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NetEase Rejected Game License Extension Offer, Blizzard Says

  • US firm had offered to extend current deal by six months
  • NetEase has been exclusive China distributor of Blizzard games
Updated on

NetEase Inc. turned down an offer from US games publisher Blizzard to extend their China licensing agreement by six months, setting the stage for the withdrawal of global titles like World of Warcraft from the top gaming market.

The potential extension, under the existing terms, was an option included in the two companies’ most recent deal in 2019, Blizzard said in a statement Tuesday. NetEase declined to take it up, according to the US firm, and absent an alternative provider to take over from NetEase, Blizzard’s content and online services will be withdrawn from China on Jan. 23, the final date of its existing agreement.