Blizzard Entertainment plans to remove selected games from China, resulting from a disagreement with a publishing partner called NetEase. This means that popular titles will not be available in the Middle Kingdom. This includes the World of Warcraft, Hearthstone, Overwatch 2, Starcraft, Heroes of the Storm, Diablo III, and Warcraft III: Reforged series.Photo: Blizzard
Blizzard Entertainment has been operating in China for 14 years. But unfortunately, the studio is planning restrictions in the Middle Kingdom, which will happen in a few weeks. This follows the termination of cooperation with a partner named NetEase Inc., with whom the company has been cooperating since 2008.
Blizzard Entertainment has had licensing agreements with NetEase since 2008, covering the publication of these Blizzard titles in China. However, the two parties have not agreed on renewing contracts that would be consistent with Blizzard’s policies and commitments to players and employees. As a result, the contracts expire in January 2023, Blizzard said in a statement.
It seems that Blizzard Entertainment did not agree with NetEase on financial matters. Consequently, this will lead to the withdrawal of several titles from China, including World of Warcraft, Hearthstone, Overwatch 2, Starcraft, Heroes of the Storm, Diablo III, and Warcraft III: Reforged.
Blizzard Entertainment wants to suspend the sale of these games in China for days. However, those sold earlier will stop working on January 23, 2023. Alternative solutions are currently being sought to solve the problem.