The choice-based mobile game Revolution of Our Times was banned a mere three days after its launch. In the game, players to assume the role of a frustrated Hong Kong citizen, bitter from the failure of the 2014 Umbrella Revolution. Ultimately, the protagonist considers participating in a protest scheduled for June 9, 2019, against Beijing's proposed extradition bill.
Revolution of Our Times was touted as “the biggest international promotional campaign in the world” by its developer on LIHKG, a Reddit-like forum based in Hong Kong. However, on October 8, a few days after the announcement, the game was suspended by Google Play without warning. Before being suspended, the game had received positive reviews despite its basic interface and incomplete status (the current version of the game only follows the protests until the end of June).
The game, developed by an IT professional under the pseudonym Spinner of Yarns, created Revolution of Our Times to raise global awareness about the issue that's ensnared the administrative region. “I hope that everyone will have the chance to participate in this revolution of our times, and experience what Hongkongers have gone through since June 9," he told LIHKG. According to him, he had received no warning or indication that his game was going to be suspended. He only found out when he couldn't find it by name on the Playstore.
Although most of the world is aware of the issue plaguing Hong Kong, there are many intricacies in the situation that might lead to more questions than answers for some. On a surface level, Hong Kongers are hitting the streets to protect their civil rights from an increasingly imposing China. Once a British colony, the United Kingdom relinquished control of Hong Kong in 1997 to the People's Republic of China. Instead of simply functioning as another Chinese city, Hong Kong was made a special administrative region under Chinese control. Still, Hong Kong and China have different governing and economic systems, under a policy dubbed "one country, two systems." The protests erupted in response to an extradition bill that would transfer fugitives from Hong Kong to be trialed in mainland China.
Large businesses and corporations have begun to appease the Chinese government by reprimanding individuals who speak out in favor of Hong Kong. Aside from Google, game publisher Blizzard Entertainment has faced major backlash for stripping professional Hearthstone player Ng Wai Chung (also known as Blitzchung) of his earnings and banning him from future competitions after he spoke out to support Hong Kong during a post-match interview. Since then, the debacle has snowballed, with several individuals boycotting Blizzard in solidarity with Hong Kong. Even Blizzard's employees have staged a walk-out disapproving of the company's pro-China stance.
While Blizzard continues to support their stance, it's becoming increasingly apparent that this adamancy will continue to damage Blizzard's image to the public.
Source: Hong Kong Free Press