Blizzard and NetEase rekindle partnership for Chinese Gaming Servers post Microsoft Acquisition – In a surprising turn of events, Blizzard Entertainment is reportedly renewing its collaboration with Chinese game publisher NetEase. This comes on the heels of Blizzard’s suspension of most game services in China in November 2022 due to expired licensing agreements with NetEase. The hiatus left Chinese gamers bidding farewell to Blizzard’s iconic titles.
However, just a year after talks initially broke down, Blizzard is said to be in discussions with NetEase to revive their partnership. According to Chinese news site 36Kr, Blizzard has chosen NetEase as its partner once again, aiming to reintroduce local servers for games like Overwatch, World of Warcraft, Diablo, and Starcraft. The process of re-establishing these servers is estimated to take approximately six months.
Blizzard and NetEase rekindle partnership for Chinese Gaming Servers post Microsoft Acquisition
The initial rift between Blizzard and NetEase occurred when talks collapsed over what NetEase deemed an unequal and unfair extension offer from Blizzard. Now, with negotiations reportedly back on track, the gaming community eagerly awaits the return of Blizzard’s beloved titles to the Chinese market.
After finalizing the agreement, NetEase and Blizzard will need to rebuild the Chinese server operating team and test servers and related systems. Therefore, players who are looking forward to the games being re-launched may have to wait for six months or even longer. pic.twitter.com/KcX5xYlWsO
— China’s Top Daily News (@Matt19916) December 26, 2023
The year 2023 has been tumultuous for Blizzard, marked by the closure of their Chinese operations and the subsequent acquisition by Microsoft in a $68.7 billion deal. The acquisition faced complications with the Federal Trade Commission but concluded on October 13. Moreover, the departure of controversial CEO Bobby Kotick by December 29 added another layer of complexity to Blizzard’s narrative.
As Blizzard navigates these transitions, the reported revival of its partnership with NetEase signifies a potential resurgence in its presence within the Chinese gaming landscape. Fans anticipate the return of cherished titles and servers, eager to see how this renewed collaboration unfolds in the ever-evolving gaming industry.