By Josh Ye
HONG KONG (Reuters) – U.S. videogame publisher Activision Blizzard said that it is in talks with potential new partners to continue offering its hit game World of Warcraft in China after its sudden announcement last month that it would not renew deal with its current Chinese partner NetEase.
Blizzard China, the company’s Chinese subsidiary, published a post on China’s top micro-blogging site Weibo on Tuesday, saying that it is in talks with new publishing partners in China to continue the game’s service in the country.
Blizzard’s announcement last month that it would no longer let NetEase, China’s second largest gaming company, publish its games in China sent shockwaves across the industry as the Blizzard-NetEase partnership had long been considered one of the industry’s most lucrative in video games.
Blizzard’s Weibo post was a letter to gamers written by John Hight, the general manager of the Warcraft franchise at Blizzard. It did not mention whether Blizzard is seeking partners to publish its other non-Warcraft games.
The post added that Blizzard China will let gamers save the progress of their game and some user data offline before Jan. 23, when Blizzard’s license with NetEase is set to expire. Gamers can then restore their progress of the game once a new publisher is identified.
(Reporting by Josh Ye; Editing by Kim Coghill)