From rumour to fact, Blizzard has announced they have struck a licensing agreement with NetEase to run the Chinese version of WoW.
Team Blizz said they "appreciate the enthusiasm" gamers have in China, and this deal should ensure the same "high-quality service" other regions receive. It's a 3 year partnership.
"We appreciate the enthusiasm that Chinese gamers have shown us over the years, and we’ve always worked hard, in collaboration with our partners, to ensure that these players receive the same high-quality service and gameplay experiences that we deliver in other regions," said Mike Morhaime, Blizzard CEO and co-founder.
"This new agreement with NetEase will support that goal for years to come, and we look forward to collaborating with them on a smooth transition for World of Warcraft moving forward."
Understandably NetEase say they're "excited to be working with Blizzard" thanks to their mega hot intellectual properties that practically mint gold.
"By combining Blizzard Entertainment’s expertise in developing world-class games with NetEase’s strength in online-game operation in China, I am confident that we will be able to deliver the best gaming experiences in the world to our players," added William Ding, CEO of NetEase.
Their previous Chinese partner in operations, The9, has reached the end of their contract with Blizzard and obviously has not had their deal renewed for reasons undisclosed.