Surprisingly, Blizzard announced today Will pause most of your games on China Due to the termination of the license agreement with NetEase.
From January 23, 2023, World of Warcraft, Hearthstone, Warcraft III: Reforged, Overwatch 2, StarCraft series, Diablo 3, Heroes of the Storm and other titles from the House of Irwin will no longer be available in China. speech Different for Diablo Immortalwhich is covered by a separate license agreement and operates accordingly.
“Blizzard Entertainment has had licensing agreements with NetEase since 2008, covering the publishing of Blizzard games in China. The contracts expire in January 2023.– said in the press release distributed by Blizzard.
The Irvine-based company will suspend sales of its games in China in the coming days, and players will be informed of the next steps in the near future. Blizzard will fulfill its commitments until January, and therefore future releases such as World of Warcraft: Dragonflight, Heartstone: March of the Lich King and Overwatch Season 2 will also be available in the Chinese territory by the end of the year. planned
This is a shocking decision by Blizzard, who decided to just for a little whileGiving up on a very profitable market. Just to give an example, the number of active players of Diablo Immortal increased from 20 million to 30 million in just one week after the game’s debut in China.
On the other hand, the gaming situation in China has changed recently thanks to this New restrictions imposed by the government🇧🇷 For example, the approval period for video games was extended by eight months and the hours of play for children under the age of 18 were restricted, resulting in Blizzard’s first decline in users and profits in China in 14 years.
In an email to PC Gamer’s editorial team, a Blizzard spokesperson Denied rumors of a possible fight with NetEase🇧🇷
“We continue to have a very successful relationship with NetEase and it is completely false to suggest that there was any financial dispute.”Irvine said in an email sent by a company representative.
Sources: (1), (2)