Author: Liu Xiaojie
The 68-day termination dispute between NetEase and Blizzard has ushered in the end of "closing the service", but the dispute is not over.
Yicai learned from people familiar with the matter that recently, Shanghai NetEase Network Technology Development Co., Ltd. filed a lawsuit in Shanghai against Blizzard Entertainment Co., Ltd. for violating a series of license agreements, demanding a refund of 3 million owes.
It is understood that the amount includes refunds related to suspended games such as "World of Warcraft" that NetEase has paid in full, prepayment for the inventory of unsold game goods, and prepayment deposits for several undeveloped games. The case also involved a number of unequal clauses in favor of Blizzard's unilateral rights and interests in agreements related to national service agency games such as World of Warcraft, and the legality and enforceability of the relevant provisions were hugely controversial.
It is reported that the primary reason why NetEase sued Blizzard was because Blizzard refused to bear the refund obligation of national server players and refused to pay NetEase the prepayment fee related to the refund of the national server. People familiar with the matter said that after the suspension of Blizzard game national servers such as "World of Warcraft", "Hearthstone" and "Overwatch" on January 1, NetEase has fully paid more than 24.112 million players related refund applications.
Public information shows that NetEase, which initiated the lawsuit, is the local NetEase team responsible for operating Blizzard games. Previously, the media reported that the team previously had nearly 10 people, most of whom were operational personnel, and most of the employees have left, leaving only <> employees to be responsible for the aftermath.
Tianyan check information shows that Shanghai NetEase Network Technology Development Co., Ltd. is currently in existence, the legal representative is Zhang Dong, and the major shareholder is Ding Lei, holding 100% of the shares.
On February 2023, 2, shortly after the official suspension of the service, NetEase released a description of the open refund of Blizzard Games, indicating that the operation of Blizzard game products operated by Shanghai NetEase was terminated in Chinese mainland, and from 1:2 on February 1, a refund application channel will be opened for virtual currency or game services that players have recharged but not consumed in "Blizzard Game Products".
Previously, the dispute between the two companies began on November 2022, 11, when Blizzard and NetEase successively issued statements saying that after negotiation, the two parties did not reach an agreement on renewing the cooperation and would terminate the cooperation after the expiration of the agreement.
Blizzard said in a statement that from 2023:1 on January 24, 0, all national server games, including "World of Warcraft", "Warcraft III: Remake", "Hearthstone", "Overwatch", etc., will cease operations.
On January 1, Blizzard officially issued an announcement that it would suspend the national server game service on January 17 in accordance with the suspension announcement. The announcement also mentioned that Blizzard had contacted NetEase again to discuss a six-month extension of the agreement based on the 1 agreement, "Unfortunately, NetEase is not willing to extend the game service for six months based on the existing cooperation terms while we are looking for a new partner, so that everyone can continue to play during this period." ”
In the late evening of the 17th, in response to the news that "NetEase refused to extend Blizzard's service for six months", NetEase responded that it learned that the negotiations between Blizzard and other companies during the same period were all based on a three-year contract period, considering the unequal, unfair and other conditions attached to the cooperation, so the two parties finally failed to reach an agreement on the extension of service.
"Blizzard's proposals—including today's sudden announcement—are outrageous, undignified, and not commercially logical. Its excessive self-confidence did not consider this kind of behavior of giving and taking, riding a donkey to find a horse, and divorce without leaving his body, which put players and NetEase in a position. NetEase said bluntly in the statement.
On the afternoon of January 1, NetEase released the announcement of "NetEase's Farewell Letter to Blizzard National Service Players: Thank You for Being with Blizzard for 23 Years", officially announcing the suspension of Blizzard games.
So far, Blizzard has not announced a new mainland agent operator. Previously, Tencent, Byte, Station B, Perfect World, Mihayou, Jiucheng and other companies were considered potential interested parties of Blizzard, but no company has come forward to officially announce the acceptance of this hot "golden potato".
The reiteration of the import version number faced by domestic agents, and the domestic version application is not easy at present, and the resistance means that the national server of Blizzard Games may not be launched soon. "In recent years, the independent development of domestic games and the competition in the market are still quite fierce. If Blizzard games are stopped for too long, they may lose this part of the domestic players forever. A game anchor previously said to First Finance and Economics.