NetEase to lose 14-year game licensing agreement with Blizzard

NetEase to lose 14-year game licensing agreement with Blizzard thumbnail

Leading Chinese gaming firm NetEase will lose its 14-year publication rights partnership with Blizzard in January 2023, according to Blizzard Entertainment’s financial report for the third quarter of this year. The report noted that the partnerships in China contributed 3% of Activision Blizzard’s consolidated net revenues in 2021, but will now expire in early 2023 after the two companies failed to reach a renewal agreement. World of Warcraft, Hearthstone, Warcraft III: Reforged, Overwatch, StarCraft, Diablo III, and Heroes of the Storm are among the games affected by the termination of the deal. The co-development by the two firms of Diablo Immortal, another long-term agreement, won’t be affected. “We’re immensely grateful for the passion our Chinese community has shown throughout the nearly 20 years 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 are looking for alternatives to bring our games back to players in the future.” NetEase closed down 9% in Hong Kong today on the news. [Reuters]

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