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Overwatch’s Mei Statue Removed from Gear Shop Amidst Hong Kong Protest

The Blizzard controversy continues. Blizzard has removed an Overwatch statue depicting its character Mei from the Gear Shop, in what appears to be a response to the use of the character in images and videos showing her support to the Hong Kong protests.

Overwatch's Mei Statue RemovedBlizzard has removed a $175 Statue depicting Mei from its popular game Overwatch from their Gear Shop. The Gear Shop is a digital store where you can find clothing, items, collectibles and accessories from your favorite Blizzard title, such as Overwatch

If you wish to learn the whole story behind the Blizzard’s scandal then just read our newest article Everything you need to know about the Blizzard scandal where all the details are summarized for you.

Part of their catalogue has included statues of their characters, ranging in price from $175 to $450. These statues are merely decorative and you can get the one depicting your favorite character or characters. As long as your favorite character isn’t Mei, that is. 

Blizzard drops Mei statue

Mei’s statue can no longer be found at the Gear Shop.

Mei’s statue has been removed from the Overwatch section in the Gear Shop at some point over the last few days. This seems to have some connection to a number of retaliations Blizzard has been suffering since the original ban of pro player Blitzchung.

After the ban, an internet movement arose in which Mei, who is Chinese, was depicted as a supporter of the ongoing Hong Kong protests. This movement started with the intent of having China ban Overwatch completely, as it is a popular game in the country, and monetary interests have been cited as Blizzard’s reason to issue the ban, that has since been reduced, to the Hong Kong player after he expressed his support.

Mei Statue dropped

Depiction of Overwatch’s Mei as a Hong Kong supporter.

After the statue was removed from the Gear Shop, some other characters have been proposed to continue showing support for the Hong Kong protests, looking to create pressure for companies that had chosen to not condemn the Chinese Government due to apparent monetary interests. One such character is Disney’s Mickey Mouse, due to the company’s new park located in Shanghai.  

This movement is not the only backlash Blizzard has endured due to this decision, as their stock started to fall the following days, and so many users were trying to delete their accounts that they were reportedly having issues getting it done. In their campus in the US, some Blizzard employees staged a walkout to express their disagreement with the company’s decision.

In addition to removing the Statue from the Gear Shop, Blizzard is also banning Battletags that supported the movement.

Update (15th october)

It has been brought to the author’s attention that Mei’s statue can be now found on the Gear Shop. However, when I attempted to use the provided link, I was being redirected to the Gear Shop’s main page, rather than to the statues info. It occured to me that it could be related to my VPN, once I entered from the US, the statue was indeed listed as available. I then ran a test changing VPNs around and trying to use the link, and as far as I can tell, it is only accesible from the US. You can’t see it as of right now from France, United Kingdom, Switzerland, Mexico or Hong kong, as entering the link with a VPN set to any of these locations with redirect you to the Gear shop’s main page.

7 Comments

  1. Blizz is in deep ***t now, and it makes it more evident, blatantly evident by those desperate efforts to keep their communist money influx going. Funny thing is that every policy it backfires with full strength in democratic soil, but I wonder, how are those decisions seen in Chinese media? (Not Hongkongese media, that is)

    Reply
    • That’s an interesting question. I wish I could read Mandarin and… actually know how to search for those outlets. If I find something translated it might be worth writing about it, but it’s doubtful.

      Reply
      • I know this is a late response, but there are some fundamental differences in culture between China and North America/Europe that result in questionable decisions from the eyes of westerners.

        First and foremost, information going out of China, but especially going in, is strictly monitored. They are so skilled at it that even now, very few people in China know about the Tianenmen Square incident. China ranks near the bottom of most freedom-of-press lists from organizations like Reporters Without Borders and the Free Press Index. It’s Xi Jinping’s way of maintaining absolute control of the country: Don’t let any dissenting information leak to the people.

        The second is that most East Asian cultures depict their national leaders as holy figures. Whether the rest of the government is seen as holy or not depends on the country, but you can see it in stuff like Japan’s “Chrysanthemum Ban” (in which talking bad about the Emperor of Japan is strictly taboo, which extends to their media as well–the Prime Minister is the butt of a lot of jokes, but never the Emperor) and the ongoing protests in Thailand (which looks to be rapidly heading into a civil war–the new king rewriting laws and making sham elections to give the military unlimited, unchecked power should scream “dangerous,” but there are lots of people in Thailand who have absolute loyalty to whatever king is in power).

        With these in mind, most likely, most Chinese Overwatch players likely never knew any of this was happening in the first place. Most people in mainland China don’t even know the Hong Kong protests have been going on at all. We westerners may mock and criticize our news media for distorting the truth, but it’s nothing compared to what goes on in China. (Similarly, people in China who make their way to North America and Europe, based on personal experience–I went to a university with a lot of students from China–are often shocked at the level of which we mock our superiors, how the news is critical of political leaders, and how the people in power let it happen, though except for the elderly, they get used to it after a short time.)

        Xi’s regime is all about saving face and trying to look good to the citizens of China. He has a cult of personality in which he is the charismatic, flawless leader, a men among men. He will absolutely not allow for icons of rebellion to grow in his country.

  2. https://www.blizzardgearstore.com/games/overwatch/mei-overwatch-11-premium-statue/o-43051386+t-54500234+p-7633114+z-7-988130102?_ref=p-ALP:m-GRID:i-r0c0:po-0

    It’s not like, you know, they took it down because they were updating it to a regular order page or anything. Nope, obviously it’s related to the Hong Kong thing.

    Nice straws.

    Reply
    • Hey, thanks for letting me know! however, when I try to use that link it just sends me to the Gear Shop’s main page, and using their search bar to look for “Mei” brings up some items but not the statue. Although it’s showing a funko and a Nendoroid figurine. Will keep trying to confirm. Thanks again.

      Reply
      • Nevermind, I figured it out, was because of my VPN. The US domain does carry the statue. However, changing the VPN again to Hong kong and using the link sends you again to the main gear shop page.

    • Actually this redirects me to the main page without VPN (I’m in South America) oopsie doodle doo you’re wrong too!

      Reply

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