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.

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