Blizzard Cancels Overwatch Switch Launch Event Amid Ongoing Public Backlash

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Overwatch hits the Nintendo Switch today, but a planned event to celebrate the port has been cancelled following a long week of news in another Blizzard game. Nintendo New York announced last night that its previously scheduled Overwatch launch event has been cancelled by Blizzard.

Announced on social media last night, no formal reason was given for the cancellation. However, a brief glimpse at the replies can give you an idea-many responses are related to the ongoing protests in Hong Kong and Blizzard’s suspension of Hearthstone player Chung “Blitzchung” Ng Wai.

Despite Blizzard lightening its punishment against the Hearthstone player after community outcry, it seems like the community is still fairly riled up. It’s expanded beyond Hearthstone to other Blizzard games as well; Overwatch’s Mei, a Chinese scientist in-universe, has become a symbol for Hong Kong protesters, so that could be a likely reason why Blizzard passed on today’s event.

Voice actors from Overwatch were set to meet fans at the store event celebrating Overwatch’s Nintendo Switch launch, alongside other festitivites.

The team-based hero shooter comes to Nintendo’s hybrid console with gyro and pointer-based controls today, letting you play Lucio Ball in a more portable format. It’s also set to target 30 frames per second, in both docked and handheld mode.

After Blitzchung announced he had accepted Blizzard’s ruling early this week, hopes might have been high that the controversy was blowing over. But with a last-minute cancellation like this, things are looking rough for BlizzCon in just a few weeks.

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