In a press release today, Blizzard has confirmed that NetEase will take over the operation of the MMO World of Warcraft in China after the current licence, held by The9, expires.
Asyesterday, NetEase have signed up with Blizzard to host the hugely popular WoW for a term of three years. The two companies already work together; last year, NetEase and Blizzard teamed up to provide Warcraft III, Starcraft II and Battle.net in China.
“We appreciate the enthusiasm that Chinese gamers have shown us over the years, and we’ve always worked hard, in collaboration with our partners, to ensure that these players receive the same high-quality service and gameplay experiences that we deliver in other regions,” said Mike Morhaime, CEO and cofounder of Blizzard Entertainment. “This new agreement with NetEase will support that goal for years to come, and we look forward to collaborating with them on a smooth transition for World of Warcraft moving forward.”
The9’s licence ends on 8 June 2009. Further details will be announced soon.