NetEase throws shade at Blizzard by demolishing an Orc statue

NetEase live-streamed the demolition after the company's agreement with Blizzard ended and wasn't renewed.


In two days, popular Blizzard games such as Overwatch 2, World of Warcraft, and Diablo 3 will become unplayable in China because the licensing deal between NetEase and Blizzard will end. This leaves the Activision subsidiary without a publishing partner in China.

netease demolishes world of warcraft statue
Blizzard Entertainment has yet to release an official statement addressing the demolishing.

NetEase has reportedly demolished a World of Warcraft statue located outside its Hangzhou headquarters, throwing shade at Blizzard Entertainment. The spectacle is seen as being aimed at the game developer and was live-streamed via NetEase’s Naraka Bladepoint channel.

Blizzard announced in November that it was ending its partnership with NetEase, resulting in the shutdown of its popular online titles in China. Chinese gaming regulators require foreign game developers to partner with a local gaming company in order to get a license to operate in one of the biggest video game markets in the world.

Chinese esports caster Alan Gai revealed that the World of Warcraft statue was taken down on Wednesday. Not only that, but, as mentioned, the entire process was streamed live on NetEase’s social media account. Chinese TikTok channel ChaikingNDS also shared a video of the event. The demolition team was given "Blizzard Green Tea" as a reward for taking down the statue. Green Tea is used in China as slang for a person who is pretending to be pure, traditional, or innocent.

The demolition of the giant statue comes just a day after Blizzard announced that it will be shutting down its games on its official Weibo page. The shutdown will take effect on January 24.

netease blizzard art
Blizzard games including Overwatch 2 will no longer be playable on January 24.

NetEase released a statement claiming Blizzard wanted to negotiate a six-month extension with the Chinese game publisher while trying to close a new three-year contract with another potential partner. NetEase describes Blizzard as 騎驢找馬, which translates to "riding a donkey while looking for a horse." Eventually, the negotiations for the renewal broke down in December, with Blizzard saying it was unable to reach a new deal with NetEase that's "consistent with Blizzard's operating principles and commitments to players and employees."

Simon Zhu, NetEase’s Head of Partnership, revealed that the termination of the deal was not a pleasant one. Zhu said, "One day when what has happened behind the scene could be told, developers and gamers will have a whole new level of understanding of how much damage a jerk can make."

Chinese gamers will still have access to Diablo Immortal as it is covered by a separate licensing agreement between Blizzard and NetEase.


Darryl Lara

Darryl has been gaming since the early 90s, loves to read books and watch TV. He spends his free time outside of gaming and books by riding his motorcycle and taking photographs. You can find Darryl on Instagram. Check him out on Steam and Xbox too.
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