Blizzard games in China have all gone dark following a bitter and ugly divorce between Activision Blizzard and its Chinese partner NetEase. Things turned sour between the companies sometime last November allegedly because of Activision CEO Bobby Kotick, who NetEase executive Simon Zhu referred to as a “jerk” publicly.
What next for Blizzard games in China?
Unable to find a new Chinese partner in time, Activision Blizzard offered NetEase an extension to their existing contract, which the latter turned down rather furiously. Late last week, NetEase employees were seen trashing a World of Warcraft statue outside their headquarters in Hangzhou, China. It’s unclear what really happened between Activision and NetEase.
Blizzard Entertainment games are quite popular in China. Millions of players have been left heartbroken and frustrated, according to a CNN report. Weibo, the Chinese equivalent of Twitter, is full of players expressing their sadness and disappointment over losing access to their beloved games.
There’s no word on how long the games will remain offline. Activision Blizzard continues to look for a partner but has yet to find any offers that suit, and that’s presumably why it wanted to extend its partnership with NetEase despite things taking a turn for the worst.
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