The9 intends to introduce a host of employee benefits in a bid to keep the staff who currently work on WoW, after it was announced last week that the company had lost the contract to operate World of Warcraft.
NetEase will take over the running of WoW in China when The9’s licence expires in June. As part of the deal it was rumoured that NetEase will offer The9 $1 million USD for the transfer of employees that worked on WoW, along with further cash for the old WoW servers. According to JLM Pacific Epoch today, The9 willoffer employees stock options and introduce new policies in an attempt to keep them.However, it yesterday that NetEase will use entirely new servers to power the game, and that the company has already applied for the approval of WoW’s latest expansion, Wrath of the Lich King. WotLK was released in Europe and the US in November last year, but The9 has failed to provide it to Chinese players yet.
Despite officialof the new deal between NetEase and Blizzard, chairman of The9, Zhu Jun, apparently told employees during an internal meeting that there is still hope for WoW, and not to give up until the end. The9 president, Xiaowei Chen, is reportedly still in the US, negotiating with Blizzard. Further reports from Chinese site 17173.com claim that Blizzard may have to compensate The9 by as much as $100 million USD for not renewing WoW’s licensing agreement.