Blizzard cuts cooperation with NetEase – probably because of Bobby Kotick’s decisions
The other day it became known that Blizzard and NetEase broke off cooperation: the latter operated Blizzard games in China, and now Chinese gamers may lose access to the company’s products if Blizzard does not find a new local partner.
Simon Zhu, NetEase Games President of Global Investments and Partnerships, has been pretty blunt about the current situation. The top manager said that someday both developers and players will be able to understand «how much damage a jerk can make». Zhu did not name a specific person responsible for the breakup, but many have suggested that he is referring to the head of Activision Blizzard, Bobby Kotick.
A few days later this version was confirmed by the Chinese portal “People’s eSports”: according to the sources of the publication, Zhu spoke specifically about Kotik. In addition, the portal clarified that Kotick led the Activision Blizzard working group, which presented NetEase with a bunch of stringent conditions to extend existing agreements between the companies. So, in Activision Blizzard wanted to get from NetEase advance payments for licenses for two years in advance (while retaining all copyrights), as well as to provide control over the personal data of Chinese players.
The final collaboration between Blizzard and NetEase will end next year. The partnership of the companies lasted 14 years.