NetEase, a Chinese game developer, is reportedly suing Blizzard Entertainment, for breaching a number of licensing agreements.
According to a Chinese media outlet, Sina Technology, NetEase is reportedly suing Blizzard and demanding ¥300 million ($43.5 million). The amount will cover refunds for canceled games like “World of Warcraft,” which NetEase has already paid for in full. In addition, the amount includes prepayments for unsold game inventory and deposits for a number of underdeveloped titles.
NetEase and Blizzard had licensing agreements that allowed gamers in China access to Blizzard games. The two companies ended their partnership earlier this year, leading to Blizzard pulling their games from the Chinese market. The titles have since gone offline in China, and gamers cannot access them locally. The games include World of Warcraft, Hearthstone, Warcraft III: Reforged, Overwatch, the StarCraft series, Diablo 3, and Heroes of the Storm.
According to the report, Netease has reportedly not filed the suit yet. This leaves the possibility of a settlement between the two sides open. The two companies could still reach an agreement that will allow Blizzard to operate and provide services in China. However, the possibility is still slim considering that the public and somehow messy disagreement led to Blizzard closing down its offices in China.
The contentious disagreement led to Netease tearing down a statue of World of Warcraft outside its headquarters. NetEase streamed the demolition live on one of its official game channels.
Both NetEase and Blizzard have yet to comment on the issue.
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