Blizzard's top developer for Overwatch Jeff Kaplan, said the shutdown was handed to a Hearthstone pro – who expressed support for Hong Kong protesters in an official stream – should be " More reduced or eliminated, "in an interview with The Washington Post.
In October Hearthstone pro Ng "blitzchung" Wai Chung called for support for Hong Kong protesters on a Blizzard-sponsored livestream and canceled from the contest, originally for one year, but later revised to six months. The shutdown sparked worldwide protests, both online and last week's BlizzCon, the publisher's annual fan convention.
At BlizzCon, Blizzard President J. Allen Brack apologized for his swift decision regarding blitzchung and others, but still said that the company will not return its sentence completely. Fans strongly agreed.
Apparently Kaplan, Overwatch 's game director is included. In an interview Friday with The Washington Post, Kaplan said he was "relieved" to hear blitzchung's interruptions were reduced, but still believes the penalty should be "reduced more or eliminated." Kaplan is not involved in the Hearthstone team, but is the first top-level developer to speak openly about returning the blitzchung's shutdown, according to The Washington Post.
"I'm obviously a huge supporter of freedom of speech," Kaplan said. “It's something that is very important to me. It got me personally. I think the punishment was too harsh and I was very relieved when they gave back the money. I think it was extremely important. "
Kaplan told The Washington Post that there are many" different opinions "among the Overwatch group regarding Blitzchung's suspension.
Blitzchung's suspension has already attracted attention from US lawmakers. In October, Sens Ron wrote Wyden (D-OR) and Marco Rubio (R-FL) and Rep. Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez (D-NY), Mike Gallagher (R-WI) and Tom Malinowski (D-NJ) open letter urging Blizzard to reconsider
"Your company claims to stand" one's right to express individual thoughts and opinions, "but many of your own employees, however, believe that Activision Blizzard's decision to punish Chung is contrary to those values," the lawmakers wrote.
Blitzchung is suspended from all Hearthstone supporting events until next year. He currently supports the sports organization Tempo Storm. Blitzchung joined the team on October 31
"I was wondering if I would continue my Hearthstone career in the last few weeks," Blitzchung said in a statement. "Since I haven't reached my professional goals yet and don't want to fall by the wayside, I will start competing again after I am not banned."