Blizzard and Netease resume partnership and return to China

World of Warcraft

Blizzard and Netease have resumed their partnership after a year of separation which resulted in Chinese players being unable to access their accounts.

Last year, Blizzard ended its operations in China after being unable to come to a deal with Chinese company Netease which published Blizzard titles in the country.

After breaking ties with Netease, Blizzard began shopping around for a new Chinese publisher but ultimately couldn’t find anyone else. Meanwhile Netease took the break up pretty hard and destroyed the company’s giant Gorehowl statue.

Blizzard games and events are regularly censored for Chinese audiences, in World of Warcraft exposed bones and gore are generally replaced with slime and flesh-covered stitching. For instance the game’s iconic undead “Abominations” have an open torso with guts hanging out in most versions of the game, but are stitched up in the Chinese client.

One of the most notable instances of Chinese censorship was the 2019 “Blitzchung” incident in which a Hong Kong based Hearthstone player was banned after expressing his support for protestors against “national security law” implemented by Beijing.

You can check out the statement from Blizzard below.

After continuing discussions over the past year, both Blizzard Entertainment and NetEase are thrilled to align on a path forward to once again support players in mainland China and are proud to reaffirm their commitment to delivering exceptional gaming experiences.

The renewed publishing agreement will encompass games Chinese players had access to under the previous agreement: World of Warcraft®, Hearthstone®and other titles in the Warcraft®, Overwatch®, Diablo®, and StarCraft® universes. Building upon more than 15 years of past collaboration, Blizzard and NetEase are working diligently on relaunch plans, with further details to be shared at a later date.

Separately, Microsoft Gaming and NetEase have also entered into an agreement to explore bringing new NetEase titles to Xbox consoles and other platforms.

, ,


A basement-dwelling ogre, Brandon's a fan of indie games and slice of life anime. Has too many games and not enough time.

Where'd our comments go? Subscribe to become a member to get commenting access and true free speech!