Blizzard games are returning to China thanks to a new deal with long-time partner NetEase

Warcraft, Diablo, and more are returning to China, new deal struck between Blizzard and NetEase also includes option to bring games to the west.

1 minute & 11 seconds read time

Blizzard games like World of Warcraft and Diablo have been prominent in China for several years, thanks to a deal made with local publishing and gaming giant NetEase to bring its popular games and franchises to the country. However, the deal between the two expired in 2023, with Blizzard and NetEase pointing the finger at each other - citing the other party as the reason for the agreement not being renewed.

It got so heated that NetEase employees tore down a World of Warcraft statue at its offices, with both companies suing each other. Well, it looks like time heals all wounds - or a change in management does. With Microsoft now in charge of Activision Blizzard and its properties, a new deal has been struck to bring Blizzard Entertainment games like Warcraft, StarCraft, and Diablo back to China this summer.

As part of the new deal, both parties have also agreed to explore bringing NetEase titles to Microsoft Xbox and other gaming platforms in the West.

"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," said Blizzard Entertainment President Johanna Faries in a joint statement.

Over on X, Phil Spencer, Head of Microsoft Gaming, wrote, "Thanks to the incredible work done by Blizzard and NetEase to renew our commitment to players, we will soon welcome back millions of community members in China to our Blizzard universes. This is exciting for everyone at Xbox and Blizzard and for players everywhere."

In addition to bringing World of Warcraft and Overwatch 2 back to millions of players in the country, the new deal will finally bring Diablo 4 to the region.

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Kosta is a veteran gaming journalist that cut his teeth on well-respected Aussie publications like PC PowerPlay and HYPER back when articles were printed on paper. A lifelong gamer since the 8-bit Nintendo era, it was the CD-ROM-powered 90s that cemented his love for all things games and technology. From point-and-click adventure games to RTS games with full-motion video cut-scenes and FPS titles referred to as Doom clones. Genres he still loves to this day. Kosta is also a musician, releasing dreamy electronic jams under the name Kbit.

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