World of Warcraft set to make a comeback in China


NetEase, a major player in China’s video game industry, announced that popular titles like World of Warcraft will make a comeback in the country this summer.

Last year, NetEase and Activision Blizzard parted ways after a 14-year partnership, citing disagreements over intellectual property rights. This decision stirred uproar among millions of Chinese gamers fearing they’d lose access to beloved games.

All games require local publishers and government licenses to operate in China. The fallout between NetEase and Activision Blizzard led to lawsuits and an open feud.

However, tensions eased when Microsoft acquired Activision Blizzard for a record $69 billion in October, the largest deal in gaming history.

Johanna Faries, president of Blizzard Entertainment, expressed gratitude for the Chinese community’s support and emphasized their commitment to delivering high-quality gaming experiences.

Besides World of Warcraft, other Blizzard titles set to return to China include Hearthstone, Warcraft, Overwatch, Diablo, and StarCraft franchises.

China boasts the world’s largest online gaming market, with domestic revenue reaching $42 billion last year. NetEase, second only to Tencent in revenue, plays a significant role in this landscape.

Microsoft and NetEase also announced plans to explore bringing new NetEase titles to Microsoft’s gaming platforms, including Xbox consoles.

Despite its massive market potential, the gaming sector in China faces regulatory challenges. Authorities imposed restrictions limiting playtime for minors and curbing in-game purchases to address concerns about gaming addiction.

However, recent developments suggest a shift away from stringent regulations, indicating a more balanced approach to gaming policies.


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