NetEase tears down WoW Orc statue as Blizzard shuts down Chinese servers

NetEase wow orc statueBlizzard, Universal Pictures

Amid the ongoing drama surrounding the closure of WoW’s servers in China, NetEase has destroyed its World of Warcraft Orc statue.

Chinese company NetEase has handled publishing duties for many Blizzard games in China since 2008. However, a dispute between the two resulted in the latter announcing its upcoming suspension of World of Warcraft’s servers in the region.

The MMORPG goes offline starting January 23, with the sale of Blizzard-developed games also scheduled to cease. Other titles that players in China will no longer have access to include Diablo III, Hearthstone, Overwatch 2, and Starcraft.

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While a recent statement from Blizzard China explains its inability to negotiate an extension that would allow for a six-month continuance of Blizzard services, NetEase’s response to the claim suggests nothing’s as cut and dry as it appears.

NetEase tears down its WoW Orc statue

Blizzard China’s aforementioned statement notes that it’s currently seeking a new publishing partner for the region. Though the firm did contact NetEase about a six-month extension, the Chinese company claims negotiations fell apart because Blizzard intends to continue “negotiations with other potential partners during the contract extension.”

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NetEase added in a statement (via Wowhead) of its own:

“And as far as we know, Blizzard’s negotiations with other companies during the same period were all based on a three-year contract period. Considering the non-reciprocity, unfairness, and other conditions attached to the cooperation, therefore, the parties could not reach an agreement in the end.”

The Chinese publisher’s response didn’t stop there. NetEase also dismantled its Blizzard offices and tore down a WoW Orc statue during a live protest, which TikTok user ChaijingNDS captured in a quick video.

ChaijingNDS’ clip shows several people smashing the statue with sledgehammers. Those who participated also received beverages in NetEase-branded cups.

According to Wowhead, the drinks were green tea, meant to reference a supposed slur that describes an outwardly nice person with manipulative qualities.

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