SHANGHAI, May 19, 2015 /PRNewswire/ -- It's time to rally your fellow heroes and let the battles begin! Blizzard Entertainment Inc. and NetEase Inc. today jointly announced that the Nexus portal is wide open to heroes everywhere, as open beta testing for Heroes of the Storm™, its brand-new free-to-play online team brawler for Windows® PC, is now live in China. Heroes of the Storm brings together a diverse cast of iconic characters from Blizzard's far-flung realms of science fiction and fantasy, including the Warcraft®, StarCraft® and Diablo® universes, to compete in epic, adrenaline-charged battles.
Players can download the game and start playing immediately—head over to the official Heroes of the Storm website to get started.
"We're thrilled to finally open the Nexus to everyone," said Mike Morhaime, CEO and cofounder of Blizzard Entertainment. "We've built Heroes of the Storm to be very fun and easy to pick up, with lots of variety and strategic depth through the different characters and battlegrounds. We can't wait to see the action unfold as new players join in and take 20 years' worth of Blizzard heroes and villains into battle."
"We're excited to see the all-star lineup from every one of Blizzard's franchises meet up in Heroes of the Storm," said William Ding, CEO and founder of NetEase. "Blizzard has had a huge influence on Chinese players and the local market over the past two decades. The NetEase team is thrilled to bring its fifth Blizzard game series to China, and we will continue to work closely with Blizzard to deliver the best experience possible."
Heroes of the Storm officially launches around the world on June 3 with a starting roster of more than 35 Heroes and 7 dynamic Battlegrounds, each with unique challenges to overcome—and even more Heroes and Battlegrounds are on the way. Players can customize their Heroes with a variety of skins to suit their style, as well as switch between a stable of special mounts that help them cover ground on the battlefield more quickly. The game features gameplay modes for players of every skill level, including "Cooperative", in which players team up against computer-controlled opponents, and "Quick Match", an accessible way to jump in and play others. Experienced players can also join forces against other teams of players in highly competitive, draft-style ranked play.
In addition to the simplified Chinese version, Heroes of the Storm is available fully localized into English, Korean, Latin American Spanish, Brazilian Portuguese, French, German, Italian, Polish, European Spanish, Russian and traditional Chinese.
To celebrate the launch of Heroes of the Storm, Blizzard Entertainment and NetEase will jointly hold a live-streamed prelaunch event on May 31. The event will feature a special celebrity show match, including Warcraft III stars Grubby and Sky, StarCraft superstar Bisu, interviews with members of the Heroes of the Storm development team and other guests from the world of gaming, as well as the kickoff match of Heroes ProLeague Final 16 competitions. The celebration event will be streamed at the official website of Heroes ProLeague - http://gold.163.com/live-stream. Further information will be made available as the event draws closer.
In addition to the China prelaunch event, the Heroes of the Storm global launch celebration will take place in London, UK, on the evening of June 1, and will also feature an epic live stream for players to tune into from around the world. Keep an eye on the official Heroes of the Storm site for further details.
About Blizzard Entertainment, Inc.
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 successful online PC and mobile games, advertising services, e-mail services and e-commerce platforms. In partnership with Blizzard Entertainment, NetEase operates some of the most popular international online games in China, including World of Warcraft®, Hearthstone™: Heroes of Warcraft™, StarCraft®II, Heroes of the Storm™and Diablo III®: Reaper of Souls™.
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 Heroes of the Storm among Chinese players and the effect of future expansion sets on the game, 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 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 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 email@example.com
Roger Sun Public Relations Director Blizzard China (+86) 21-3133 0700 firstname.lastname@example.org
Cassia Curran NetEase, Inc. (+86) 571-8985-2076 email@example.com
Brandi Piacente NetEase Investor Relations (+1) 212-481-2050 firstname.lastname@example.org
SOURCE NetEase, Inc.