The recent debacle concerning Hong Kong Hearthstone player Chung “blitzchung” Ng Wai‘s suspension has motivated many people to boycott Blizzard. One of those people is Mark Kern, a former Blizzard employee who helped make World of Warcraft, Diablo 2, and Starcraft.
In a Twitter thread posted recently, Mark announced that he’s giving up on playing Classic World of Warcraft, a game he helped make, due to what Blizzard did to Chung. However, the controversy isn’t the only reason he’s boycotting Blizzard. He also talks about his own experience in dealing with Chinese game companies throughout his career as a game designer and the former CEO of Red 5.
I’ve seen firsthand the corruption of Chinese gaming companies, and I was removed from a company I founded (after Blizzard) for refusing to take a 2 million dollar kickback bribe to take an investment from China. This is the first time I’ve ever spoken pubically about it.
— Mark Kern (@Grummz) October 9, 2019
His most noteworthy tweet contains recollection on how he was removed from a company he founded because he refused to take US$2 million bribe to take an investment from China. In a follow-up tweet, he said that he’s seen American company representatives who have been given the same offer and unfortunately, “not everyone refused like I did” said Mark.
“Of all the companies in the world, Blizzard is the LAST company I ever expected to give in to China’s demands. Blizzard was always about “gamer first” and “don’t be greedy.” At least, it was when I was there.“
– Mark Kern, game designer and former Blizzard employee.