It seems like the stance on Activision Blizzard’s separation with NetEase has been made abundantly clear by the latter company. Reuters recently revealed that the US company (through its Blizzard China subsidiary) sent a proposal to the Chinese communications company last week with a proposal to extend their partnership. This proposal was declined.
According to a statement issued on the microblogging site Weibo, Blizzard China contacted NetEase last week with a proposal to extend the partnership, which is going to expire on January 23. Unfortunately for Activision Blizzard, this extension was declined by NetEase. Blizzard China further talked about this situation with the following statement:
It is a pity that NetEase is not willing to extend services of our game for another six months on the basis of existing terms as we look for a new partner.
We’ve discussed the consequences of the separation between Activision Blizzard and NetEase. Several of the company’s games will end their services once this 14-year-long partnership expires on January 23. This announcement, often seen as the most lucrative in video game history, has of course made its impact across the entire industry.
A senior figure at NetEase talked about the reasons behind the lack of an extension of the deal a few months ago. The President of Global Investment and Partnership, Simon Zhu, explained that the reason behind the partnership breaking was due to the actions of a “jerk” behind the scenes.
As a gamer who spent 10,000 hours in the world of Azeroth, Starcraft and Overwatch, I feel so heartbroken as I will not longer have the access to my account and memories next year. One day, when what has happened behind the scene could be told, developers and gamers will have a whole new level of understanding of how much damage a jerk can make.
Will Blizzard manage to find a new partner to distribute its games in China? How long will the country be left without access to ActiBlizz’s titles? Stay tuned for more developments as they come.