Xbox Blizzard NetEase
Image: Blizzard

Blizzard has announced its games will be returning to China under a renewed publishing deal between Microsoft Gaming and NetEase.

After discussions "over the past year", players in China will be able to once again access World of Warcraft, Hearthstone and many other titles across the Blizzard universe including Overwatch, Diablo and StarCraft.

Perhaps most interestingly is the news Microsoft Gaming and NetEase have entered into an agreement to "explore" bringing new NetEase titles to Xbox consoles and other platforms in the future. NetEase is known in recent years for helping Blizzard develop the mobile and PC title Diablo Immortal.

Here's a statement about this from Microsoft Gaming CEO Phil Spencer:

“Blizzard and NetEase have done incredible work to renew our commitment to players – Blizzard’s universes have been part of players’ lives in the region for many years. Returning Blizzard’s legendary games to players in China while exploring ways to bring more new titles to Xbox demonstrates our commitment to bringing more games to more players around the world."

NetEase and Blizzard previously went through a rough patch when a licensing deal ended between the two parties at the beginning of 2023. It saw support for multiple Blizzard titles and services end in China and was spurred on by a reported rift between NetEase and Activision.

What do you make of this announcement? Let us know in the comments.