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The9 reportedly loses WoW license in China to NetEase

Lesley Smith

This has been on the horizon for some time but JLM Pacific Epoch are reporting that The9, the publisher of World of Warcraft in China have lost their license to publish the game to rival NetEase.

According to the report, an internal letter was sent out to employees of The9 from company president Xiaowei Chen on earlier today suggesting that the license had been lost and that Blizzard have requested the servers, data and employees relating to the game be transfered to another local publisher. There have been some concerns about the company's financial state given the fact that Chinese players are still playing The Burning Crusade six months after the EU/US launch of Wrath of the Lich King. There have also been reports of issues relating to Wrath's content, leading many to believe the game has been banned, even though this is not the case. The9's license was due to expire on June 8th.

The report also says that, according to an unnamed source, NetEase will formally announce the license later today.

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