Will Blizzard soon reconnect with NetEase?

Blizzard and NetEase is said to be planning to revive the partnership in the coming weeks. If the rumors are true, Blizzard could be allowed to bring its games back to China via NetEase this year, as early as April.


Due to the country’s media policy, games produced outside of China must be run through local tech companies like NetEase, which is responsible for localizing dozens of franchises. trade on behalf of its partners. Blizzard was one of NetEase’s many customers until their partnership was terminated in January 2023, leaving titles like World of Warcraft, HearthstoneOverwatch 2… banned in China.

However, according to recent rumors, the relationship between the two companies may soon be resumed. Chinese news site Core Esports reported on the relationship, saying Blizzard and NetEase are planning to announce their deal near the end of March or early April. According to the report, Blizzard’s games will be Operated in China by NetEase’s main collaboration product division – which is also the operating team Diablo Immortal – instead of a specialized team like during their previous collaboration.


Core Esports claims former Activision Blizzard CEO Bobby Kotick is the main factor preventing the two companies from working together. Shortly after Kotick left the company in January 2024, all ongoing litigation between the parties was dropped, reportedly allowing them to begin negotiations again. Additionally, Microsoft’s acquisition of Blizzard has also helped rebuild this bridge, as NetEase has partnered with the tech giant to produce games like Minecraft in China.

Interestingly, this is not the only rumor related to Blizzard games in China recently. Nico_oq, a reliable Blizzard news source in Asia, recently reported that an unnamed company in South Korea is preparing to release the company’s games in China through a rental deal. . It’s unclear if that was just a false rumor, or if the lease fell through, or if it was just another factor contributing to the restoration of the relationship between Blizzard and NetEase.


Regardless, it’s important to note that these rumors have yet to be officially confirmed. The reports come from reliable sources, but nothing is certain until Blizzard or NetEase go public about the deal. That means, if the rumors come true, Chinese gamers will be able to play Blizzard games again as early as April. Fully restoring all services will likely take several months, but according to the report, the company hopes to do so no later than the release date. World of Warcraft: The War Within. Regardless, fans hopefully won’t have to wait long to hear official information on the subject.

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