Blizzard And Netease Reunite To Bring WoW And Other Games Back To China

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Blizzard Entertainment titles are making their way back into the Chinese market this summer thanks to a new partnership between Microsoft Gaming and NetEase. It took a little over a year for this deal to come together but, World of Warcraft, Hearthstone, Overwatch, Diablo, and several others will once again be available in an official capacity to gamers in China.

Johanna Faries, President of Blizzard Entertainment states that the company is “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.” Faries also gave a shout out to the Chinese gaming community for all the support it has shown to Blizzard over the years.

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It seems as if Chinese gamers will need a little patience, though. In its official announcement Blizzard Entertainment notes that their catalog will “return to the market sequentially.” Meaning it will most likely be releasing titles one at a time in a staggered fashion rather than just making everything available all at once. While this will require some patience, it’s certainly a better situation than not having them available at all.

An interesting wrinkle is that this agreement covers more than just the reentry of Blizzard into the Chinese market. It’s also an opportunity for NetEase to make waves abroad, as the companies will be working towards bringing some of the company’s games to Xbox and “other platforms.”

This agreement was likely just a matter of time, as the Chinese market represents a massive opportunity for Microsoft to increase revenue and secure the growth Xbox leadership has been talking about lately. This is also something it needs after spending so much money buying out other publishers, including Blizzard Entertainment.