World Of Warcraft And Other Blizzard Games Will Return To China With A New NetEase Deal

After a buyout and leadership changes, Blizzard and NetEase have mended fences.

Michael Byrne
By Michael Byrne, Editor in Chief Posted:

Blizzard NetEase New Deal Rumor

Remember the nasty breakup last year betwen NetEase and Activision Blizzard? Accusations were flung, statues were torn down, and China lost access to Blizzard's games, including MMORPG World of Warcraft.

In the interim since then, a lot has changed. First, the sale of Activision to Microsoft has completed. Second, leadership at Blizzard has changed with Bobby Kotick's departure at the end of 2023. Around that same time, we started seeing rumors that the companies were talking about reuniting and yesterday rumors were swirling. Turns out, they were true.

Those changes, and a long series of negotiations, have finally seen some fruit as Blizzard, Microsoft, and NetEase are getting the band back together to bring Blizzard products back to China. Games will be back on by summer of this year.

“We at Blizzard are thrilled to reestablish our partnership with NetEase and to work together, with deep appreciation for the collaboration between our teams, to deliver legendary gaming experiences to players in China,” said Johanna Faries, President of Blizzard Entertainment in the official announcement.

Even Phil Spencer, CEO of Microsoft Gaming, got in on the dropping quotes game, "Returning Blizzard’s legendary games to players in China while exploring ways to bring more new titles to Xbox demonstrates our commitment to bringing more games to more players around the world."

From the NetEase side, CEO and Director William Ding was very excited to be back in the business of supporting Blizzard titles and made sure to bring up "trust" in his comment, “Celebrating our collaborations, we are thrilled to embark on the next chapter, built on trust and mutual respect, to serve our users in this unique community that we’ve built together.”

Exact dates for the "re-launch" of WoW, Hearthstone, Diablo, Overwatch and other Blizzard titles are still forthcoming.

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About the Author

Michael Byrne
Michael Byrne, Editor in Chief

Mike “Magicman” Byrne has been a part of the MMOBomb family for years and serves as the site’s current Editor-in-Chief. His love for MMOs and gaming in general has led him to covering games for numerous gaming websites including Gamebreaker TV and XIV Nation where he proudly displays his fanboy flag for FFXIV:ARR.

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