Chinese gamers say goodbye to “World of Warcraft”

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Beijing (AFP) – Chinese gamers of “World of Warcraft” regretted this Monday that the successful role-playing game on the Internet is no longer available in the Asian giant, due to a commercial disagreement between the American company Blizzard and its local partner.

After disagreeing with the Chinese NetEase, Blizzard had already announced in November that Chinese users would no longer be able to play “World of Warcraft”, as well as other star titles of the company, such as “Overwatch”, “Diablo III or “Hearthstone”.

The servers for these games will go down in China on Tuesday at 00:00 (17:00 GMT on Monday).

“It’s the end,” wrote a user of the Weibo social network (the equivalent of Twitter in China), who accompanied his message with the crying face emoji.

“It was not just a game, but the youthful memories of an entire generation,” said another user.

This online role-playing game, set in a medieval fantasy universe, was a worldwide phenomenon, especially during the first decade of the 2000s.

Blizzard launched “World of Warcraft” in China in 2008 thanks to a collaboration agreement with Chinese internet giant NetEase.

Foreign video game companies are required to partner with a local company to penetrate the Chinese market.

Blizzard and NetEase ended their collaboration in November, after failing to reach an agreement in their discussions to renew the exploitation contracts.

“Both companies are taking players hostage,” Wu, a 32-year-old doctoral student and “World of Warcraft” user for ten years, told AFP.

But this gamer, who spent three hours a day playing role-playing games, prefers to see the glass half full before the servers close.

“I didn’t spend enough time with my wife. Now that ‘World of Warcraft’ is gone, I’ll be able to forgive myself,” he says.

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