NetEase staff tore down a World Of Warcraft statue after the end of its long partnership with Blizzard in China. NetEase employees showed up with millets and destroyed a WoW Orc statue in response to Blizzard ending its 14-year-long partnership with them for handling the games in the Chinese market. The employees live-streamed it to about 30,000 people and shared the video on Chinese social media.
As reported by Wowhead, The people who participated in the destruction of the statue were offered “Green Tea” from Netease’s coffee shop. “Green Tea” is a modern Chinese slang used for a person who is manipulative but falsely tries to appear innocent or wholesome. It was used as a jab against Blizzard.
Blizzard China offered NetEase a six-month extension
On November 17, 2022, Activision Blizzard announced that it would suspend the service of Blizzard games distributed by Shanghai NetEase in mainland China, from January 23, 2023, effectively ending their partnership. Blizzard China also issued a statement stating that Blizzard has initiated a search for a new partner in the region.
According to a report by Reuters, Blizzard China, a subsidiary of the U.S.-based firm offered NetEase a six-month extension of the contract. But, NetEase turned down the offer, said the proposal was “commercially illogical” and accused the U.S. firm of “seeking a divorce but still remaining attached”.
Late last year NetEase president of global investment and partnership Simon Zhu reacted to the news by criticizing Blizzard in a public post on LinkedIn, which said-“As a gamer who spent 10,000 hours in the world of Azeroth, Starcraft and Overwatch, I feel so heartbroken as I will not longer have the access to my account and memories next year, One day, when what has happened behind the scene could be told, developers and gamers will have a whole new level understanding of how much damage a jerk can make. Feel terrible for players who lived in those worlds.”
NetEase started laying off its staff in November after it became clear that the Blizzard partnership won’t be continued. As of now, most of the staff has been reassigned or laid off and a few members are left to handle customer support and technical issues, they would be reassigned in the coming months.
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