Blizzard Entertainment, the company behind the development of the masterpiece, World of Warcraft (WOW) is reportedly looking for new partners in China.
The game developer is in talks with multiple companies in China that could turn out to be its potential partners replacing NetEase.
World of Warcraft Must not Shut down
Blizzard Entertainment had a long-running contract with NetEase, a gaming giant based in China.
The contract between both companies was for hosting the server for World of Warcraft in China. It is arguably the largest online game developed and launched by Blizzard Entertainment.
According to many gaming experts and companies, it is the most popular MMORPG game that has been around since 2004.
The game has a total player base of 123.74 million players, with an average daily player base of 1.18 million. The monthly active player base recorded on WOW servers is over 8.5 million players.
At the time of writing, the largest player base of World of Warcraft is based in China. The game has over 3 million active players only from the Chinese region.
Therefore, Blizzard Entertainment cannot imagine losing its server and shutting down WOW in China.
Deal with NetEase
It was back in 2008 when Blizzard Entertainment signed a deal with NetEase to host its WOW server in China.
Although the game had been launched in 2004, it wasn’t until 2008 that the Chinese gaming community got their hands on WOW with a server dedicated to them.
Right after the launch, the game became insanely popular throughout the country. The entire Chinese gaming community got to experience the game, making it the number 1 MMO in the entire world.
At present, World of Warcraft ranks as the top MMO game in the entire world and China’s gaming community has made a huge contribution to that.
Although things were going quite well on all sides, Blizzard Entertainment made an alarming announcement in November 2022.
The company announced that it will shut down the WOW server for the Chinese gaming community starting January 2023. The officials confirmed that they were not able to renew the deal with NetEase.
Therefore, they had to take a harsh step because they did not see any other option at that point. It seems that Blizzard Entertainment has come to its senses and it is finding other companies to partner with.
This way, Blizzard Entertainment will get to continue running World of Warcraft in the country alongside other small online games.
Negotiations are Ongoing
Blizzard Entertainment has announced that they are currently negotiating a deal with several partners.
They are trying their best to finalize the deal with either one or multiple partners so they can keep running the games without any interruption.
Blizzard is determined to find a new partner because it has made it clear that it will continue looking for a new partner until they find one.
This is an assurance for the entire gaming community that has been playing Blizzard’s iconic game for over 14 years.
There was a time when the US had the highest player base for WOW in the entire world. However, in recent years, the US gaming community has moved on to other online gaming franchises.
However, the Chinese gaming community has remained somewhat loyal to WOW as their number is now the highest.
It would be a huge loss for Blizzard Entertainment if they end up shutting down the game in China. In recent years, China has turned out to be even more promising for Blizzard than the US market.
Blizzard Entertainment also released its only movie based on one of its popular games “Warcraft” back in 2018.
Although the movie did not receive much recognition in the US theaters, it was a super-duper hit in China.
This means that the Chinese audience and players have grown very fond of WOW and its related franchises.
If Blizzard does not finalize a deal and has to shut down WOW, it will let down the entire WOW community in the country.
Blizzard currently has too much at stake and the company’s future in China relies on its next major contract with a new China-based partner.
After the report came out, the share prices for Activision Blizzard, the parent company of Blizzard Entertainment, surged by 2.93%.