Blizzard Entertainment Is Ending Its Partnership With NetEase
NetEase sent out a notice this morning letting people in the Chinese market know that Blizzard Entertainment has ended their partnership. The two had been working together in the region as they helped provide service to several licenses, including World of Warcraft, the StarCraft series, Hearthstone, Heroes of the Storm, Overwatch, and Diablo III. The services will come to an end on January 23rd, 2023. According to Kotaku, the 14-year-old partnership ended due to "a jerk" at Blizzard, as an unnamed employee said, so it's very possible that the deal fell through during negotiations and someone higher up was responsible for everything falling apart. Unless Blizzard reveals a new partner soon, this will mean Chinese players will lose access to all these games in about two months. We have NetEase's statement on the decision below.
"We have put in a great deal of effort and tried with our utmost sincerity to negotiate with Activision Blizzard so that we could continue our collaboration and serve the many dedicated players in China. However, there were material differences on key terms and we could not reach an agreement. We hold high regard in our product and operational standards and abide by our commitments to Chinese players. We are honored to have had the privilege of serving our gamers over the past 14 years and have shared many precious moments with them during that time. We will continue our promise to serve our players well until the last minute. We will make sure our players' data and assets are well protected in all of our games," said William Ding, CEO of NetEase.
"The net revenues and net income contribution from these licensed Blizzard games represented low single digits as a percentage of NetEase's total net revenues and net income in 2021 and in the first nine months of 2022. The expiration of such licenses will have no material impact on NetEase's financial results. The co-development and publishing of Diablo Immortal is covered by a separate long-term agreement and will continue."
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