Blizzard Entertainment, Inc.: Politics In Esports
(5 pages of text)
Case (Pub Mat)
On October 8, 2019, Blizzard Entertainment Inc. (Blizzard), a subsidiary of one of the world’s largest video game companies, banned a popular player from participating in future video game tournaments for one year and stripped him of his winnings—a response to a dramatic political statement that the player had made during a post-game interview at a Blizzard event. The immediate response was a flurry of angry fans who used social media to protest Blizzard’s actions and call for a boycott of its products. Some of Blizzard’s employees had staged a walkout and US politicians were accusing the company of censorship. For six days, the company said nothing. Blizzard had an upcoming product launch in days and a massive eSports convention in just two weeks, and the CEO needed to do something. He needed a crisis communications plan for the short-term to address a number of stakeholders.
The case can be used in courses or modules on leadership, communications, or marketing at the undergraduate, graduate, or executive education level. After working through the case and assignment questions, students will be able to
- consider the impact of business communication and core values when dealing with crisis situations;
- explore and analyze what makes a good corporate apology;
- consider the importance of leader character in decision-making and action;
- understand the notion of slacktivism and how the impact of social media permeates online and offline actions and impacts corporate decision-making; and
- share views on sensitive geopolitical issues and understand how companies with a global presence may be affected by political events.
Arts, Entertainment, Sports and Recreation
Hong Kong, Large, 2019
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