NetEase, Inc. (NASDAQ: NTES) reported that it anticipates that its licenses covering the publication of numerous titles of Blizzard Entertainment, Inc. in Chinese mainland will expire in accordance with terms on January 23rd, 2023 will not be renewed. The titles in question are World of Warcraft, the Starcraft series, Hearthstone, Heroes of the Storm, Overwatch and Diablo III. “We have put in a great deal of effort and tried with our utmost sincerity to negotiate with Activision Blizzard so that we could continue our collaboration and serve the many dedicated players in China. However, there were material differences on key terms and we could not reach an agreement. We hold high regard in our product and operational standards and abide by our commitments to Chinese players.
“We are honored to have had the privilege of serving our gamers over the past 14 years and have shared many precious moments with them during that time. 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,” said William Ding, CEO of NetEase.
The co-development and publishing of Diablo Immortal is covered by a separate agreement and will continue.