Blizzard Entertainment may reengage with NetEase as one-year suspension draws to an end: media reports
Published: Dec 26, 2023 12:48 AM
Photo: VCG

Photo: VCG

Blizzard Entertainment may reengage with NetEase after negotiating with a number of Chinese game companies, and the company's server in China is expected to return to the Chinese market following a one-year suspension, according to a report by on Monday.

After confirming a potential rekindling of cooperation, the two game makers need to rebuild a national service operation team and test the server and related systems, a process which is likely to take over half a year, the report noted.

In response to the report, NetEase declined to comment while Blizzard China said that there is no information or update it could share at this time.

The entry #NetEase Blizzard Compound# instantly topped the country's Sina Weibo trending search index on Monday night, with a large number of netizens expressing their opinions on the matter.

Some netizens expressed doubt over the authenticity of the news while other players expressed their excitement for a potential return of Blizzard Entertainment's national server and hope that game data could be restored.

On November 17, 2022, Blizzard Entertainment and NetEase released a statement that after extended negotiations, the two sides could not reach agreement on the renewal of a longstanding partnership, and that they would terminate cooperation after the expiration of the agreement.

In January this year, the Chinese server on Blizzard's gaming platform was officially shut down, bringing 25 years of Blizzard's China business to a sudden halt, game data for the country's national service was also sealed up.

"There are millions of players in China who love Blizzard games, and all of us at Blizzard want to make sure they can play our games," Mike Ybarra, president of Blizzard Entertainment, said at BlizzCon 2023 early last month. "We are a worldwide company," he noted. "I want us in every single country around the globe, and China included."

In recent years, China's gaming industry has experienced rapid growth and consolidated considerable achievements. The sector's sales this year are expected to reach the milestone of 300 billion yuan ($42 billion) for the first time, and the number of users will hit a new high of 668 million, according to a recently released industry report.

Global Times