Blizzard Entertainment will suspend services on Chinese mainland
A logo of Blizzard Entertainment Inc is seen in Shanghai on July 31, 2021. [Photo/VCG]
Online game company Blizzard Entertainment Inc announced on Thursday it will suspend most Blizzard game services on the Chinese mainland due to the expiration of the current licensing agreements with NetEase Inc on Jan 23, 2023.
"The two parties have not reached a deal to renew the agreements that is consistent with Blizzard's operating principles and commitments to players and employees, and the agreements are set to expire in January 2023," Blizzard said in a statement.
Blizzard has had licensing agreements with NetEase since 2008. The games to be suspended include "World of Warcraft", "Hearthstone" and "Warcraft III: Reforged, Overwatch".
"We are looking for alternatives to bring our games back to players in the future," Blizzard President Mike Ybarra said in the statement.
NetEase said in a statement that it was still unable to agree on key terms of cooperation with Blizzard after long-time negations, adding it will continue its promise to serve the players until the last minute.