NetEase, China’s second-largest video gaming company, has slapped World of Warcraft creator Blizzard Entertainment with a lawsuit in a Shanghai court to demand RMB 300 million ($45 million) in compensation, plunging the end of their 14-year business partnership on the mainland last January into controversy, reports the South China Morning Post. The lawsuit was filed by NetEase affiliate Shanghai EaseNet Network Technology after a dispute arose from the US video game publisher’s move to suspend services for its popular online games in mainland China from January 23, according to a source close to the Chinese firm on Tuesday, without providing details.
The sum that NetEase has demanded from Blizzard Entertainment covers the refunds to local players, which the Chinese company has paid in full, related to the discontinued US-developed titles—including Overwatch, Hearthstone, StarCraft and Diablo III—as well as payments related to unsold gaming-related merchandise and certain undeveloped games, according to a report on Monday by The Paper, a mainland digital newspaper.
Blizzard Entertainment has refused to bear responsibility for those refunds made by Hangzhou-based NetEase to mainland Chinese gamers, the Paper said, citing people familiar with the matter.
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