World of Warcraft The War Within

‘Expected new Blizzard and NetEase deal will bring World of Warcraft back to China’

As reported to SCMP, Blizzard Entertainment games are coming back to China. The US gaming company known for World of Warcraft, Diablo 4, Hearthstone along with their long-time partner NetEase, will announce a new deal on Wednesday.

World of Warcraft has been popular in China, the world’s largest gaming market, but its player base has declined over the years. In 2009, it had 5 million active players, but by January of the current year, that number had dropped to 350,000 when Blizzard suspended services.The companies had experienced disagreements over the terms for extending their partnership before it expired.

According to an anonymous insider cited by the South China Morning Post, it is anticipated that both companies will unveil a new distribution deal for Blizzard games in China on Wednesday. This coincides with reports from media outlets such as Core Esports, suggesting that the resumption of game services by Blizzard and NetEase hinted at a possible comeback by the end of March or the beginning of April.

SCMP reports that initially revealed on Tuesday that the duo would announce their renewed partnership on Wednesday, with confirmation from NetEase. Lanjinger, another Chinese news outlet, corroborated the timeline and suggested that local servers could be accessible to gamers this summer.


World of Warcraft’s Chinese servers closed on January 23, 2023, after running for sixteen years. The shutdown happened quietly because of problems with Blizzard’s account saving system. In December 2023, we reported that NetEase and Blizzard struck a deal to revive the service.