Blizzard suspends deal with NetEase. Chinese players might lose access to Overwatch, Hearthstone, WoW, and other games2022-11-17 12:44:00
Activision Blizzard and NetEase partnership is reaching its end after lasting for almost 15 years. The sides couldn't agree on the conditions to prolong the cooperation.
This cuts off Chinese gamers from Overwatch, Hearthstone, WoW, WarCraft, Diablo, and Starcraft, many of which are esports titles. The only exception will be Diablo Immortal, distributed as a separate deal.
According to Bloomberg, the financial side, as well as intellectual property policy, became the stumbling block in negotiations between NetEase and Blizzard. The agreement expires on January 23, 2023. Meanwhile, NetEase stock dropped by 10% amidst this news, although it regained a bit later.
Foreign entities cannot make business in China by the local laws. They must have an intermediary company in order to do so. It's unclear if Blizzard is negotiating with another firm. About 5% of American company belongs to Tencent.