Blizzard Games Officially End Service In China Amid Licensing Dispute As Reactions And Memes Pour In

As usual for many companies that are not owned by China or have close ties with the country, the cost of doing business in the Chinese market is that brands typically need to go through a China-owned business, which is what Activision-Blizzard had been doing to keep it’s myriad of video games accessible to Chinese consumers.

For many years, this was done through a partnership with the company NetEase, who last year announced that they would not be renewing their contract with Blizzard to secure licensing for its games in China. With the fateful January date for the end of service quickly approaching, Blizzard ultimately failed to negotiate a replacement service in time, leading to all of the developer’s games now ceasing their service in the Chinese market, much to the chagrin of gamers who were fed up with the company.

What a large number of gamers following the news find extra sweet about the service stoppage is Blizzard being spurned by the country that was the main cause behind the infamous 2019 Blizzard Boycott, which came about as the brand started to clamp down on players expressing their wish for a Free Hong Kong.

This culminated in the player-created design and pushing of a Pro-Hong Kong Mei, entirely made out of spite from fans aimed at Blizzard for its stance during that time. This irony is far from lost on gamers amid the breaking story, who are now keen to push a narrative that Blizzard Entertainment tried hard to be pro-China, but still got kicked to the curb in the end.

Along with news of Blizzard’s games being pushed out of China, there are rumors and rumblings of Tencent, the largest game developer in China, coming out with their own MMO in the near future, with many believing it to be a deliberate and calculated attempt at pushing its own World of Warcraft.

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