China Joins the Fight for the Future in Overwatch (TM)

Blizzard Entertainment and NetEase invite Chinese players to team up for Blizzard's upcoming team-based shooter

Jun 27, 2015, 10:00 ET from NetEase, Inc.

SHANGHAI, June 27, 2015 /PRNewswire/ -- Gamers across China -- prepare to join the fight for the future! Blizzard Entertainment, Inc. and NetEase, Inc. today announced a three-year agreement to license Blizzard Entertainment's Overwatch, a supercharged first-person shooter featuring an amazing cast of heroes and set in an all-new Blizzard game universe, to a NetEase, Inc. affiliate in mainland China. For more information and news about Overwatch, players can visit the game's newly launched official Chinese website, www.playoverwatch.cn.

Revealed at BlizzCon® last November, Overwatch takes place in a technologically advanced, highly stylized future earth. In a time of global crisis, an international task force of soldiers, scientists, adventurers, and oddities known as Overwatch had come together to restore peace to a war-torn world. After many years, the group's influence waned, and it was eventually disbanded. Overwatch might be gone now . . . but the world still needs heroes.

With an emphasis on accessibility and pure fun, Overwatch brings Blizzard's signature easy-to-learn, hard-to-master gameplay to the FPS genre. Harnessing the power of their hero of choice, players will join forces in teams of six and battle each other across a range of futuristic global locations, from the hologram-lit streets of London to a bazaar in the shadows of a high-tech Egyptian pyramid. Every battlefield is iconic and built to highlight each character's unique abilities, and fights can shift from streets to rooftops to open skies within the span of a breath.

"With Overwatch, we're putting our own spin on the team-based shooter -- highly accessible, with the depth and action that FPS fans love," said Mike Morhaime, CEO and cofounder of Blizzard Entertainment. "We're looking forward to delivering an awesome experience to Chinese players, and we can't wait to share more about the game and the Overwatch universe in the months ahead."

"We're excited to bring Blizzard's first-ever FPS to players across China, and expand our cooperation with a brand-new franchise," said William Ding, CEO and founder of NetEase, Inc. "We've had great success working with Blizzard to bring their world-class games to Chinese players, and we're thrilled to diversify our portfolio of licensed Blizzard games with this popular genre."

To learn more about Overwatch and follow along with the game's development, visit the official website for the game in China: www.playoverwatch.cn.

About Blizzard Entertainment

Best known for blockbuster hits including World of Warcraft®and the Warcraft®, StarCraft®, and Diablo®franchises, Blizzard Entertainment, Inc. (www.blizzard.com), a division of Activision Blizzard (NASDAQ: ATVI), is a premier developer and publisher of entertainment software renowned for creating some of the industry's most critically acclaimed games. Blizzard Entertainment's track record includes nineteen #1 games* and multiple Game of the Year awards. The company's online-gaming service, Battle.net, is one of the largest in the world, with millions of active players.

*Sales and/or downloads. Based on internal company records and reports from key distribution partners

About NetEase, Inc.

NetEase, Inc. (NASDAQ: NTES) is a leading Internet technology company in China. Dedicated to providing online services centered around content, community, communication and commerce, NetEase develops and operates some of China's most popular online PC and mobile games, advertising services, email services and e-commerce platforms. In partnership with Blizzard Entertainment, NetEase operates some of the most popular international online games in China.

Cautionary Note Regarding Forward-looking Statements: Information in this press release that involves Blizzard Entertainment's and NetEase's expectations, plans, intentions or strategies regarding the future are forward-looking statements that are not facts and involve a number of risks and uncertainties. These statements are made under the "safe harbor" provisions of the U.S. Private Securities Litigation Reform Act of 1995. Blizzard Entertainment and NetEase generally use words such as "outlook," "will," "could," "would," "might," "remains," "to be," "plans," "believes," "may," "expects," "intends," "anticipates," "estimate," "future," "plan," "positioned," "potential," "project," "remain," "scheduled," "set to," "subject to," "upcoming" and similar expressions to identify forward-looking statements. Factors that could cause Blizzard Entertainment's and/or NetEase's actual future results to differ materially from those expressed in the forward-looking statements set forth in this release include, but are not limited to, sales levels of Blizzard Entertainment's titles generally, the popularity of Overwatch among Chinese players, shifts in consumer spending trends, the impact of the current macroeconomic environment, the seasonal and cyclical nature of the interactive game market, the risk that Shanghai EaseNet will not be able to operate Overwatch, Diablo III, Heroes of the Storm, StarCraft II, World of Warcraft, Hearthstone: Heroes of Warcraft or other games licensed by it from Blizzard Entertainment for a period of time or permanently due to possible governmental actions, the risk that Shanghai EaseNet or NetEase will be subject to penalties or operating restrictions imposed by governmental authorities in the PRC resulting from the operations of their online games, including suspension of their Internet service or other penalties, the risk that changes in Chinese government regulation of the online game market may limit future growth of Blizzard's or NetEase's revenue in China or cause revenue to decline; industry competition and competition from other forms of entertainment, rapid changes in technology, industry standards and consumer preferences, including interest in specific genres such as first-person shooter, real-time strategy, action–role-playing, and massively multiplayer online games, protection of proprietary rights, litigation against Blizzard Entertainment and/or NetEase, maintenance of relationships with key personnel, customers, licensees, licensors, vendors and third-party developers, including the ability to attract, retain and develop key personnel and developers who can create high quality "hit" titles, counterparty risks relating to customers, licensees, licensors and manufacturers, domestic and international economic, financial and political conditions and policies, foreign exchange rates and tax rates, and the identification of suitable future acquisition opportunities, and the other factors identified in the risk factors section of Activision Blizzard's most recent annual report on Form 10-K and any subsequent quarterly reports on Form 10-Q and of NetEase's most recent annual report on Form 20-F and other filings and submissions with the U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission. The forward-looking statements in this release are based upon information available to Blizzard Entertainment, Activision Blizzard and NetEase, as the case may be, as of the date of this release, and none of such parties assumes any obligation to update any such forward-looking statements. Forward-looking statements believed to be true when made may ultimately prove to be incorrect. These statements are not guarantees of the future performance of Blizzard Entertainment, Activision Blizzard or NetEase and are subject to risks, uncertainties and other factors, some of which are beyond their respective control and may cause actual results to differ materially from current expectations.

For further information contact:

Rob Hilburger Vice President, Global Communications Blizzard Entertainment (+1) 949-242-8404 rhilburger@blizzard.com

Roger Sun Public Relations Director Blizzard China (+86) 21-3133 0700 rsun@blizzard.com

Cassia Curran  NetEase, Inc. (+86) 571-8985-2076 cassia@corp.netease.com

Brandi Piacente NetEase Investor Relations (+1) 212-481-2050 brandi@corp.netease.com

SOURCE NetEase, Inc.



RELATED LINKS

http://www.playoverwatch.cn


http://www.blizzard.com


http://corp.netease.com