A space marine in Starcraft II looks down while smoking a huge cigar in power armour
Screenshot by Dot Esports

Blizzard strikes deal to bring Overwatch, WoW, and more IPs back to China

It's about time.

Popular Blizzard IPs like Overwatch, World of Warcraft, StarCraft, Diablo, and the rest of the developer’s catalog are finally set to return to China soon, now that Microsoft Gaming and NetEase have deepened their working relationship.

Recommended Videos

After long-running discussions through the start of the calendar year, Blizzard, Microsoft, and NetEase have renewed the publishing deal which had ended in January 2023, according to an official announcement made on April 9. This again makes it possible for all Blizzard titles to operate in mainland China from as early as this summer.

Sojourn, Sigma, Sombra and Zenyatta attacking around a robot.
Gear up, fans in China. Image via Blizzard Entertainment

Back in 2022, Blizzard announced the end of a whopping 14-year-old partnership with NetEase, indicating its servers would no longer be available in mainland China starting in 2023. This led to the suspension of several popular IPs, including World of Warcraft, Hearthstone, Overwatch, StarCraft, Diablo III, and more, in the region.

The Chinese community is known for being one of the most enthusiastic and heavily involved gaming groups across the globe. Naturally, Blizzard’s games leaving mainland China was a hard hit to the fandom residing in mainland China. But that changes now, with one of 2023’s most celebrated rumors coming true

As experts predicted, Microsoft’s acquisition of Activision-Blizzard seems to have played a role in helping renew the blockbuster NetEase deal. Interestingly, Microsoft Gaming boss Phil Spencer’s statement on the long-expected license renewal seems to support this idea too. “Blizzard and NetEase have done incredible work to renew our commitment to players—Blizzard’s universes have been part of players’ lives in the region for many years,” Spencer declared in the April 9 press release. “Returning Blizzard’s legendary games to players in China while exploring ways to bring more new titles to Xbox demonstrates our commitment to bringing more games to more players around the world.”

Well, we are all glad that China is back in the game.


Dot Esports is supported by our audience. When you purchase through links on our site, we may earn a small affiliate commission. Learn more
related content
Read Article Best Barbarian build in Diablo 4 season 4
A Barbarian class character in Diablo 4.
Read Article Best Rogue build in Diablo 4 season 4
A woman of the Rogue class in Diablo 4 wearing a blue hood and wielding a cross bow.
Read Article Diablo 4 Pinch of Poison quest guide: How to collect poison for Baraim
The Dry Steppe region in Diablo 4.
Related Content
Read Article Best Barbarian build in Diablo 4 season 4
A Barbarian class character in Diablo 4.
Read Article Best Rogue build in Diablo 4 season 4
A woman of the Rogue class in Diablo 4 wearing a blue hood and wielding a cross bow.
Read Article Diablo 4 Pinch of Poison quest guide: How to collect poison for Baraim
The Dry Steppe region in Diablo 4.
Author
Sharmila Ganguly
Staff Writer at Dot Esports. An enthusiastic gamer who bumped into the intricacies of video game journalism in 2021 and has been hustling ever since. Obsessed with first-person shooter titles, especially VALORANT. Contact: sharmila@dotesports.com