Leak: NetEase Files Lawsuit Against Blizzard After Partnership Ends

New reports reveal that NetEase has filed a lawsuit against Blizzard Entertainment after the two companies’ long-term partnership ends in early 2023.

This information was first published by Sina Technology (via VGC). If you’re interested in the state of the video game industry, you can check out our other articles here.

NetEase files lawsuit against Blizzard after partnership ends?

Sina Technology reports NetEase has filed a lawsuit against Blizzard Entertainment and is asking for approximately 43.5 million USD to cover refunds for discontinued games and services.

NetEase is also demanding compensation for its unsold merchandise inventory and deposits on undeveloped games, in addition to “unfair terms favoring Blizzard Entertainment” in the license agreement between the two.

Update 25. April 2023: VGC telah mendapat respons Activision Blizzard mengenai kabar gugatan ini:

We have not received the lawsuit, but we believe that we have not breached any license agreements. The terms complained of by NetEase reflect standard industry practices and have been mutually beneficial for many years.

While this persistent campaign from one former partner is disappointing and confusing, it is important to note that we have enjoyed nearly two decades of positive experience operating in China and remain committed to serving players and protecting their interests.

Activision Blizzard

The New York Times reported that tensions between NetEase and Blizzard Entertainment peaked during a conference call in October 2022.

During the conversation, executives at Activision reportedly felt that NetEase CEO, William Ding, had threatened to influence the Chinese government to block or support Microsoft’s planned acquisition of Activision Blizzard depending on the outcome of the negotiations.

Another source said that this was never NetEase’s intention and was just a misunderstanding.

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