Blizzard Entertainment is withdrawing from the Chinese market. The company ended its partnership with NetEase Games after 14 years and will not renew the Chinese company’s license to operate its games.
Chinese players will miss World of Warcraft, Hearthstone, Warcraft III: Reforged, Overwatch, the StarCraft series, Diablo 3 or Heroes of the Storm. The current contract expires on January 23, 2023.
Blizzard said in a statement it has not reached an agreement on a contract extension that would be consistent with Blizzard’s operating principles and its obligations to players and employees..
The president of NetEase reacted sharply to Blizzard’s decision and criticized the actions of an unspecified idiot who destroyed relations between the two companies. She also hopes to one day be able to talk about what happened behind the scenes. By idiot, he probably meant Bobby Kotick, CEO of Activision Blizzard.
NetEase’s official statement is more diplomatic. You represent that you have made every effort to secure the renewal of your license agreement with Blizzard. Substantial differences were to occur in key conditions.
Anonymous source to the agency Bloomberg said the problems were not only related to the financial terms of the deal, the dispute should also have involved who owns the intellectual property and player data.
Contract expiration does not apply Immortal devil. This game is subject to a specific contract, as it was created in collaboration between Blizzard and NetEase. It should therefore continue to be available to Chinese players.
There is speculation that Blizzard has requested much more money from NetEase to sell and operate games in China. This country has strict rules and it was NetEase who took care of it.
Blizzard does not foresee any problems after withdrawing from the Chinese market. The report says so China accounts for just 3% of Activision Blizzard’s consolidated net revenue in 2021. They are worse at NetEase. There are reports that the value of the Chinese company is down 14%, even though revenue from Blizzard’s games was expected to represent a low single-digit percentage of total revenue for NetEase.
Earlier this year, it was alleged that Blizzard and NetEase canceled a World of Warcraft mobile game without warning due to a financial dispute.
The unannounced mobile game was supposed to be a spin-off of the popular WoWk, with the only difference being that it was supposed to introduce gamers on smartphones and tablets running Android and iOS operating systems to the same world, but in a different era.
The project needed to be very large and had a large team to work with. This is evidenced by the information that as a result of its cancellation, about 100 employees were fired from NetEase. Everything had to be preceded by disagreements with Activision Blizzard, the companies could not agree on financial terms.