Game-Time report / It has been a year since Blizzard announced it would cease cooperation with NetEase last year. Although the two’s “breakup” was full of drama at the time, and the popular NetEase live broadcast demolition of Blizzard’s Big Ax also surprised many netizens, but now Now, after a series of events such as Microsoft’s official acquisition of Activision Blizzard, many netizens and players are also looking forward to where the national server of Blizzard games will go.
You must know that on the one hand, at the 2023 BlizzCon that ended not long ago, Blizzard President Mike Ybarra publicly stated that he hopes to return to the Chinese market.
On the other hand, in the latest financial report conference call in the third quarter of 2023, Oriental Pearl, which has long-term cooperation with Microsoft in Windows, Xbox consoles and other businesses, also changed its attitude of denying it and answered that Oriental Pearl will represent Blizzard Family Bucket. On one question, it stated that everything needed to be “please refer to the company’s information disclosure content.”
Although Oriental Pearl still seems to have not acknowledged the relevant matters, if there has been no new progress in the matter of Blizzard games returning to China, the company does not need to let go, and there will be nothing new to disclose.
All of the above, coupled with the fact that Blizzard China recently applied for a trademark for the Warcraft IP mobile game “Warcraft” in China, have led many netizens and colleagues to speculate that the return of Blizzard games seems to be progressing in an orderly manner.
In matters related to restarting the national server of Blizzard games, Oriental Pearl, which has been repeatedly questioned by investors, has naturally attracted much attention.
You must know that Microsoft cooperated with Oriental Pearl as early as 2013 and established a joint venture company in China, namely Shanghai Baijiahe Information Technology Development Co., Ltd. This company is currently responsible for the sales agency sales of the two major console platforms in China, including Xbox and PS. , and is also the sole publisher of game content for the Microsoft XBOX platform in Greater China.
But the old problem still exists. If Shanghai Baijiahe will be responsible for publishing Blizzard games in China, then according to regulations, Blizzard Family Bucket will need to reapply for a version number in China, and players’ game data will most likely not be retrieved.
Based on this series of problems, many people still hope that NetEase and Blizzard can resolve their past differences through coordination with their partners Microsoft and the state-owned Oriental Pearl, and resume the operation of the national server of Blizzard games as soon as possible.
According to Game-Time, NetEase may have the following two major reasons to consider taking over Blizzard again.
On the one hand, in addition to old games such as Warcraft and Overwatch, Blizzard has also recently created a hit in the mobile game market that NetEase is focusing on, namely “Warcraft: Warcraft”. If NetEase continues to represent Blizzard’s client game Family Bucket, then the domestic distribution rights of this game will inevitably be handed over to NetEase.
According to data from a third-party platform, the game’s global turnover in half a month has successfully exceeded 100 million, of which players from six major countries and regions, including the United States, South Korea, France, Hong Kong and Taiwan, contributed more than 75% of the turnover. Game-Time predicts that the game’s first-month sales may challenge 200 million yuan.
In terms of downloads, the cumulative downloads of “Warcraft War” in half a month are also close to 4 million. Similarly, the main sources of downloads are markets such as the United States, France, and South Korea, and the downloads from the above four countries account for more than 45%.
Judging from the data on downloads and revenue, the tower defense mobile game “Warcraft” with strong Warcraft elements is relatively popular in the European, American and East Asian markets. Introduced into the country, with the influence of Warcraft IP and NetEase’s resources, the game is still competitive in the domestic market.
On the other hand, today is different from the past. NetEase can also rely on its version number and the ongoing litigation case with Blizzard to gain an advantage in negotiating new agency cooperation terms, thereby striving for better revenue sharing and IP usage. rights and other conditions.
Of course, the above may have limited appeal to NetEase now.
After all, if we can obtain the agency rights of Blizzard games and reach more cooperation, it will be a good thing for both parties to be mutually beneficial and win-win, but even if we don’t get it, NetEase’s game business does not seem to be affected.
According to NetEase’s latest financial report, although NetEase’s PC game revenue in the third quarter of this year was 4.571 billion yuan, it was a 16% decrease from a year ago when Blizzard announced its breakup.
However, NetEase’s net revenue from the entire game and related value-added services in the third quarter was 21.8 billion yuan, a year-on-year increase of 16.5% and a month-on-month increase of 15.9%. Among them, mobile game revenue in the third quarter was 15.836 billion yuan, a year-on-year increase of 33% and a month-on-month increase of 25%.
Even in the future, in terms of client games/multi-platform games, NetEase still has blockbuster product reserves such as “Sixteen Voices of Yanyun” and “Shooting the Condor”, which will be launched as soon as Q2 next year.
However, the above, whether it is Oriental Pearl or NetEase’s takeover, is all speculation by netizens and players. Everything will not happen until at least 2024, when Riot CEO Bobby Caudick leaves the company and Blizzard successfully transitions to the Xbox business. There are new updates announced.
Game-Time only hopes that in the future, Blizzard and Microsoft can make efforts to solve the problem of the national server of their games and finally achieve the fastest result while maximizing the retention of players’ game data and game memory.