Chinese game distributor NetEase tore down their local Gorehowl statue in response to end of Blizzard’s partnership with the company.
Last year, we reported that Blizzard’s licensing agreements with NetEase were coming to an end, and so far Blizzard seems content to cut ties with the company.
Blizzard services will no longer be available in China from January 24 onward, unless a new deal is made. Due to Chinese laws, Blizzard had to use a Chinese intermediary to distribute their products in the region.
As the shut down date comes closer Blizzard has revealed they’re still interested in the Chinese market, however.
NetEase confirmed Blizzard offered the company a six-month extension, with the caveat they would continue to make offers to competing companies. NetEase has refused the deal.
It seems something has gone wrong to sour Blizzard’s relationship with NetEase in particular, and the company expressed their displeasure by destroying a statue on their office campus.
The spectacle was streamed to over 3000 viewers as employees vented their frustrations with Blizzard.
For now, the future of Blizzard games in China remains unclear. Players in the region remain concerned if their account data will be intact when or if Blizzard works out a new deal.