NetEase smashes giant World of Warcraft statue as bitter divorce from Activision Blizzard continues

NetEase employees smashed a giant World of Warcraft statue next to their studio as the ongoing and increasingly acrimonious dispute between NetEase and Activision Blizzard continues.

Earlier this week, Activision Blizzard announced it’s now looking for a new Chinese publisher, as its current deal with NetEase, its longtime local operator in the country, ends this month in a war of words — and now hammers. Controversially, Activision Blizzard claimed it had offered NetEase a six-month contract extension – and said it was a “too bad” NetEase didn’t take up its offer.

In response, NetEase staff have apparently expressed their feelings – by walking up to a large World of Warcraft sculpture with hammers and tearing it down before sipping NetEase-branded beverages. The event was even livestreamed to around 30,000 people on social media, according to a report by WOWhead.

Well, that’s Orcward.

The drinks in question were reportedly indicative of a Chinese insult to a seemingly innocent but ultimately manipulative individual — literally branded as “green tea.”

Alongside the statue smashing session, NetEase responded a little more formally with a lengthy explanation of Activision Blizzard’s claim about its recent six-month extension offer — something that would have resulted in NetEase continuing to run World of Warcraft, Hearthstone, Overwatch, and other Blizzard titles temporarily in China while Activision Blizzard looked elsewhere for a new deal.

“For some reason, Blizzard approached NetEase again last week with an offer of a so-called six-month extension of the game service and other terms, and made it clear that it would not stop pursuing negotiations with other potential partners during the contract extension,” NetEase wrote.

“As far as we know, Blizzard’s negotiations with other companies during the same period were all based on a three-year contract term. Therefore, considering the non-reciprocity, unfairness and other conditions attached to the cooperation, the parties could not reach an agreement in the end.

“In our view, Blizzard’s proposal – including [its] surprise announcement – is bold, unseemly and economically illogical. His overconfidence doesn’t take into account where players and NetEase have all been placed by this type of demand, riding a mule while looking for a horse, and the “divorce but still trying to live together” behavior.

Blizzard and NetEase’s partnership officially ends next week, Jan. 24, when the publisher’s games go dark and millions of fans won’t be able to play until another Chinese publisher is found.

Recent talk of an extension seemed a moot point as it became clear that the NetEase employees affected by the deal ending left the company late last year after Activision Blizzard clarified its intentions.

It’s clear that no love is lost between the two companies. In November, a senior figure at NetEase blasted the actions of an unnamed “idiot” over the collapse of the company’s relationship with Activision Blizzard, run by the controversial Bobby Kotick. NetEase smashes giant World of Warcraft statue as bitter divorce from Activision Blizzard continues

Fry Electronics Team

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