NetEase has responded to Blizzard’s latest comments, explaining why it refused to extend their partnership to publish games in China for another six months. The tech giant criticized the World of Warcraft developer for its unprofessional behavior and overconfidence.
World of Warcraft: Dragonflight
In a statement on WeChat, NetEase said Blizzard’s proposal was “outrageous, inappropriate, and not in line with business logic.”
“It’s as if they were riding a donkey while looking for a horse, proposing a divorce while still engaging with the same partner,” the message reads (via Blooomberg). The company also accused Blizzard of having excessive self-confidence in thinking they could take whatever they wanted and not considering the “interests of gamers and NetEase.
This is a response to Blizzard’s January 17 statement in which it claimed that NetEase wasn’t “willing to extend services of our game for another six months on the basis of existing terms.”
Activision Blizzard announced the expiration of its licensing agreement with NetEase, which has been publishing Blizzard titles in China since 2008, in November. According to previous reports, one of the key striking points in the rupture between the two companies was IP ownership and control over the personal data of millions of Chinese players.
NetEase, however, noted that this information was false and that it never had plans to take over Blizzard’s franchises.
Despite the breakup, it will continue to publish Diablo Immortal in China because it is subject to a separate agreement. But services for all other games, including World of Warcraft, StarCraft, and Overwatch, will soon be suspended in the country.
Blizzard is now in talks with other Chinese companies, with Tencent, ByteDance, and Perfect World being named among potential new partners. However, it is unclear when the new deal will be made and on what terms.