Blizzard Cancels Overwatch Event In New York City
Blizzard is launching Overwatch: Legendary Edition for Nintendo Switch today as the popular PvP shooter makes its way to the console for the first time. To celebrate, Blizzard was planning a launch for the game at the Nintendo Store in New York City where guests would be able to meet the voice actors from the game. This morning, suddenly Blizzard cancelled the event without any reason why.
The event was supposed to take place on October 16 at the marquee Nintendo store in New York City. However, it’s no longer going ahead. Blizzard canceled the event, Nintendo said in an update on Twitter. “We apologize for any inconvenience this may cause.”
Please be aware that the previously announced Overwatch launch event scheduled for Wednesday, 10/16 at NintendoNYC has been cancelled by Blizzard. We apologize for any inconvenience this may cause.
— Nintendo NY (@NintendoNYC) October 15, 2019
The cancellation of the event is a surprise, given it was only just announced on October 9. It was supposed to be a launch party of sorts for Overwatch’s Switch version, and voice actors from Overwatch were scheduled to appear to meet fans. The event is still posted to Nintendo’s website.
The sudden cancellation comes as no surprise after reports from digital rights group Fight for the Future announced its Games for Freedom campaign which is said to kick off during BlizzCon 2019. The group is calling for Blizzard umbrella protests during the show.
It was a good idea to stay away from hosting any public events for the time being and cancelling the Overwatch Switch edition launch was a wise decision. The event would doubt be seen as an opportunity for a staged protest against the company.
If you follow current events at all — not just gaming sites, because this story hit mainstream news last week you probably know why. Blizzard is under the gun after bungling some esports disciplinary actions. Hearthstone pro Blitzchung made pro-Hong Kong liberation statements during a Blizzard-hosted tournament stream. Blizzard suspended Blitzchung for a year and stripped him of his prize money. Late on Friday, Blizzard backpedaled by halving the suspension and restoring the winnings.
Blizzard next big event is BlizzCon, which takes place in California in November. The company is expected to make announcements and share new information about its games at the show. The company will also no doubt face questions about its Hong Kong statement.
Nintendo’s statement mentions that Blizzard canceled the Overwatch event in NYC. However, Blizzard has yet to explain why.