Following last week’s extremely controversial executive order from new United States president Donald Trump blocking refugees and citizens from seven majority Muslim countries from entering the U.S., many smaller game developers have publicly spoken out against the “Muslim ban,” as it’s become known. So have multiple figures and companies in the tech world. But aside from a few instances, the biggest developers and publishers in gaming have remained silent.
That changed yesterday, when Blizzard president and co-founder Mike Morhaime sent an email to the entire company. The statement was not released publicly, but Polygon received a copy from a source that asked to remain anonymous. We have confirmed the legitimacy of the email with another source at Blizzard.
In the email, Morhaime expresses that the executive order goes against the values of both Blizzard as a company and America as a nation. He also promises support for “a small number of our employees and their families” affected by the ban.
You can read the full text of the email below:
A number of you have reached out to me about the recent U.S. executive order banning refugees and barring citizens from Iraq, Iran, Libya, Somalia, Sudan, Syria, and Yemen from entering the United States for 90 days. I share the concerns that many of you, and many within our industry, have expressed.
The executive order issued on Friday directly affected a small number of our employees and their families, and supporting them is a priority for us. Our HR and Legal teams are in touch with those impacted and providing travel guidance as well as legal assistance and further counseling as needed. If you need to talk to anyone about the impact of the order, please reach out to your HR partner. We’ll monitor the situation, and others, for further developments so we can continue to provide resources and support.
The executive order strikes an incredibly sharp contrast with the values on which our company was founded. We are, and will always be, a company that strives for inclusion, embraces diversity, and treats one another with respect. This is the very foundation of what makes not just our company — but America — great, which is why I am so troubled by these actions.
As always, if you have any questions, feel free to reach out to me directly.
In addition to globally popular games and franchises like StarCraft, World of Warcraft and Overwatch, Blizzard employs thousands of people in multiple countries. Morhaime has previously publicly condemned harassment in the gaming world, seemingly referring to the GamerGate though not mentioning it by name.