Overwatch 2, Diablo 4, & more return to China as Blizzard partners with NetEase again

Jeremy Gan
Blizzard Entertainment promo art of game characters

Blizzard titles are returning to China as the publisher announces a renewed publishing deal has been signed with NetEase.

In November 2022, Blizzard announced that most of their game services would be suspended in China as their publishing agreements with NetEase fell through. And on January 23, 2023, Chinese gamers had to say goodbye to Blizzard titles in the region.

But after a year and a half since Blizzard’s servers were shut down in China, their titles are coming back with a renewed publishing deal with NetEase. 

“Our legendary worlds are for all to share and that includes our passionate Chinese community,” Blizzard announced. “We are pleased to announce a new agreement with NetEase to bring Blizzard games back to mainland China.” 

In Blizzard’s press release on the new deal, they announced that beginning this summer, Blizzard’s titles will be returning to China. 

This includes titles such as Overwatch 2, Diablo 4, World of Warcraft, Starcraft, and Hearthstone, all of which have a sizable fanbase in the country. 

Johanna Faries, Blizzard’s President, said of the new deal, “We at Blizzard are thrilled to announce a new partnership with NetEase to bring Blizzard’s incredible games back to mainland China. Grateful to the hard work and dedication put forth to once again serve our players in the region under a renewed agreement.” 

The re-partnering was first reported back on Christmas 2023 in which Chinese news site 36Kr reported that Blizzard was in talks with various domestic game publishers in China, however, chose to partner with NetEase again. 

Blizzard’s year-and-a-half departure has caused some issues for the publisher, particularly in Overwatch, as its newly established Overwatch Championship Series had to leave out China as a competitive region entirely, despite the region’s long history in the scene. 

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About The Author

Jeremy is a writer on the Australian Dexerto team. He studied at RMIT University in Melbourne, Australia, and graduated with a Bachelors in Journalism. Jeremy mainly covers esports such as CS:GO, Valorant, Overwatch, League of Legends, and Dota 2, but he also leans into gaming and entertainment news as well. You can contact Jeremy at jeremy.gan@dexerto.com or on Twitter @Jer_Gan