Netease confirmed that Blizzard will be Suspend Most China Service

Blizzard Entertainment (ATVI.O) said onThursday it will no longer offer games such as ‘World of Warcraft’ and ‘Hearthstone’ in China from next year once its deal with NetEase (9999.HK) ends, prompting shares in the Chinese internet giant to tumble.

Blizzard will suspend games in China because it can’t reach an agreement with its licensing and publishing partner NetEase, it said in a press release. World of Warcraft, Hearthstone, Overwatch 2, Starcraft, Heroes of the Storm, Diablo III, and Warcraft III: Reforged won’t be available in China after January 23, 2023.

William Ding, CEO of NetEase, said in a statement“We will continue our promise to serve our players well until the last minute. We will make sure our players’ data and assets are well protected in all of our games,” Negotiations fell apart, it said, after the two sides failed to strike a deal that is “consistent with Blizzard’s operating principles and commitments to players and employees”. It did not share further details.

“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,” said Blizzard Entertainment president Mike Ybarra in the press release. “We are looking for alternatives to bring our games back to players in the future.”

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