Breaking the Blizzard Exile
I’ve held to something of a self-imposed exile from Blizzard since July 2021. It was the start of the seemingly never-ending slew of stories of sexual harassment (up to, and including, sexual assault).
Since then, it seems a lot of people who took a similar stance have found their reason to go back. I still hadn’t. No judgement on those that have, hell, there were affected developers at Blizz asking people not to boycott. I just never found a way for it to sit comfortably with me, even in the context of playing games I already owned where no money would change hands.
That latter issue came up again recently with the launch of Overwatch 2. A friend wanted to play it. OW2 is F2P, more than that, I already owned the original Overwatch, so would’ve had everything unlocked all without giving over a single red penny. But then, even if I had got past that, what if I wanted to talk about it? That’s surely a step too far as a display of support?
In any event, it kicked up some conversation within the group. Some had been willing to move on and play (and buy) Blizzard products regardless, others had been holding off too, perhaps like me — waiting to see the outcome of Microsoft’s plans to acquire Activision.
There wasn’t really too much of a conclusion at first.
The break didn’t come until we saw how RockPaperShotgun was handling Activision Blizzard game coverage.
It’s a really simple solution, too.
Check out the bottom of their ‘Overwatch 2 Review-in-Progress‘ for an example. They include a couple of italicised paragraphs discussing the current problems with the company. The OW2 review has a bit more detail than it seems is typical for them. It’s usually only one paragraph, e.g. this post represents a more typical inclusion from what I can see.
I haven’t crafted my end-paragraph block yet to use any time I might talk about a Blizz game. I was hoping for a megathread of news that was still being kept up to date, but couldn’t (yet?) find one. It seems the old ones gave up a while ago.
But! When/if I choose to use this option to talk about playing a Blizz game, then you can bet I’ll have one there. I like the balance this strikes of still providing room to support the people who requested we continued to support all that time ago, without letting Blizzard as a corporation entirely off the hook with the knowledge fading into the background.