“Building upon more than 15 years of past collaboration, Blizzard and NetEase are working diligently on relaunch plans.”

Blizzard Entertainment's titles are returning to mainland China. Microsoft Gaming and NetEase also have also announced a strategic partnership that involves bringing new gaming experiences to players across different platforms and markets. Read on for details!

World of Warcraft is returning to China this summer (Image via Blizzard Entertainment)
World of Warcraft is returning to China this summer (Image via Blizzard Entertainment)

Blizzard games return to China

Starting summer 2024, Blizzard's game titles such as World of Warcraft, Overwatch 2, Hearthstone, and more are slated to return to mainland China. This means players located there can reunite with franchises and games that they had access to under the previous NetEase and Blizzard agreement.

Overwatch 2 screenshot (Image via Blizzard Entertainment)
Overwatch 2 screenshot (Image via Blizzard Entertainment)

"Building upon more than 15 years of past collaboration, Blizzard and NetEase are working diligently on relaunch plans, with further details to be shared at a later date," the official press release stated.

Microsoft Gaming and NetEase agreement

The press release also noted that separately, Microsoft Gaming and NetEase also entered into an agreement. This agreement involves bringing NetEase titles to Xbox consoles and other platforms.

Johanna Faries (Image via Blizzard Entertainment)
Johanna Faries (Image via Blizzard Entertainment)

“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,” Blizzard president Johanna Faries said, adding that Blizzard is grateful for the passion that China’s community has shown for Blizzard titles over the years.

NetEase CEO and director William Ding also commented on the return of Blizzard games to mainland China, noting that this chapter is being built on trust and mutual respect. "Our commitment to providing more exhilarating and creative entertainment experience remains unwavering, and we are excited to see positive synergies fostered to encourage and empower collaborations to bring the joy of gaming to a broad community," he added.

Microsoft Gaming CEO Phil Spencer celebrated the news as well. He then emphasized the goal of exploring ways to bring new titles to Xbox consoles.

This announcement arrived over a year since games like World of Warcraft, Overwatch 2, and Hearthstone shut down in China due to expired licensing agreements.

That's all for now. Stick around on esports.gg for more news and updates!

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