Blizzard is looking to keep publishing its games with Chinese players, after ending a 14-year partnership with NetEase.
The US video game company thanked Chinese players on Weibo and said it is looking for opportunities to bring its games like World of Warcraft and Diablo back to players. Meanwhile, there are rumors that Tencent will likely partner with Blizzard. Many sources said that Tencent has “dropped the price” and wants to sign a contract with Blizzard with a 1-year game release term. Tencent has yet to give an official confirmation and reply on this matter.
One analyst said that “takeover of the business requires re-licensing and therefore the possibility of a third party takeover is very difficult”. In 2021, a total of 755 licenses have been issued, 679 games in China and 76 games overseas, of which the latter’s license is down 46.26% compared to 2020. Expect to wait at least 3 months before it can be released in the mainland.
According to media, Chinese publisher NetEase is negotiating with Microsoft to take back the franchise for 1/5 of the total value. While Perfect World, the publisher of Counter-Strike Global Offensive games in China, said it intends to operate Blizzard games and is always interested in approaching Blizzard in the future.
Previously, NetEase and Blizzard Entertainment planned to end their 14-year partnership, end the Chinese company’s main source of revenue, and suspend service for some popular games in China, which are games. by Blizzard is widely known. If no final agreement is reached, games like StarCraft, Diablo, Overwatch and World of Warcraft will no longer be available in China. Blizzard will suspend most online game services in mainland China from January 23. Game sales will also halt in the coming days.
In addition to the financial terms, the key points in NetEase’s negotiations with the US game company are the intellectual property rights and control of the data of millions of players across China. NetEase says it’s hard to meet Blizzard’s new requirements.
Rising political tensions between the US and China have made user data a thorny issue. Short video platform TikTok, run by China’s ByteDance, has been criticized by US politicians as a national security threat and must block a firewall between users.