Blizzard 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.
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.
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.