To China - Diablo 3 Release 2012?

It seems to have been the day for announcements yesterday, as both the AMD/Blizzard “Alliance” and the Blizzard/NetEase licensing deal was announced.

This is another confirmation that 2.0 will be released with StarCraft II, and it’s possible that older games such as Diablo II will lack compatibility!

China only gets StarCraft II, Warcraft III and the WarCraft expansion for the next three years after StarCraft II is released, with a mutual renewal period. The question is but does this mean Diablo III won’t get released before 2012, or will they re-negotiate mid-way, as it’s not on the agenda yet?

Read the whole press release after the jump. 

SHANGHAI, China, Aug 12, 2008 (BUSINESS WIRE)—Blizzard Entertainment, Inc. and, Inc.  (NTES) today announced an agreement to license Blizzard Entertainment(R)‘s StarCraft(R) II, Warcraft(R) III: Reign of Chaos(TM), Warcraft III: The Frozen Throne(TM), and platform, which provides online multiplayer services for these games, to Shanghai EaseNet Network Technology Limited, an affiliated company of, Inc. Blizzard Entertainment and NetEase have also established a joint venture, which will provide support for the operation of the licensed games and platform in China.

“NetEase has been a leader in the Chinese game market, and we look forward to working with them to deliver high-quality entertainment to Chinese gamers,” said Mike Morhaime, CEO and cofounder of Blizzard Entertainment. “This partnership is a sign of our continued commitment to our players in China and to the local industry.”

William Ding, CEO of NetEase, stated, “We’re excited to be partnering with Blizzard Entertainment to bring StarCraft II and to China. We hope to combine Blizzard Entertainment’s expertise in developing world-class games with NetEase’s strength in online-game operation in China to bring the best gaming experiences to our players.”

The term of the license will be three years, with a mutual one-year renewal period, commencing from the commercial release of StarCraft II in the PRC. Under the agreements, Shanghai EaseNet will pay a revenue-based royalty over the license period, while NetEase will pay a milestone-based license fee and fund and guarantee certain additional payments and operating expenses in connection with the joint venture.

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