HONG KONG (AP) — American game developer Blizzard Entertainment said on Thursday it would suspend most of its gaming services in mainland China after its current licensing deal with Chinese game company NetEase ended, sending NetEase’s share price plummeting. Did.
Blizzard, which partnered with NetEase in 2008 to bring popular games such as World of Warcraft, Overwatch and Diablo to mainland China, said in a statement that the two companies had not reached a deal to renew their contract. players and employees. “
The partnership is set to expire in January next year. Blizzard says new sales will “stop in the next few days.”
NetEase shares in Hong Kong plunged 15% on the news.
NetEase said in a statement that the expiration of Blizzard’s license “will not have a material impact” on the company’s results.
According to the company, revenue and revenue from licensed Blizzard games represented “low single digits” as a percentage of NetEase’s total revenue and revenue in the last year and the first three quarters of 2022.
NetEase CEO William Ding said in a statement: “However, there were significant differences on key terms and an agreement could not be reached.”
Blizzard Entertainment CEO Mike Ybarra said the company is looking for alternatives to bring the game back to Chinese players in the future.
“We are extremely grateful for the passion that the Chinese community has shown in nearly 20 years of bringing games to China through NetEase and other partners,” said Ybarra.
Games affected by the outage are World of Warcraft, StarCraft series, Hearthstone, Heroes of the Storm, Overwatch, and Diablo III.
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https://wgnradio.com/news/business-news/ap-blizzard-netease-gaming-partnership-in-china-to-end/ Blizzard ends NetEase gaming partnership in China | WGN Radio 720