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Blizzard cancels Overwatch Switch launch event in New York at short notice
No official explanation given, but move comes amid community unrest
Blizzard has cancelled plans for an Overwatch Nintendo Switch launch event at short notice.
The event was due to take place at Nintendo’s retail store in New York, where fans were expecting to be able to meet voice actors from the game on Wednesday afternoon.
However, Nintendo announced on Tuesday that Blizzard has cancelled the event.
While no official explanation for the cancellation was provided, it comes during a challenging period for Blizzard, which has attracted widespread condemnation for banning Hearthstone esports player Ng ‘Blitzchung’ Wai Chung after he expressed support for Hong Kong’s pro-democracy movement during an official livestream.
In response to the backlash, Blizzard claimed its business interests in China had “no influence” over the decision, although it conceded it had reacted “too quickly” and confirmed it would reduce the penalty imposed on Blitzchung.
Nevertheless, digital rights non-profit organisation Fight for the Future is currently planning to stage an “epic day of protest with hundreds of other gamers who care” outside the Anaheim Convention Center in California on November 1, the first day of BlizzCon, Blizzard’s annual fan convention.
Overwatch for Switch was announced during a Nintendo Direct broadcast in September. It was created in partnership with developer Iron Galaxy, which also made Switch versions of Diablo III and The Elder Scrolls V: Skyrim.
According to Blizzard, Overwatch for Switch will run “smoothly” at 30fps in 900p resolution docked and 720p in portable mode. It will feature gyroscopic motion controls for certain gameplay moments, such as while aiming down scope or piloting D.Va.
It’s available to pre-order from retailers including Amazon, Best Buy and Game.