Blizzard's "World of Warcraft" to return to Chinese mainland

(Xinhua) 15:58, April 10, 2024

HANGZHOU, April 10 (Xinhua) -- Popular games by U.S. developer Blizzard Entertainment, including "World of Warcraft," will return to the Chinese mainland from this summer under a renewed publishing deal.

The scheduled return, which will end a prolonged hiatus in the operation of these games on the Chinese mainland, was jointly announced by Blizzard Entertainment, Microsoft Gaming and NetEase.

NetEase had run Blizzard's games on the Chinese mainland until 2023, when the arrangement came to an end following a disagreement between the two sides, thereby locking millions of Chinese players out of the games.

Games covered by the new agreement include "World of Warcraft," "Hearthstone," "Overwatch," "Diablo," and others. The statement said Microsoft Gaming and NetEase had also agreed to explore the possibility of bringing new NetEase titles to Xbox consoles and other platforms.

"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.

China has more than 660 million games players, and the actual sales revenue of China's domestic games market in 2023 had reached around 303 billion yuan (about 42.7 billion U.S. dollars) -- up 14 percent year on year, according to a report released during the 2023 China Game Industry Annual Conference in December.

(Web editor: Zhang Kaiwei, Zhong Wenxing)


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