Most Blizzard Games will Not Work in China Starting January 2023

Most Blizzard Games will Not Work in China Starting January 2023

Being a gamer in China might not be fun soon, as Blizzard announced that most of its games will stop working in the country starting January 23, 2023. The reason for this is that Blizzard is not renewing its licensing agreement with NetEase for the Chinese market. This is big news, as NetEase is the second-largest gaming company in China.

Because of this, popular Blizzard titles like World of Warcraft, Hearthstone, Warcraft III: Reforged, Overwatch, Starcraft, Diablo III, and Heroes of the Storm will cease to exist in China. “The two parties have not reached a deal to renew the agreements that is consistent with Blizzard’s operating principles and commitments to players and employees,” Blizzard said in its statement.

As a response, NetEase CEO William Ding said that they tried their best effort to negotiate with Blizzard so that they could still continue with their collaboration. “However, there were material differences on key terms, and we could not reach an agreement. We hold high regard in our product and operational standards and abide by our commitments to Chinese players”.

Those playing Diablo Immortal in China will not be affected, however, as the development and publishing of the said game are covered under a different agreement between Blizzard and NetEase. With this development, Chinese players will receive details on how will all this will pan out, but said that upcoming releases like World of Warcraft: Dragonfight, Hearthstone: March of the Lich King, and season 2 of Overwatch 2 will proceed later this year.

It seems that the breakup between NetEase and Blizzard is an ugly one, judging by the LinkedIn post of NetEase President of Global Investment and Partnership Simon Zhu. We still don’t know the whole story yet, but we expect more details to unfold in the coming weeks.

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