Newsroom News Breaking Comics Tags RSS
News video games 18 January 2023, 13:39

author: Marcin Przala

Blizzard Leaving China for Good; Only Diablo Immortal Will be Spared

Blizzard's recent attempts to reach an agreement with China's NetEase have failed, resulting in the American giant abandoning the country's gaming market as early as January. With one small exception.

According to the November statement, Activision Blizzard will officially leave China's gaming market on January 23, 2023.

Blizzard ultimately failed to come to an agreement with NetEase to renew its licensing agreement for games operating in the Chinese market.

According to Reuters Blizzard China tried to reach an agreement until the very end. As late as the beginning of January, negotiations with NetEase were supposed to take place on a contract extension for another six months, however, the terms Blizzard proposed were rejected.

Interestingly, the Reuters agency reported that NetEase considered Blizzard's proposal "inappropriate and commercially illogical".

The failure of the talks means that such titles as World of Warcraft, Hearthstone, Warcraft III: Reforged, Overwatch 2, the StarCraft series, Diablo III or Heroes of the Storm, will soon cease to be supported and available for sale in the People's Republic of China.

It is worth noting that Activision Blizzard has worked with Chinese publisher NetEase Games since 2008, bringing many of its titles to the Asian market over the years.

This is not the end of Blizzard in China

The U.S. giant had already asserted last November - after initially announcing the end of its partnership with NetEase - that the company is looking for alternative ways to bring its games to China. So far, however, no specific information has been disclosed on this subject.

The only Activision Blizzard game that, for the time being, will remain available in China is the mobile game Diablo: Immortal, which operates in the Asian market under a separate publishing agreement with NetEase.

As we reported in November, Blizzard's loss of the Chinese game market, while certainly painful, does not appear to be the beginning of the end for the American giant. According to Activision Blizzard's financial results for the third quarter of 2022, sales in China accounted for only 3% of the company's total revenue.

Marcin Przała

Marcin Przała

Graduate of Journalism and Social Communication at the Pontifical University of John Paul II in Krakow. He has been interested in games from an early age, and Call of Duty 4: Modern Warfare and Dragon Age: Origins hold a special place in his heart. His passion for electronic entertainment led to the phenomenon of immersion becoming the subject of his bachelor's thesis. Today, above all, a fan of soulslike and classic RPGs. Besides games, he likes dark fantasy literature, and for many years he has been eagerly following the English Premier League, where his beloved club - Chelsea - plays.