The rumors have proven true: Blizzard Entertainment Inc. is not renewing its online game contract in China with The9, choosing instead to move the World of Warcraft game to a subsidiary of Chinese Web portal NetEase.com.
Blizzard and NetEase.com announced a partnership on Blizzard Entertainment's Warcraft III, StarCraft II, and Battle.net gaming platform last summer. This new three-year deal for World of Warcraft further enhances the partnership between Blizzard Entertainment and NetEase and promotes a consistent level of quality and service in mainland China for all Blizzard Entertainment games involved in the partnership.
Mike Morhaime, CEO and co-founder of Blizzard Entertainment, stated: "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."
There is no word yet from The9 on how great of a financial hit losing World of Warcraft will be for the company.