Hearthstone United In Stormwind Stream Canceled Out Of "Respect For Co-workers," Expansion Still Launching Next Week
Following several popular streamers who canceled their card reveals in light of abuse allegations, it appears Blizzard has called off its card reveal event.
Update: Dean Ayala, a game designer on Hearthstone, posted in the Hearthstone subreddit regarding the studio's recent silence. In his response, he offers an explanation for the lack of communication and states that the studio doesn't plan to delay the expansion launch. The response in full reads:
"Our focus has been on supporting each other and planning action for how we can make our work a better place for everyone. Something we've clearly failed at in the past.
"Having any celebration is a hard sell right now. I can assure you the only hesitation we have with moving forward with things like streams or card reveals is out of the respect for our co-workers. This is an incredibly important time to reflect and make sure we chart the best path forward. There is no gag order, no legal team telling us what we can and can't say. Our focus is simply on each other right now.
"All that said, we still care about our work and are still passionate about delivering a great game. It's the whole reason most of us are here in the first place. We don't have plans to delay our launch or push back further developments. We are just taking time to make sure we get this moment right."
The original story follows.
Original Story: Blizzard has canceled a planned livestream for Hearthstone's next expansion, United in Stormwind. This follows several streamers who canceled their own card reveals in light of allegations of sexual harassment and abuse at the company sparked by a California state lawsuit.
United in Stormwind is scheduled to release next Tuesday, August 3. Typically the weeks before a new expansion launches, Blizzard spreads card reveals through various websites, streamers, and other influencers, culminating in a final card reveal event where it takes the wraps off all of the remaining cards. At that point the patch often goes live as well so that players can download it in preparation for launch. Today's stream had been planned for 10 AM PT / 1 PM PT.
This year, however, the abuse allegations raised by a California suit against Activision Blizzard has disrupted those plans. Popular streamers Alliestrasza, Lt. Eddy, and Trump canceled their own card reveals in light of the suit, leaving those cards unrevealed. In recent days it has been an open question whether Blizzard would proceed with its reveal stream--and if so, if that stream would address the controversy.
Shortly before the stream was to set to air, though, Blizzard pulled the link from its official site, and there is no planned stream on its Twitch schedule. Similarly, the Hearthstone Twitter account--along with various other Activision social media accounts--have gone dark since the news of the suit broke.
GameSpot has reached out to Blizzard regarding its plans to reveal the remaining expansion cards, and whether the expansion is still slated for launch on August 3.
The short notice for the cancellation has caused consternation among fans on the Hearthstone subreddit. Reactions to the allegations have been mixed over the last week, with many including the subreddit's moderators expressing support and solidarity with the alleged victims.
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