According to Chinese media reports, Blizzard games are preparing to return to China after ending their partnership with NetEase in January 2023. The return was facilitated by the participation of Microsoft, the current owner of Activision Blizzard, and the departure of Boby Kotik, who was one of the reasons for the suspension of cooperation.
Let us recall that in January 2023, the Chinese company NetEase disconnected the game servers of games from Blizzard: World of Warcraft, Overwatch 2, Diablo 3 and Hearthstone. The exact reason for this step was not announced, but there were references to the Chinese side’s dissatisfaction with the decisions of Boby Kotick, who at that time was the CEO of Activision Blizzard.
After the deal ended, Blizzard tried to find another publisher for its games in China. Negotiations were held with both large companies such as Tencent, ByteDance and Bilibili Games, as well as smaller publishers. However, it was not possible to reach an agreement with anyone.
Now, thanks to good partnerships, Microsoft management has decided to correct this situation and return their favorite games to Chinese players. NetEase itself agrees with this, since it has everything ready to launch games: game servers, technical specialists, all the necessary copyrights in China, and even the data of players who have previously played games.
Journalists note that work is already underway on gaming forums, and activity has begun to appear on some social networks. At the moment, there have been no official comments on the restart of the games.