A member of the Hearthstone Design Team shared their take on the Activision Blizzard lawsuit. After reflecting and helping communicate the stories of the victims, they talk about how hard it is to celebrate the United in Stormwind expansion

“United in Stormwind”, Hearthstone’s latest expansion, was expected for August 3rd. However, as soon as news broke that the state of California was suing the company, Blizzard turned off the promotion campaign. Hearthstone canceled scheduled events and gave no official announcements. Before Theorycraft streams started this Tuesday, many employees explained their thoughts and feelings.

Why the change?

Blizzard celebrates every expansion by organizing Pre-Launch Parties. Yet, these are no ordinary times. More so, after the unannounced cancelation of the Final Card Reveal Stream programmed for Monday 26th.

As a consequence of this unprecedented event, the community started questioning if the Expansion could be delayed. Shortly after, on the same day, there was a surprise when creators posted that the Theorycraft streams would take place on Tuesday with less than 24-hour notice.

With the company still silent, Dean “Iksar” Ayala, Hearthstone Lead Designer, was the first on the team to re-establish communication. On Monday’s night he expressed his team’s feelings and their approach on the issue on a Reddit post:

What did the Hearthstone Design Team say?

Hearthstone Design Team's Iksar's Reddit post
Iksar shared more details in reply to a Reddit thread on the topic

Even though Iksar is one of the most vocal Hearthstone Design Team members, he was just one of many who posted their views. Furthermore, on top of expressing themselves on social media, Blizzard employees called for a strike for Wednesday. With Theorycraft streams ongoing, Cora “SongBird” Georgiou, another member of the Hearthstone Design Team, added to the discussion:

On Wednesday, employees called for a Blizzard Walkout to protest against unfair treatment in the work environment. They demand Activision Blizzard action on three major topics:

  • Remove forced arbitration clauses.
  • Ensure transparency in pay equality, hiring, and promotion policies.
  • Begin a third-party HR audit to ensure the protection of harassment victims.

In addition to the on-site protests, the movement also takes place on social media. You can follow Blizzard Walkout on twitter under the hashtag #ActiBlizzWalkout.

What’s next?

Content creators and the community’s sentiment is in favor of the victims and supportive of Blizzard Walkout. Most importantly, employees and those affected still expect a proper apology and acknowledgment from Blizzard’s leadership. While events are still unfolding, new stories of the company’s toxic culture emerge daily. Victims and employees are demanding radical change from Blizzard and the industry.

Regarding the expansion, Iksar, Hearthstone Design Team Lead, stated that “United in Stormwind” should come on schedule. Patch notes are already up on Play Hearthstone’s site. However, it is still a mystery whether Hearthstone will resume the promotion campaign or if they will keep delivering news at all.

Stay tuned to esports.gg for the latest Hearthstone news and updates.

Manuel

Manuel "Rane" Delgado

Writer of the Month: August | Twitter: @RaneTDF

Manuel “Rane” Delgado is an experienced Hearthstone caster, content creator, and tournament organizer from Argentina. He started his career on Esports casting his own tournaments, now he currently covers Hearthstone Grandmasters’ Americas region for LATAM, among other content creation. Besides esports, he works in a construction company, which made him kind of a "handyman" when fixing everyday house problems.