New agreement sets the stage for collaboration between the companies
on the game's upcoming fourth expansion set, Mists of Pandaria™
Blizzard Entertainment (NASDAQ: ATVI) and NetEase.com (NASDAQ: NTES)
today announced that they will continue their existing cooperation on
Blizzard Entertainment's World of Warcraft® in
mainland China. The new license will continue for an additional three
years following the expiration of the current license agreement.
The companies have been working together to bring World of Warcraft
to Chinese gamers since 2009. In that time, they have successfully
launched Wrath of the Lich King® and Cataclysm®,
the game's second and third expansion sets, in mainland China, and
earned the enthusiastic support of gamers across the country. In
addition to World of Warcraft, Blizzard Entertainment and
NetEase's existing partnership covers Blizzard Entertainment's Warcraft®
III and StarCraft® II, as well as
the Battle.net® gaming platform.
The extended license agreement further reinforces the existing
partnership between Blizzard Entertainment and NetEase and lays the
groundwork to bring Mists of Pandaria™, the
upcoming fourth expansion to World of Warcraft, to mainland
China. First unveiled at BlizzCon® 2011, Mists of Pandaria features
a variety of elements influenced by Eastern culture and introduces a new
playable race (the pandaren), a new class (the monk), an expansive new
continent to explore, an all-new pet battle system, scenarios, challenge
modes, and more.
"We're grateful for the tremendous enthusiasm Chinese gamers have shown
for World of Warcraft over the years, and we're pleased to be
renewing our agreement for the game in China," said Mike Morhaime, CEO
and cofounder of Blizzard Entertainment. "We look forward to working
with NetEase to deliver all of the new features and content of Mists
of Pandaria to Chinese players as soon as possible."
"We are excited to continue our partnership with Blizzard Entertainment
after three years of highly effective cooperation on World of Warcraft,"
stated William Ding, CEO of NetEase. "Both companies have complementary
business strategies and share a similar corporate culture. I am
confident that with Blizzard Entertainment's expertise in developing
world-class games and NetEase's experience in local game operation, we
will be able to provide the best gaming experiences for players in
About Blizzard Entertainment, Inc.
Best known for blockbuster hits including World of Warcraft®
and the Warcraft®, StarCraft®,
and Diablo® franchises, Blizzard Entertainment, Inc. (www.blizzard.com),
a division of Activision Blizzard (NASDAQ: ATVI), is a premier developer
and publisher of entertainment software renowned for creating some of
the industry's most critically acclaimed games. Blizzard Entertainment's
track record includes thirteen #1-selling games and multiple Game of the
Year awards. The company's online-gaming service, Battle.net®,
is one of the largest in the world, with millions of active players.
About NetEase.com Inc.
NetEase.com, Inc. is a leading China-based Internet technology company
that pioneered the development of applications, services and other
technologies for the Internet in China. NetEase's online communities and
personalized premium services have established a large and stable user
base for the NetEase websites, which are operated by its affiliates. In
particular, NetEase provides online game services to Internet users
through its in-house development or licensing of massively multi-player
online role-playing games, including Fantasy Westward Journey, Westward
Journey Online II and III, Tianxia III, Heroes of
Tang Dynasty, Datang and Ghost, as well as the licensed
Blizzard Entertainment games World of Warcraft and StarCraft II.
Cautionary Note Regarding Forward-looking
Statements: Information in this press release that involves
Blizzard Entertainment's and NetEase's expectations, plans, intentions
or strategies regarding the future are forward-looking statements that
are not facts and involve a number of risks and uncertainties. Blizzard
Entertainment and NetEase generally use words such as "outlook," "will,"
"could," "would," "might," "remains," "to be," "plans," "believes,"
"may," "expects," "intends," "anticipates," "estimate," "future,"
"plan," "positioned," "potential," "project," "remain," "scheduled,"
"set to," "subject to," "upcoming" and similar expressions to identify
forward-looking statements. Factors that could cause Blizzard
Entertainment's and/or NetEase's actual future results to differ
materially from those expressed in the forward-looking statements set
forth in this release include, but are not limited to, sales levels of
Blizzard Entertainment's titles generally, the popularity of World of
Warcraft among Chinese players and the effect of future expansion sets
on the game, shifts in consumer spending trends, the impact of the
current macroeconomic environment, the seasonal and cyclical nature of
the interactive game market, the risk that Shanghai EaseNet will not be
able to operate StarCraft II, World of Warcraft or other games licensed
by it from Blizzard Entertainment for a period of time or permanently
due to possible governmental actions, the risk that Shanghai EaseNet or
NetEase will be subject to penalties or operating restrictions imposed
by governmental authorities in the PRC resulting from the operations of
their online games, including suspension of their Internet service or
other penalties, the risk that changes in Chinese government regulation
of the online game market may limit future growth of Blizzard's or
NetEase's revenue in China or cause revenue to decline; industry
competition and competition from other forms of entertainment, rapid
changes in technology, industry standards and consumer preferences,
including interest in specific genres such as real-time strategy,
action—role-playing and massively multiplayer online games, protection
of proprietary rights, litigation against Blizzard Entertainment and/or
NetEase, maintenance of relationships with key personnel, customers,
licensees, licensors, vendors and third-party developers, including the
ability to attract, retain and develop key personnel and developers who
can create high quality "hit" titles, counterparty risks relating to
customers, licensees, licensors and manufacturers, domestic and
international economic, financial and political conditions and policies,
foreign exchange rates and tax rates, and the identification of suitable
future acquisition opportunities, and the other factors identified in
the risk factors section of Activision Blizzard's most recent annual
report on Form 10-K and any subsequent quarterly reports on Form 10-Q
and of NetEase's most recent annual report on Form 20-F and other
filings and submissions with the U.S. Securities and Exchange
Commission. The forward-looking statements in this release are based
upon information available to Blizzard Entertainment, Activision
Blizzard and NetEase, as the case may be, as of the date of this
release, and none of such parties assumes any obligation to update any
such forward-looking statements. Forward-looking statements believed to
be true when made may ultimately prove to be incorrect. These statements
are not guarantees of the future performance of Blizzard Entertainment,
Activision Blizzard or NetEase and are subject to risks, uncertainties
and other factors, some of which are beyond their respective control and
may cause actual results to differ materially from current expectations.
Vice President, Global
General Manager of PR Dept.
Source: Blizzard Entertainment, Inc.
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