There are video games that weak markets can hardly harm: World of Warcraft is one of them. License negotiations, on the other hand, seem to be able to bring down almost every game title - and that's not all: in China, all Blizzard games are affected. The reason: a failed deal with NetEase Games.

In China, trouble is threatening World of Warcraft and Co. After 14 years, Blizzard is terminating the license agreement with NetEase Games. That came as a surprise. 

From January 2023 nothing will work anymore – except Immortal?

The Californian gaming company Blizzard Activision stands for global top-selling brands such as World of Warcraft, Diablo and Overwatch. Most of the games have also been available in China so far. That is now changing. With the expiry of the license agreement with NetEase, the second largest gaming company, fans in particular are threatened with a great disappointment. 

As Blizzard announced, they want to end the 14-year licensing partnership between the two games giants. All in all, Blizzard has been on the market in China with its game service for 20 years, with various partners.

The consequences of the failed license deal are now drastic for fans of World of Warcraft and Co: From January 2023, Blizzard will simply stop operating most of the titles in China. These include World of Warcraft, Overwatch, StarCraft, Warcraft 3: Reforged and Diablo 3.

After all: According to Blizzard, the joint release of Diablo Immortal is covered by a separate agreement between the two companies. Diablo Immortal will therefore probably continue to be offered in China.

There are statements from the two companies, but they differ. 

"The two parties have not reached an agreement to extend the agreements that is consistent with Blizzard's operating principles and commitments to players and employees," Blizzard wrote. The agreements expired in January 2023.

But there may still be hope, because according to Blizzard, they don't want to give up the Chinese market. The company is therefore open to offers from alternative publishing partners.

"We're very grateful for the passion our Chinese community has shown over the nearly 20 years that we've been bringing our games to China through NetEase and other partners," said Mike Ybarra, president of Blizzard Entertainment. "Their enthusiasm and creativity inspire us, and we're looking at alternatives to bring our games back to players in the future."

And NetEase Games? There they say they have done their best to negotiate with Blizzard and maintain the relationship.

"Unfortunately, we could not agree with Blizzard on some key terms of cooperation," writes NeatEase. "We regret that Blizzard announced today that it will no longer work together and we will have to accept this decision." However, you want to support the games that are still running until the last moment. 

Last updated on 9.02.2023/XNUMX/XNUMX / Affiliate Links / Images from the Amazon Product Advertising API. * = Affiliate links. Images from Amazon PA API