Chinese WoW Servers Officially and Indefinitely Offline
6 дн. назад
After sixteen years of service, Chinese World of Warcraft servers shut down last night, following the
expiration of the licensing agreement
between NetEase and Blizzard Entertainment.
The shutdown was a quiet event, bereft of any fanfare from the developers and hardly even any players were left online to commiserate, thanks to Blizzard's last minute
account preservation feature
locking players out of their backed up accounts. Only small handfuls of players chose to stay online and celebrate together until the very end, as recounted by
addon developer Peter Yu.
Of course, this doesn't just mean the shutdown of World of Warcraft, as virtually all Blizzard games and services have been affected. Overwatch, Diablo, StarCraft, and Hearthstone are also now unavailable for play, including Classic WoW and the upcoming release of Diablo IV. Only Diablo Immortal is left, currently covered by a separate licensing agreement, though whether it persists beyond that remains to be seen.
While Blizzard has expressed interest in finding a new local partner to continue service, it seems to have had difficulty in doing so quickly, and service may not be restored quickly even if they do - Chinese players famously remained in The Burning Crusade for an extra year while the rest of the world moved on to Wrath of the Lich King when Blizzard switched from The9 to NetEase in 2009.
It is truly a sad day for World of Warcraft players and Blizzard Entertainment fans everywhere. The sudden shutdown is a stark reminder of impermanence, displacing millions of players, many of which have invested significant parts of their lives over these last sixteen years. While many have elected to reroll on Taiwanese, NA, or EU accounts, many more are not so keen on starting over completely from scratch and left without any recourse whatsoever. We can only wish them the best, and hope to welcome them home again soon.
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