Conscientious Blizzard fans have had a lot to think about over the last week. The Irvine-based studio has been in the news following a decision to ban professional Hearthstone player Chung “blitzchung” Ng Wai from competitive play for year, in addition to rescinding prize money from a tournament, after Wai expressed support for protesters in Hong Kong. That ban has set off a wave of controversy, with some considering a boycott of Blizzard products — if not erasing their data from the developer altogether.
To play Blizzard games such as World of Warcraft, you need a specialized account that is managed through a dedicated launcher. Some who believe that Blizzard crossed a line by punishing a player standing up for human rights — Hong Kong protesters are pushing for democracy in a country that has a chokehold over dissenters — are now considering deleting their accounts in solidarity with the Hearthstone incident.
But recently there’s been a lot of confusion over whether or not it’s even possible to manage your account. A viral Tweet with over 19K shares as of this writing claimed that the Overwatch developer was disallowing people to delete their information, and there was a screenshot to prove it:
Blizzard allows for four different methods of account clearance: through SMS, via email, through an authenticator, and by completing a secret question.
The idea that all four methods were being blocked by Blizzard spread far and wide. I saw friends repeat it on Facebook, and also witnessed a number of perplexed discussions on social media sites like Twitter and Reddit. It seemed like a plausible scenario, especially given that others in the #boycottblizzard hashtag on Twitter also claimed to have problems deleting their accounts. Perhaps the boycott was getting big enough that Blizzard wanted to perform triage. Or, more likely, perhaps so many people were trying to do the same thing that Blizzard’s servers could be overloaded.
Whatever the case at the time, as of today, Polygon has had no trouble submitting a ticket to delete a Blizzard account:
Follow-up tweets from the viral Twitter post also say that the user was able to delete their account later in the day. So, if you’re thinking of taking a stand in this way — don’t worry, you still can. If it doesn’t work in the moment, it might be worth trying to delete your account again in a few hours.