of such an obvious fact.
Because, by definition, they are uninformed about the matter, as they didn't know about the source and had to ask for it. So I just make fun of them for not knowing about it, and rub it in their face when I provide the information that they asked for and didn't know about.
If you have to ask for sources on the matter, you are by definition "ignorant" on the matter.
Based off of this web comic: http://wondermark.com/c/2014-09-19-1062sea.png
You could also look at some of the other links already posted to this thread in response to similar queries from you and others, like this one (https://news.ycombinator.com/item?id=21207931) and this one (https://news.ycombinator.com/item?id=21208376).
Tianhe-2 Supercomputer @ 33.86 petaflops (quadrillion flops)
=33 860 000 000 000 000 keys per second (33.86 quadrilion)
3.386e16 * 31556952 seconds in a year
2255 possible keys
2^255 / 1.0685184e24
=1.0685184e24 keys per year (~1 septillion, 1 yottaflop)
Needless to say, that's a long fucking time. Yes, cracking an access password would be much less time-consuming and so would finding and using non-brute force attack methods to guess or steal the key but for your basic claim that "Yes", China has cracked strong encryption, I just don't see where you get that idea from.
Chinese government nationalized the data centers six months later, gaining access to all the encryption keys and user iCloud data at rest. Apple complied:
They allow a Chinese company to manage iCloud data.
Although I think they have regretted that decision.
Google, on the other hand, walked away from China and it's business as usual for them.
This has also created a market for very cheap uncertified Android phones+ accompanying malware.
Google famously pulled out of China rather than censor, but that was just a PR move because they already were failing in China. I'd argue that censorship is an altogether different situation anyway.
Apple removing iCloud from China helps literally nobody. Chinese users don't have an alternative that isn't subject to the same Chinese laws. Any user that wishes to resort to less-than-legal alternatives can do so whether or not Apple provides iCloud services.
Ultimately this boils down to "should the Chinese court systems be able to decide when to hand data over to the Chinese government", because that's the effect of using a Chinese partner company to manage the iCloud data. For everyone else it's "should the US court systems be able to decide" instead, which honestly isn't all that much better.
Tim Cook even said: "Compromising the security of our personal information can ultimately put our personal safety at risk."
And yet, here he is in China compromising personal data, all to make a buck.
Doesn't seem that heartwarming at all, just gross.
I've bought game merch and London Spitfire (Overwatch League) merch, I've bought the OWL Pass thingy, I've cheered bits. And I bought the game at launch (no pre-order).
I've played a lot for a casual player, and I've watched even more. It's the only esport that I've enjoyed watching.
Only once did I ever buy Loot Boxes.
That purchase of Loot Boxes was because they brought out a new event that I loved, for free, and it seemed like a cheap but quantifiable way of showing support for what they were doing. I didn't need any of the skins.
I felt the way they've done Loot Boxes is "Loot Boxes Done Right".
So this feels like a real kick in the balls.
The home stand games for OWL will be brutal. Fan signs are already a bit rough on old Blizz on occasions. I'd give it three matches before a "FREE HONG KONG" sign makes it onto broadcast and there's a massive shitshow.
* - I suppose there’s a little less content. And old sets are ridiculously expensive for stupid skin packs. But the idea itself is neat.
The issue isn't that countries can influence each other (and each other's populations and companies), it's how they are using that power that matters.
Or is Europe somehow more special than China?
Most articles I've read on it state the user must be in Europe and taking a product/service delivered to Europe. A US tourist buying something in a store when they arrive in Europe has GDPR protection, a French tourist visiting the US (or even at home in France but buying something online to be delivered to a friend in the US) is not.
For something to change people have to vote with their wallets. In this context that means cancelling subscriptions or dropping games they are already playing in favor for ones by competitors with better integrity, and I don't see that happening.
Diablo players could go to Path of Exile, its closest competitor, but that game is massively invested into China as well and partially owned by Tencent.
Warcraft RTS players represent a small market right now with almost no microtransactions or ongoing revenue.
WoW players have alternatives, but not many I am aware of that aren't heavily Chinese based as the MMORPG category is dominated by Chinese companies like Perfect World.
Starcraft players don't have a lot of alternatives as SC has dominated the esports and highly polished RTS category for over 5 years with the same game. The closest competitor would be Age of Empires or Warhammer, I'm not sure how much influence China has over them, but they are different types of RTS games.
Heroes of the Storm players can go to Dota or LoL. LoL being owned by China and Dota being owned by Valve with strong Chinese market involvement.
More alternatives are needed IMO.
Path of Exile is an interesting case as I know a lot of Diablo players went there since Diablo III is effectively on life support (including myself), but the resurfacing of the Tencent ownership news is causing ethical complications: https://www.reddit.com/r/pathofexile/comments/df5zx7/anyone_...
(1) Blizzard's early games earned huge amounts of goodwill by enabling players to mod them. The map editor of Warcraft and the UI mod-ability of WoW let people build entire communities around modded content (DotA, for example!). To my knowledge games after Starcraft II have largely lacked anything resembling this kind of functionality (please correct me if I'm wrong). Hearthstone, HotS, Diablo 3, and Overwatch all have 100% of their content locked down from the top down. I don't think the contribution of mods to the longevity of Blizzard's early titles can be overstated, and I'm confused why they haven't kept up that spirit.
(2) Blizzard has had a long string of eyebrow-raising failures to foster the competitive gaming scene, which they've been tone-deaf on since at least Starcraft II. They pulled the cord entirely on HotS after getting the game into great shape, the kept the Overwatch meta unbelievably stale for years, the Hearthstone Grandmaster League has been a joke on multiple fronts (in addition to an objectively stupid format decision for the first season, they insist on reserving seats in their flagship tournament for popular streamers rather than top players, resulting in some just... awful games). In general they try to retain far too much control and stifle anything they feel inconveniences them.
Add to that (3) a string of jaw-droppingly bad community management moves ("you think you want that"... Diablo for mobile...) and (4) Activision looming like an insect and (5) lots of Bizarre changes to games to appease Blizzard China
I don't know, I used to perceive Blizzard as a good steward for games. Now I don't think the game makers have that degree of control over the company's decisions, or their priorities have changed.
So it doesn't surprise me that people were as quick to kick them to the curb as they were. It would have 10 years ago, but not today.
I didn't particularly like the shift to heroes, creeps, and semi-3D in Warcraft 3, but that's a personal opinion.
Then they hit me with Diablo 3 -> Starcraft 2 -> Hearthstone. Diablo 3's faults are well documented, it's apparently in a good place now but that ship has sailed for me. Starcraft 2 just didn't feel good to play for me. The snappy control and clean sprites of SC:BW was replaced with muddy 3D visuals and slow turning 3D models. And Hearthstone was fun, but they dialed up the RNG to entice casual players and make streams exciting. It got annoying to keep rolling the dice - both when opening packs and in the game (Dr Boom anyone?).
It took a while but eventually I realised their spark and magic was gone. They're just another AAA developer that I mostly ignore now.
The first time with Japanese console games, sometime during the PlayStation/2 era. There was something of a golden age on the way to mastery of 2D in the 1990's. I'm talking about the craftsmanship, the attention to minute details, the cognitive approach in designing difficulty and progression and outright "fun" games playing on our senses etc. The ingenuosity of some RPG systems, etc.
All that gradually took a back-seat as 3D was emphasizing visuals and "shiny" replaced "smart", "realistic" replaced "immersive".
The second time was with Blizzard, in very comparable ways — when you go back to the basics, how characters move and behave, how actually fun it is to press a button over and over, etc. Things that make some games absolutely stellar and others garbage and you just can't know until you try your hands on it for some time.
Needless to say I don't bother with most AAA today. (not that I game a lot if at all)
A common complaint about the open world trend is that environments feel bland, sparse, and copy-pasted. There is a lack of that hand-crafted attention to detail you mention when compared to something like Hollow Knight with beautiful backgrounds and precise control.
However open worlds, imho, pose challenges but not to the extent that it explains or excuses the lack of 'basic' low-level (physiological almost) engagement. It's a different problem I think, e.g. consider the 'blandness' of a typical NES or early PC world, and yet how engaging some titles managed to be. That's what I'm talking about. Sure, visuals help immersion (so a great open world may help, a bland one may deter), but this is at another, higher level than controls.
For instance, even in 3D, I remember having more fun "farming" in old-school ugly MMOs — up to and including WoW 1.x — than in later very "rich" worlds. The problem is so basic: for instance, visual feedback not perfectly timed to provoke "satisfaction" or a "reward" feeling, but rather feels frustrating and/or working against me (the worst feeling ever in a game, when the part that's yours — e.g. feedback, hitpoints — seems rigged or not fair or simply deceitful / obfuscated).
I remember reading Square Enix devs for FFXIV that "yes, boss X is essentially 'cheating' but that's because hollywood experience! better this way!"... — err, no, sorry, not ever was a game better because your opponent is visibly unfair — hasn't anyone learned from Metal Gear. This was the day I knew I just couldn't keep playing the game, it would never be satisfying to me because of its design philosophy.
As a friend in game dev at Capcom explained to me once, player controls is a very tedious work of finding the "ideal" timing windows and key combinations / orders that just make it "fun", subjectively. It's a lot of back-and-forth between code and testing some alpha — hundreds of times over a typical day. It's almost biological in nature, like good music. And stupid loads of time + great tooling are paramount to do this job well — one reason PlayStation SDKs are so appreciated in the industry ever since day 1, 1994; a polar opposite to Nintendo's for instance (I hear they got better, but look no further to explain 'lack of third-party support' on many of their platforms).
Controls may be "precise" but above all need to be predictable, learnable — like Sonic has always been 'sloppy', unlike Mario, but this ties in well with his speed (hence inertia) and persona (go-getter), and it's a small learning curve for players, but one that sets 'experienced' players appart. A great "sloppy" implementation, nonetheless precise mathematically.
I definitely have to check out Hollow Knight, though!
Sorry for a long piece, it's one of my 'truths' in game 'quality'. Note that this is all good advice to design UI in general for any kind of software — especially the timing of action, feedback, effect on events. There's a way — through testing — to make it all just 'flow' 'naturally' and with a weirdly 'satisfying' feeling.
I play FFXIV and I'm not sure what the quote is referring to but in general I think it has a very good feel. They made a conscious choice to decouple animations from hits, meaning they can go nuts with extensive and flashy animations but your job is to just not be in the ground AOE marker when it vanishes - if you didn't get out in time you are hit, regardless of how long the following animation takes or whether you've walked a few steps since. This has a learning curve and confuses new players so should be explained better, but it makes for snappier gameplay and tighter movement patterns at the higher skill levels once you get it. Top raids are very much a dance of positioning, movement, and maximising uptime, which I enjoy a lot.
To the contrary (referring to ugly old MMOs) I also enjoyed FFXI and that was anything but quick and precise, the battle log itself was delayed and sluggish and abilities only came out every few minutes if you weren't a caster. I'm not sure what it was, but I think it was that feeling of overcoming a challenge in a group (or the challenge of just finding a group!) and the ability to break the rules by beating enemies with 2 skilled people instead of a full group. I revisited it recently and still mostly enjoyed it, so it's not just a case of it being the best we could do back then.
And there have been many issues with this over the lifespan of SC2. In the early days it was insanely common to see semi finals or grand finals with dropped games to the point the screen that appears when a connection issue would occur became a meme.
After around 2014 all the major tournaments had "partnered" with Blizzard in one way or another and an on-premise server is now used with a whole cloak-and-dagger system of ensuring the software on it never makes it out to the public. You have to pay Blizzard to operate the server on premise by their staff, essentially the same people who already have access to the Battle.net servers themselves.
And then in the end the game became free to play in 2017 anyhow.
I've heard good things about Grim Dawn
Even if you boycotted all Blizzard products, the call of duty series and candy crush would take the hit. Also, I don't think it would work period; if Blizzard made this a hill to die on, it's because the Chinese market must be growing and higher profit than the west.
The people who pay set the rules.
Read the whole thread. It's bribes and subsidies.
Good, then let them exist only in China.
Somehow, if Blizzard has to choose, I think it will dump China first. Just a hunch.
Some additions though:
I know for RTSes AOE2 is still shockingly active and viable as it happens to have landed on "peak RTS complexity" from a combination of minimal auto along with some unique features like one of the fewer RTSes to have a remotely accurate tooth to tail ratio - it is extraordinarily rare for the military to outnumber the civilian sector and if you are in that position unless victory is assured defeat is inevitable.
AOE2 is conveniently open in its protocols and they demonstrate why independence from competitive tournaments is important to game making. From a business standpoint the best choice isn't to kowtow but to stay not responsible for it.
Which is an ironic but tangible advantage for open software and giving up control. Even the unreasonable can see that any controversial actions are not your fault just like Lego can't stop you from building dongs and swastikas with their bricks.
Personally I suspect MMOs would be harder to replace by "flavor" from how out of Zeitgeist they are after so many tried and failed to create WOW killers they stopped trying. Combined with Free To Play models sucking much of the staple player base away. Even longtime rivals or disliked MMO variants mourn the passing or decline of others. They have effectively become period pieces in many ways - not dead but in clear twilight.
I would agree with you if this wasn't all tied to ongoing protests in Hong Kong and a continued trade war with China that both don't appear like they're going to be resolved any time soon. Blizzard has inadvertently added an anchor to the situation without a clear way of removing it.
If anyone is prompted to try it then be aware that everything under ARR (up to level 50) is a real slog. The slower pace didn't bother me but makes some people quit before the good bits.
I mean, in those cases they are often writing the playbook for the government when it comes to implementing certain policies. Crazy that is even legal for a western firm.
I don’t do anything public sector so I don’t know what policies we do. But in reading this it feels like you are implying that McKinsey would be behind various draconian policies or censorship. I would say that’s relatively unlikely given the nature of what the firm does and does not like to associate itself with. As the only anecdotal evidence I have There was that Saudi thing from a while ago where someone did a social network analysis on political ideas, and the internal discussion was adamantly that we don’t do projects like that (identifying dissidents) for governments.
Also while it is a company founded in the west, a team serving Chinese government interests is highly likely to be 100% Chinese people, living in China, landed by Chinese partners. Both because Chinese workers tend to serve Chinese clients and I would guess that the Chinese government requires this. If you were to make such a thing illegal, what would likely happen is the firm would just split into two firms, the Chinese part and the not Chinese part, and it wouldn’t make a ton of difference because most work is driven by individual contributors on an individual basis rather than a large group effort from an entity like Google.
McKinsey has been involved with a lot of bad stuff internationally over the last decade or two. Monitor's work with Gaddafi was also really gross. There's an odd dichotomy though - the ex-McKinsey employees I know personally and work closely with are all very thoughtful, ethical people.
Much as the trolley is going to hit some group, and you have the option to reduce it from a larger group to a smaller group, except this time instead of a large metal contraption under the influence of gravity and/or steam, you have a bag of flesh and bone working using the power of glucose. Does this change the parameters of the trolley problem at all?
Honestly, until now I've never thought about it. Might be an interesting thought experiment.
The Purdue thing was really bad. That’s acknowledged. Nobody is happy about it. Plenty of work has been done pro bono to combat the opioid crisis even prior to the realization of what had happened. I have worked at other places and I legit feel comfortable saying that relative to most American businesses, the firm is not an evil purely profit maximizing machine. Most people’s day to day is benign and well intended and you can just straight up talk to people about it because people are interested in such things.
tldr: while I fully recognize bad things have happened I would say that on average McKinsey is more morally self conscious than your average us company. Take it as you will
China is trapped. They are stuck with this democratic appendix attached to a communist body. China can't keep Hong Kong under a democratic system as they have zero understanding of democracy. But if they try to repress it they risk endangering China's relationships with the rest of the world. They made a
mistake thinking they could transform a democratic territory into a communist one without any consequences.
I thought China was smarter than this. I thought they would realize the value of Hong Kong. Apparently China doesn't want Hong Kong. They want to remove the perennial thorn in their side, that democratic city-state of Chinese heritage right on their border. They want to grind it into dust, slowly if possible, but immediately if Hong Kong makes too much fuss about the pestle. They want to remove the painful reminder of [their losses during] the Opium Wars and British influence in the Sinosphere. They want to do that at any cost, including destroying Hong Kong's culture and attractiveness as a business location.
This is the height of tragedy. There will never be another place like it, and China is destroying it out of spite and ideological inflexibility.
After all, with Western governments changing every few years, who will even remember in a decade?
That is: HK's value is less about its own numbers and more about the numbers it enables other Chinese cities to achieve.
It sounds reasonable to me, though. If I'm gonna go to China to meet up with some manufacturer, then I'd rather do it in a place where I can send/receive emails without having to figure out which VPN providers the Party hasn't blocked yet. If I'm gonna stick around there as a full-time job, I'd definitely rather do so in a place where I'm not restricted in what I do online.
Interesting. How does Hong Kong function as China's "eyes" in your analogy?
Keep in mind that that's the perspective you've been conditioned to see by the media you've consumed.
>If it becomes a homogenized satellite of Shenzhen with sky high real estate, which seems to be what China wants, what's left of Hong Kong?
Well, for one thing, the unstable political condition is likely to change the "sky high real estate" bit.
>I thought China was smarter than this. I thought they would realize the value of Hong Kong. Apparently China doesn't want Hong Kong.
Oh, please. They do want Hong Kong. They just want Hong Kong in a different way from how the rest of the world thinks Hong Kong is valuable to China.
>They want to remove the painful reminder of the Opium Wars and British influence in the Sinosphere.
The Anglosphere wants to remove the painful reminder of the Opium Wars. You seem to. China doesn't.
As for foreign influence in their own backyard, ever heard of NIMBY ("not in my back yard")?
>There will never be another place like it, and China is destroying it out of spite and ideological inflexibility.
Not quite. For one thing, Hong Kong has lost its lustre as "a place to live or to do business or to visit". Recent IMF data show that its GDP per capita is almost half that of Macau SAR:
It's also fallen far behind as one of the world's busiest ports: Shenzhen now outranks it.
It's not a matter of whether Hong Kong becomes "a homogenized satellite of Shenzhen", but when, because Hong Kong is already heading down that road.
What you, and other commentators, seem to fail to understand is that China absolutely wants Hong Kong, but not for it being an SAR. No. Reread Carrie Lam's leaked comments again:
>Lam noted, however, that she had few options once an issue had been elevated “to a national level,” a reference to the leadership in Beijing, “to a sort of sovereignty and security level, let alone in the midst of this sort of unprecedented tension between the two big economies in the world.”
This has now been elevated to an issue of national security for China. Do you know why?
Because the Hong Kong activists are now demanding independence.
Set aside the issue of self-determination for a minute. Suppose you are playing as China in this game of Civilization and a city that you've got back is doing this. How would you react?
Would you fold to the demands of Washington and Elizabeth?
Or would you look at South Korea? At Taiwan? At how Mongolia got away with the help of Catherine?
Notwithstanding the rhetoric around the Opium Wars, Hong Kong is strategically valuable -- and not simply economically valuable -- to China because it's located on the other side of the mouth of the Pearl River from Macau. It's literally a physical gatekeeper to Guangzhou. Have a look at the geographic reality:
(China does have detailed economic plans for the region: https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Pearl_River_Delta_Economic_Zon...)
Which is why China would hold on to Hong Kong tightly, as tightly as it'd hold on to Tibet or Xinjiang. For strategic reasons.
Point taken. But it was one of the demands of some protesters in the past, so I must have got that confused with the current demands of the 2019 protesters.
Be that as it may be, the comment I was replying to was echoing points made by the pro-independence movement in justifying their stance, in particular by highlighting Hong Kong's allegedly distinct cultural identity.
I'd think, for instance, that Macau has a more distinctive cultural identity than HK, and in any case, harshreality's argument sought to portray China as a cultural monolith.
The reality is that there are at least as many cultural identities as there are provinces, and in Guangdong province alone, there are three separate dialect groups -- Yue (Cantonese), Hakka, Southern Min (Teochew, Leizhou) -- each with their own distinct culture.
You may see why, from a certain perspective, the cultural identity argument of the pro-independence movement is rather specious. But harshreality isn't the only commentator I've seen who's brought up HK's cultural identity as an argument.
Finally, perhaps I should let a Hongkonger speak for himself. Lewis Lau Yiu-man is a commentator based in Hong Kong, who writes for Stand News, a pro-democracy online news website, and contributed this piece to the New York Times last month. After a historical preamble, he made this claim:
>That’s because — want it or not, know it or not — the Umbrella Movement planted the seed of separatism in the city. I don’t mean that the idea was entirely new: There had been some proponents of localism, at the margins. And I don’t mean that separatism is now the order of the day[...] I mean that the Umbrella Movement was, in fact, an independence movement — but an independence movement that didn’t know itself.
He even analyses Beijing's perspective:
>And so from Beijing’s perspective, when pro-democracy protesters and their supporters reject what it perceives as its right to intervene here, they are challenging its very sovereignty. In this, at least, Beijing is correct. It knows what many Hong Kongers don’t seem to have fully appreciated: Admit it or not, we are actually rejecting Chinese sovereignty — we are already an independence movement in disguise. And it all started with the Umbrella Movement.
So there's your source.
It seems to me that there certainly is a distinct cultural identity in Hong Kong. Children are raised with less indoctrination in school, they have more access to Western media, and they have different values and manners. It’s obvious the minute you get to Hong Kong. Ask the mainlanders who complain about pretentious, condescending Hong Kongers whether there’s a distinct culture there.
I do think I see your point - there are many distinct cultures all over China and it’s certainly not a monolith. But I still have the impression that in certain ways the values of Hong Kong people are, on average, different. They certainly don’t seem to want to give ground on some of their individual freedoms.
Anyways, it seems hypocritical for Beijing to characterize this as a sovereignty issue, if your analyst is correct about their view. They agreed to one country two systems (for now), and the whole sovereignty argument seems more like a distraction to me.
It seems like they just don’t want to admit mistakes - easier to blame Western influence than admit that they’ve pushed too hard and made the people too angry.
Anyways, I really appreciate the discussion. I’m kind of starved for people to talk to about it.
They actually have their own language, Macanese Patois, which is a Portuguese-based creole, in addition to Cantonese, English and maybe Portuguese. Their cuisine is also a blend of Cantonese and Portuguese cuisines. They don't really have a film industry, but my impression is that neither does Hong Kong these days.
It's interesting to compare and contrast the two SARs. You hardly ever hear about Macau, and Beijing didn't seem to have been as compelled to spell out what it thinks "one country two systems" should mean for Macau, as it did for Hong Kong in 2014.
Nope. Like Palestine, it'd just be another showcase of the British strategy of "divide and quit". Heck, someone wrote a book about it:
China in 2019 is a simple fascist dictatorship.
Edit: Fixed a broken link
The discussions I've seen point more towards Legalism, a Chinese theory of governance that's similar to fascism. I guess "Fascism" is a decent analogy, but its probably more accurate to just call it Legalism. Especially because China has a long, cultural history with Legalism (while Fascism would be associated with WW2 Germany or Italy)
I agree, but "legalism" has its own meaning in Western philosophy, so "fascism" is the more appropriate terminology to avoid confusion:
>Especially because China has a long, cultural history with Legalism
This is something that most people won't know without a detailed study of Chinese history. Legalism in China won the day against Confucianism a long time ago in 221 BC, when the First Emperor of China came to power, and has never quite lost its place in Chinese political thought since.
Ex: We could translate "Samurai" into "Knight", except a Samurai code of feudalism was completely different than a Knight's code of feudalism (even if both were forms of feudalism). There are also major differences in how the aristocracy worked between Japan and Europe. At some point, its best to just stick with the native tongue.
Sadly, the "best approach" has a good track record of being the approach that is usually not taken.
Putting aside his philosophy's flaws he expected a feudalism to capitalism to communism progression more or less.
Lenin was not only part of ousting the czar but establishment of the party as a nominally proletariat peasant dictatorship. That attempted teological speedrunning to try to "skip to the end" is classic Lenin.
Even if the system later reforms there is still a legacy in the how. France and England are both parliamentary representative democracies who were once under monarchies but the UK has far more monarchist vestiges than France. While technically accurate to call France as monarchist legacied they would have far more grounds to object to the labeling given the purge of nobility and subsequent traditions - even when they fell into dictatorships again they certainly weren't kings.
To be pedantic we could describe these aspect vestiges as "x legacied". That the West uses latin as it does for mottos and species names is a Roman legacy for instance for it is a trace of their power as lasting influence even though it does not exist today. It does not imply current control any more than Byzantium had control over western Europe.
China may be better described amongst many other attributes as Leninist legacied, oligarchy legacied, Capitalist dictatorship until Xinjiang's inevitable demise.
The fact he consolidated control over Oligarchic and has no clear explicit succession line makes him dictatorial as opposed to mere Oligarchic "the remaining few interests will pick after him". If as the whispered snark of "Emperor Xi" holds and he successfully transmits power to offspring he will have founded an empire (if it dies quickly it wouldn't be the first Chinese dynasty to do so).
China officially describe its ideology as Marxist-Leninism. I mean, depending on how strict your definition of "Leninist" is, even the USSR may not have been "'Leninist' at all".
>The fact of rule by one party that claims to represent the working class does not a Leninist state make.
The notion of the vanguard party is, in fact, a key concept in Leninism. The vanguard party was conceived in opposition to forming trade unions, and was supposed to recruit from the working class. AFAIK trade unions don't exist in China, and the CPC does recruit widely, so it does satisfy the criteria of a vanguard party.
Marxist-Leninism also advocates atheism, another key aspect of Chinese policy.
Also, I found this amusing: did you know Singapore is led by a party that was originally organised as a Leninist party? 
>In Singapore, the People's Action Party (PAP) was organised as a Leninist political party featuring internal democracy. The PAP initiated single-party dominance in the government and popular politics of Singapore.
Of course, the PAP later expunged its leftist faction and swung to the right, but it still retains a lot of the Leninist structure. Imagine, a billionaire's playground run by a centre-right party organised like a Leninist vanguard party.
 Peter Wilson, Economic growth and development in Singapore (2002) p. 30.
Maybe the community could help me to understand whether this is accurate?
The CCP has long ago abandoned ideas of collective ownership; China has many very wealthy individuals whose wealth is private.
But China seems to be a country run on a totalitarian and ethnic nationalist ideology.
There are some pretty obvious elements of most common academic definitions of fascism that China flunks, no matter how you read them; for instance, Chinese society has not been mass-mobilized and militarized by any reasonable definition of those terms. Modern China not only doesn't reject modernism, it wholeheartedly embraces it. If there's a secular civic religion, with ceremony and liturgy, it isn't powerful enough to crowd out other faiths; there is a national patriotic spirit, but it isn't articulated through quasi-mystical symbols and rituals. Violence isn't employed for its own cathartic sake, and is largely "professionalized".
People want to use fascism as a shorthand for "authoritarian nationalism", but it isn't; there are plenty of examples of authoritarian nationalist states that are demonstrably not fascist --- in fact, there are plenty of right-wing authoritarian nationalist states that aren't.
Maybe a good acid test for this: if you were living in a fascist state, you'd know it, in much the same you'd know if you were living in an actual according-to-Hoyle theocracy. China is a huge country and millions of people there live with a relationship between themselves and the state that we would recognize in the west.
I want also to acknowledge that it is kind of squicky to debate whether China is "fascist", in that it's an extremely loaded term that carries implications for ordinary Chinese people living their lives (that's part of the point of fascism). But a discussion about what fascism is or isn't is at least more in the spirit of HN than a lot of the other comments on these threads.
I really dont understand why so many people feel the need to post comments online distinguishing that China is not communist.
Its a disgusting authoritarian regime just like every other self proclaimed communist country in history.
There are multiple species of authoritarian tyrannies; fascism is just one of them. I think people get in trouble trying to generalize and apply fascism to places it doesn't fit. "Communist are fascists" might be one of the text book instances of that problem.
Mildly amusing thingie - a Bulgarian dissident's dissidenting involved writing a book about fascism (titled, for clarity, Fascism) which was really an oblique critique of the communist regime. It got past the censors and was published and then fairly quickly recalled. He later became Bulgaria's first post-communist president.
Nicaragua is a great example of this. The Sadinistas lost power through free elections in which the US interferred. Now that the Sadinistas are back in power, the freedom of their elections has been rapidly decreasing.
"Communist" as a lable has been so misused and unclearly defined for so long that it is mostly useless as a descriptive term.
Can you help me understand how Communism is distinct from Fascism?
It is my understanding Fascism was invented by disaffected Socialists and Marxists who felt the revolution was taking too long.
What is an example of a Communist country, or does every country that calls itself Communist fail the test?
And if every country fails the test, what precisely would be different about a true Communist country versus these pretend-Communist countries?
Contrast how the current Chinese economy is far closer to an average OECD economy to the USSRs economy.
The opposite statement is closer to the truth: fascism as a reactionary response to Marxism and progressivism.
That's how I look at it, though I'm no expert.
> what precisely would be different about a true Communist country versus these pretend-Communist countries
True collective ownership/Marxism. It's unclear whether it's even possible to create this kind of society without it regressing to brutal authoritarianism, but that's the idea at least.
Will it? Because nobody gives a fuck about Palestine, and Israel is not suffering much (or at all) because of what they did and do.
Unfortunately I agree with you. Very few people in the US even care about Israel/Palestine.
I don't know how the sentiment is in Europe, though.
China, as the largest exporter of consumer goods, is much more exposed than Israel. If China wants to become an advanced economy such as Japan and South Korea (and this is what China wants most of all) they need to keep consumers in democratic countries on their side.
As much as I don't want to get into an Israel Palestine debate, that's not because they displaced Palestinian, it's because Israel is filled with Jews.
Nearly nobody (outside of Palestine, and weighted by political power) has a positive concern for the Palestinians, but lots of people (particularly in the US and Israel) have an interest in assuring that anyone who shows any sign of such a positive concern be punished to pressure them to recant and, even if that fails, to discourage others.
I doubt I'll renew - since the root cause is unlikely to be fixed with any PR expedient move at this point. They have shown the world where their true nature lies - and it ain't good. Cancel yours if you have them...
Can't march with no marching orders.
Probably "made enough money so I'm not tucked away in this low-rent retirement home with Nurse Ratched beating me when I don't eat my soup." ;)
Expecting a corporation's officers to enforce moral corporate behavior will generally lead to disappointment. Only law or the market will impose morality and ethical behavior on a corporation. This is by design.
Yes. To be even more clear, when I say "I expect" I mean I'll not purchase products/services unless they do what I expect.
I firmly do believe that people should be held to high moral standards - it's not ONLY a question of laws+market though. There are other pressures available. For example, I think NBA execs should be publicly shamed in this case. Right now they are mostly faceless.
This is one segment of a market expecting a compoany to not insult their national pride, and another segment of the market expecting the same company to not infringe on freedoms.
When I say I "expect" NBA, Blizzard etc to leave money on the market it's because I hope that enough people will feel that way, so the market sorts it. I don't think you need to have a number boycotting NBA or Blizard to equal the size of the chinese market - I think moral and ethics actually plays a part once the backlash from the "good" part of the market is big enough, even if it isn't as large as the Chinese market.
Blizzard has already apologized to China publicly however.
I'd like to try to avoid giving money to China, but they are so ingrained into the American economy I'm not sure how to do this in practice.
That's why we need unions in the software industry. Via collectivized action, the power differential between employer and employees is leveled. This is not only about collective bargaining, being able to enforce adequate labor standards (e.g. no/less/compensated "crunch" time), but also about being able to force company policy. If the majority of employees would strike/walk out and any negative repercussions against individuals would be met with more strikes, Blizzard would very quickly change.
So less than 1% of the company? Not trying to minimize the issue here but let's also not make events sound bigger than they really are.
Thinking that numbers is all that matters is the same as valuing $$$ over morals, which is what this is all about.
I remember it being mentioned in the "Work rules" book by that Google guy. They had a desert in their canteen called "Free Tibet Goji-Chocolate Creme Pie..." in the canteen. They said "well, the food is free, and the berries come from Tibet, so ..." Trying to be cheeky. But several people threatened to quit over this, and they had a huge discussion on the internal mailing list with over 1300 replies. The chef who created it got suspended, and then people got worried because of the chilling effect that this would have on free speech. Eventually the suspension was reversed. Very dramatic.
"We are very angered and disappointed at what happened at
the event and do not condone it in any way. We also highly
object the spreading of personal political beliefs in this
manner. Effective immediately we've banned the contestant
from events and terminated work with the broadcasters. We
will always respect and defend the pride of our country."
If true, the Chinese side of Blizzard is anti-Western values and the US corporate side is ultimately responsible for allowing the situation to happen.
As the US/China trade war drags on, as the HK protests continue, I think US corporations will have to choose between profits or values. Some brands and reputations will be reinforced, others--like Blizzard--will take a massive hit.
Boycotting Chinese products on the other hand...
I don’t think boycotting Blizzard will have much of a direct effect on China’s policy. But if enough companies and governments act responsibly then China may change their policy.
IMHO, it's more efficient done at the government level where it can impact big state-owned companies.
Reading what I just wrote, it may sound like I support Trump's tax war, which is not true at all. He's not doing that to forward an agenda of human rights, which I think it's the point of this whole discussion.
The link says the statue that was made in China, heh.
It looks like China learned nothing from the USSR (or from their own Great Leap Forward, for that matter). Escalation is not going to go their way. Hawkish members of the CCP are going to blow the whole thing up.
This is much bigger than Activision-Blizzard and it's clear that Western companies are going to have to pick a side soon. There's a very salient conflict between Wall Street and the Classical Liberal underpinnings of our modern democracies. As it stands right now, this is going to get worse before it gets better. Is anyone worried about the HKD/USD peg falling?
I would imagine there are thousands of businesses with varying degrees of exposure to the Chinese market whose executives are on pins and needles right now, desperately hoping no circumstance arises that will require them to publicly take a side on this issue.
Businesses with less exposure or fewer ambitions in China might have a lower barrier to standing firm if pushed, but those with the most to lose in the Chinese market are staring down a very real, very imminent choice between taking a major hit to either their revenues or their ethical credibility.
On the contrary, they learned that USSR's self imposed isolation was fundamentally flawed and largely stagnated the Soviet economy. It also put them behind the Western world in terms of R&D. China is attempting to put those lessons to use and attempting to have an "Western opened" totalitarian regime. So far, it seems to be working. Accepting Western capital and tech, stealing everything they can find, and suppressing anything that's a threat to their system while requesting their system become normalized. Whereas we used to shut out the Soviet Union, we welcome China.
+1 on taking the side, it's hard to see China as anything less than hostile to Western democracy.
- Embrace investment globally
- Extend markets and improve industries
- Exert political pressure in exchange for access to now-crucial markets/industries
I just hope it fails before China fully takes over HK's banks
Ideally we'll see political support shifting away from neo-liberalism and toward more pro-democracy ideologies.
There's a strong correlation between economic and social liberty, as well as with the average wealth, quality of life, and happiness of the general population.
The fact Taiwan and HK are right next to China with ethnically and culturally similar people and were both way ahead of China economically and socially is no surprise. I often wonder how much more advanced the entire world would be if China didn't waste 50yrs trying their failed experiment and had skyrocketed to success like Japan, South Korea, HK, and Taiwan did long ago.
without disposable income they have gained from something over the last few decades, they aren't importing massive amounts of goods from their neighbors.
1) China has 1.4 billion potential gamers. That is a TON of money to be had. It's almost 5x the population of the US. If you can make money selling to 330 million, you can probably make more selling to 1.4 billion.
2) China might not want our games. A lot of game tropes that we love in the West are simply not allowed to be depicted in China. A group of renegades bands together to throw off the shackles of oppression? Not allowed. One of the characters is openly gay? Not allowed. The heroes don't wear enough clothing? Not allowed. Even "blood and gore" is apparently objectionable in first-person shooters. So it really calls into questions what story you can tell that is going to be well-received in both the US market and in China. Americans aren't going to buy a watered-down game teeming with Communist propaganda. So you are already developing two separate games.
I worry that we see $$$ in China, but it's not ever going to pan out. If we can all increase our wealth by 5x in a year by censoring a video game, maybe it's worth it. But if we do that and see nothing in return, then we just look like fools. My fear is that the second case is more likely than the first.
Admittedly I'm not fully up to speed on the situation, but I doubt Blizzard would have taken this action without considering Tencent's influence.
I think this is kind of cheating (Tencent, Alibaba, etc. have zillions of small-ish investments). I was mostly thinking about Apple, Google, heck, even the NBA.
At 5% ownership, Tencent doesn't have the muscle to force Blizzard to do anything it wouldn't have already done of its own volition.
Seconds delay lets you pull the cord before it goes public and or change feed.
Minutes potentially let you omit the footage and do some super rough and ready edits.
Not that I want that to happen...
And at 40% ownership, Tencent apparently also doesn't have the muscle to force Epic Games to do anything:
There's money on the table to be sure, but multiple incentives are aligned to make getting games in front of China make sense. Even for developers who aren't profit-motivated primarily, being seen is its own motivation.
It's hard to ignore the country with over a billion people.