Hard stick for Chinese players of World of Warcraft and other Blizzard licenses. For 14 years, NetEase was in charge of publishing and supporting the company’s games (now owned by Microsoft) in China, but the agreement between the two parties has been broken.
It is something that we already announced to you in November of last year, but now it is close to materializing. In this way, Blizzard will have to look for a new publishing partner in the Chinese market.
In the middle of last year, Blizzard and NetEase sat down to negotiate a contract extension. After finding a clear negative, Blizzard requested a provisional extension of six months, to be able to search for a new partner. in the meantime.
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Nevertheless, NetEase flatly refusedleaving Chinese Warcraft, WoW, Diablo, Overwatch, and Starcraft players with no service on any platform.
Blizzard acknowledges the disappointment of not keeping its word, but squarely blames NetEase for this dramatic event.
What will happen to Blizzard support in China?
Given the imminent goodbye of Blizzard in the Chinese market, which will take place on January 23a spokesman for the US company has issued a statement on the Chinese portal Weibo (translated by Reuters).
It was already taken for granted that the contract would not continue beyond this year, but from Blizzard they do not hide their disappointment at NetEase’s rejection of the six-month extension, which leaves them “with their ass in the air,” speaking in silver.
”It is a pity that NetEase is not willing to extend our game services for another six months based on existing terms while we search for a new partner.”.
Until now it was unknown why NetEase and Blizzard had not come to fruition. Now it seems that the refusal was from the Chinese companyaccording to the official statement.
A few months ago, the director of the publishing house William Ding revealed that both companies ”they maintained very important differences in key aspects”, although without specifying more details.
You have to remember that in China it is mandatory for a national publisher (Tencent, NetEase…) to maintain a publishing agreement with any company that wants to release a game. Blizzard will now have to find a new partner, and as soon as possible.
Many Chinese players are about to lose all their progress in world of warcraft, Overwatch 2, Diablo or Starcraft. Not only will they not be able to play (online) anymore, but they will lose everything they have earned as a result of the no-deal.
Will Blizzard find a Chinese publisher soon? It is to be hoped so, since the company’s games have always been very successful in China, although perhaps the rise of Tencent and NetEase with games as a service has a lot to do with this.