Hearthstone developer Blizzard is under fire this week after banning Hong Kong-based pro player Chung “blitzchung” Ng Wai from the competitive scene after he expressed his support for protestors in a post-game interview following a tournament win on October 6th. Unsurprisingly, punishing the pro player (and revoking his reward money) set off an immediate backlash, and some gamers pledged to boycott Blizzard’s games altogether.
In order to play Blizzard games, you need a Blizzard account. This is true for World of Warcraft, Diablo, and the game that sparked this whole controversy, Hearthstone. One way that gamers thought they might be able to successfully express their displeasure was by deleting these accounts altogether, but there was a snag.
On Wednesday, a tweet began to spread like wildfire that implied Blizzard was attempting to counteract the wave of account deletions by disabling the authentication methods used to access any account. There are four ways to verify your account in order to manage and delete it — SMS, email, an authenticator, and answering a secret question — but for at least one user, none of these were working, as you can see below:
This tweet, and the idea that Blizzard was holding account owners hostage, went viral. This comes as no surprise, as it would have been superbly scummy of Blizzard to lock people into their accounts until the controversy blew over, but within two hours of the original tweet, Mather noted that she tried again and was indeed able to delete her account. In other words, whatever the problem was, it was a temporary one:
So, while Blizzard still has a lot to answer for — far more than it did in this toothless statement from earlier this week — if you want to participate in the boycott and delete your account, the methods to do so are available. That said, if you run into any problems, just back out for a while and try again in a few hours.