On March 16th, the 19th Asian Games Hangzhou Committee officially announced that the e-sport project “Legend of Hearthstone”, produced by Blizzard Entertainment Entertainment Company and operated by NetEase within China, will not go ahead as the business cooperation between the two parties expired and no agreement has yet been reached to renew the contract. As a result, the game no longer meets the conditions for inclusion in the Asian Games Hangzhou (2022).
E-sports are a new type of event and have different requirements from those of traditional sports events. The government has strict requirements for the conditions for running e-sports events. According to the program for setting up events in 19th Asian Games Hangzhou, the Olympic Council decided in November 2021 that there will be 8 e-sports projects.
However, after deliberation by the Fifth Coordination Committee meeting of the Olympic Council of Asia, it was decided to cancel the setting of “Hearthstone Legend”. Therefore, only seven e-sports progects will be set up.
Earlier, on November 16, 2022, Blizzard Entertainment issued an official statement, saying that its existing license agreement with NetEase will expire on January 23, 2023 and so will suspend most Continental AG game services, including World of Warcraft and Hearthstone Legend.
On January 17, 2023, Blizzard Entertainment made a request to NetEase to extend the contract for six months, but it was rejected, so the company then had to comply with the previous announcement.
On January 24th, a series of game products represented by NetEase terminated their operation in Continental AG market, and Blizzard Entertainment shut down all game servers and client downloads at the same time.