NetEase Brings Blizzard Games Back to China in Summer, Signs Deal with Microsoft to Bring Its Games to Xbox

Three months ago, a rumor suggested that NetEase was close to inking a new agreement to bring Blizzard games back to mainland China after the complete shutdown that occurred in early 2023.

At last, NetEase, Blizzard, and Microsoft have now officially announced the completion of the deal. Blizzard’s beloved games, including World of Warcraft, Hearthstone, other titles in the Warcraft franchise, Overwatch, Diablo, and StarCraft, will once again be available in China starting this Summer. They won’t all be released at once, though – the press release says they’ll launch ‘sequentially’, and we don’t know yet which one will be first.

Interestingly, Microsoft also signed a deal with NetEase to bring new titles of the Chinese publisher to Xbox and ‘other platforms’.

Johanna Faries, President of Blizzard Entertainment, stated:

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. We are immensely grateful for the passion the Chinese community has shown for Blizzard games throughout the years, and we are focused on bringing our universes back to players with excellence and dedication.

William Ding, Chief Executive Officer and Director at NetEase, added:

Celebrating our collaborations, we are thrilled to embark on the next chapter, built on trust and mutual respect, to serve our users in this unique community that we’ve built together. Our commitment to providing more exhilarating and creative entertainment experience remains unwavering, and we are excited to see positive synergies fostered to encourage and empower collaborations to bring the joy of gaming to a broad community.

Phil Spencer, CEO of Microsoft Gaming, said in a statement:

Blizzard and NetEase have done incredible work to renew our commitment to players – Blizzard’s universes have been part of players’ lives in the region for many years. Returning Blizzard’s legendary games to players in China while exploring ways to bring more new titles to Xbox demonstrates our commitment to bringing more games to more players around the world.

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