Blizzard will no longer provide gaming services in China as a result of expiring licensing arrangements with NetEase dating back to 2008.
Due to the expiration of the license agreements with NetEase, Blizzard Entertainment has stated on its official blog that the services for its games will no longer be available in China beginning on January 23, 2023. This decision was made because of the impending termination of the agreements. In 2008, Blizzard and NetEase came to an agreement about the licensing of several Blizzard games for publishing in China. This deal encompassed the territory of China.
According to the article on the site, Blizzard and NetEase were unable to come to a new arrangement before the existing licensing agreement was set to end in January of 2023. World of Warcraft, Hearthstone, Warcraft III: Reforged, Overwatch, the StarCraft series, Diablo III, and Heroes of the Storm are among the video games that will be modified as a result of this change.
In the next days, Blizzard will also stop any new sales of games, and gamers in China will get more information on how any of the company’s games will function going forward. Due to the fact that Diablo Immortal was co-created and published under a separate agreement, this game has been removed from the list of titles that have been temporarily halted.
Even while the initial contract between Blizzard and NetEase has come to an end, this does not necessarily indicate that the two firms will not be able to negotiate a new arrangement that would result in an extension of Blizzard’s licensing. Mike Ybarra, president of Blizzard, is quoted as saying that the business is “searching for solutions to bring our games back to users in the future” in the article.
It is still anticipated that the next video games, such as World of Warcraft: Dragonflight, Hearthstone: March of the Lich King, and the second season of Overwatch 2 would be made available for purchase and download later this year.
China is home to one of the most sizable player bases in the globe. It is without a doubt that the suspension of Blizzard titles in the nation will deal significant damage to the financial prospects of the firm in the early stages of 2023; nevertheless, it is quite probable that the corporation will find a new solution as quickly as is humanly feasible.
Activision Blizzard titles will not be accessible to Chinese gamers, at least not in an online capacity, until such time as the situation has been rectified.