BLIZZARD ENTERTAINMENT AND NETEASE, INC. TO BRING HEARTHSTONE: HEROES OF WARCRAFT TO MAINLAND CHINA
Blizzard Entertainment and NetEase signed a three-year contract to publish Hearthstone: Heroes of Warcraft in mainland China. This deal is signed so-to-speak in the eve of Hearthstone beta testing which was announced to start some time during the Summer 2013.
SHANGHAI, CHINA—July 8, 2013—Blizzard Entertainment, Inc. and NetEase, Inc. today announced an agreement to license Blizzard Entertainment’s Hearthstone™: Heroes of Warcraft™ to a NetEase, Inc. affiliate in mainland China for a term of three years.
The companies have been collaborating since 2008 to bring Blizzard Entertainment’s World of Warcraft®, StarCraft® II, and Battle.net® gaming platform to Chinese gamers. Today’s announcement further enhances the partnership between Blizzard and NetEase and promotes a consistent level of quality and service in mainland China for all Blizzard games involved in the partnership.
Announced in March, Hearthstone: Heroes of Warcraft is Blizzard’s new free-to-play strategy card game for Windows®, Macintosh®, and iPad®. In Hearthstone, players take on the role of legendary heroes from the Warcraft universe, playing spells and minions from customized card decks. Matches are fast-paced and friendly, with players dueling for fun, glory, and the chance to win awesome new cards.
“Hearthstone represents everything we love about games—it’s easy to pick up and play, it has a lot of personality and depth, and it’s just pure fun,” said Mike Morhaime, CEO and cofounder of Blizzard Entertainment. “We’re putting a lot of focus into delivering a Blizzard-quality free-to-play experience with Hearthstone, and we know gamers in China will have a blast playing it.”
“We are very excited to be bringing a new game to China from Blizzard, and we believe Hearthstone will be a hit with gamers here,” said William Ding, CEO and founder of NetEase Inc. “We’re working closely with Blizzard to prepare everything needed for launching Hearthstone in China, and we look forward to providing players with another great gaming experience.”
Deceptively simple but epically engaging, Hearthstone will be instantly accessible to players regardless of their familiarity with Warcraft or collectible card games. Anyone who picks up the game will be able to jump right in and start winning cards and building their collection. For players who prefer to expand their collection a little faster, card packs can be purchased via an in-game store.
With hundreds of cards to choose from, featuring a wide range of colorful Warcraft spells, weapons, and characters, players will have limitless possibilities for developing and fine-tuning their deck-building strategies. Further details about Hearthstone: Heroes of Warcraft will be announced as development progresses.