HONG KONG (AP) — American game developer Blizzard Entertainment said Thursday it will suspend most of its game services in mainland China after current licensing agreements with Chinese game company NetEase end, sending NetEase’s shares tumbling.
Blizzard, which partnered with NetEase in 2008 to offer popular games such as World of Warcraft, Overwatch and Diablo in mainland China, said in a statement the two companies did not reach a deal to renew the agreements “that is consistent with Blizzard’s operating principles and commitments to players and employees.”
The partnership is set to expire next January. Blizzard said new sales will be “suspended in the coming days.”
NetEase shares plunged as much as 15% in Hong Kong following the news.
Apparently this is because the CCP government is requiring foreign MMO companies to share their Chinese user data with the government, and Blizzard balked, so all foreign MMOs will probably be pulled from China eventually.