Blizzard to Partner with NetEase in Mainland China for World of Warcraft

Blizzard to Partner with NetEase in Mainland China for World of Warcraft


Today it was announced by Blizzard and NetEase that World of Warcraft will be supported in mainland China by the latter.

The new license agreement “lays [the] groundwork for continued operation of world’s most popular online game in mainland China” for a further three years.

Press Release:

April 16, 2009 – Blizzard Entertainment, Inc. and NetEase.com, Inc. (NASDAQ: NTES) today announced that Blizzard Entertainment’s World of Warcraft will be licensed to an affiliated company of NetEase.com, Inc. in mainland China for a term of 3 years following the expiration of the current license agreement.

Both companies announced a partnership on Blizzard Entertainment’s Warcraft III, StarCraft II, and Battle.net® gaming platform last summer. Today’s announcement further enhances the partnership between Blizzard Entertainment and NetEase and promotes a consistent level of quality and service in mainland China for all Blizzard Entertainment games involved in the partnership.

“We appreciate the enthusiasm that Chinese gamers have shown us over the years, and we’ve always worked hard, in collaboration with our partners, to ensure that these players receive the same high-quality service and gameplay experiences that we deliver in other regions,” said Mike Morhaime, CEO and cofounder of Blizzard Entertainment. “This new agreement with NetEase will support that goal for years to come, and we look forward to collaborating with them on a smooth transition for World of Warcraft moving forward.”

“We are excited to be working with Blizzard Entertainment now on World of Warcraft in addition to Warcraft III, StarCraft II, and Battle.net,” stated William Ding, CEO of NetEase. “By combining Blizzard Entertainment’s expertise in developing world-class games with NetEase’s strength in online-game operation in China, I am confident that we will be able to deliver the best gaming experiences in the world to our players.”

Further details on the transition plans for World of Warcraft in mainland China are available at http://wow.163.com. As additional plans are finalized, that website will be updated with more information in the weeks and months ahead.

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