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Blizzard games are returning to China this summer


games will once again be available in China, over 15 months after titles such as  and went offline in the planet’s largest gaming market. Blizzard has with long-time partner and many of its games will return to mainland China in the coming months.

NetEase oversaw Blizzard games in China for 15 years, but their agreement expired in January 2023, leading to the likes of Hearthstone and Starcraft . The two sides had kept discussions going over the last year and they finally reached a new deal.

It’ll take a little while for Blizzard and NetEase to resolve technical issues and get things in place for the relaunch, but the games are expected to come back online in China starting this summer. According to , players will be able to resume progress they’d previously made on their accounts.

Blizzard could be set for a notable boost to its bottom line with its games coming back to China. Overwatch is one of its more popular games there — the country is said to have made up in the circuit’s later seasons. One pro team based in China didn’t play at all during .

In addition, Chinese players will for the first time officially be able to play , which Blizzard released last June and was an instant hit. ( remained available in China during the spat with NetEase as that game was subject to a separate agreement.)

Meanwhile, Blizzard’s parent company Microsoft has struck a separate deal with NetEase. They’ll explore the possibility of bringing NetEase games to Xbox consoles and other platforms.

“Blizzard and NetEase have done incredible work to renew our commitment to players — Blizzard’s universes have been part of players’ lives in the region for many years,” Phil Spencer, CEO of Microsoft Gaming, said in a statement. “Returning Blizzard’s legendary games to players in China while exploring ways to bring more new titles to Xbox demonstrates our commitment to bringing more games to more players around the world.”


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