After the suspension of Blizzard service in China, NetEase (09999.HK, Nasdaq:NTES) announced that it will support player refunds in the form of cash.
At 0:00 on January 24th, Blizzard China Service officially ceased operation. Shanghai Wangzhiyi Network Technology Development Co., LTD., a subsidiary of NetEase, released the Preliminary Instructions on the Refund Arrangement of Blizzard Game Products on Wangzhiyi late Tuesday, announcing the specific scope and standard of refundable products of Blizzard China service and the opening hours of the refund channel.
As the suspension coincides with the Spring Festival, the refund process is still under preparation. It is expected that the refund application channel will be opened on February 1, and the refund procedures will be announced. Then players can visit the official account of Blizzard Game Service Center to check and submit the refund application.
NetEase said it will launch an "all-cash, all-platform" refund scheme for refundable products in Blizzard's game products at the highest unit price on the Battle.net price ladder, and support refund applications across all platforms, including Battle.net, iOS and Android.
According to the refund instructions, NetEase is open to refund applications for the virtual currency that players have recharged but not consumed in the game or the game service that has not expired; It also announced a cash settlement standard for refundable items such as Battle.net points, World of Warcraft, Hearthstone, Overwatch, Diablo III, and Heroes of the Storm.
It's worth noting that all refundable items are settled at the top of the Battle.net price ladder. Take World of Warcraft as an example. According to the previous pricing, the average daily playing time price of the half-year card (360 yuan) and the monthly card (75 yuan) has a certain difference, which is 2 yuan/day and 2.5 yuan/day respectively. NetEase will pay the highest standard of 2.5 yuan per day for the remaining playing time of World of Warcraft that meets the refund standard. Meanwhile, the website will also support refund applications across all platforms, including Battle.net, iOS and Android.
Game industry insiders told reporters from Thepaper.cn that, generally speaking, when China Service agency games terminate their operation services, they will replace the virtual currencies and game services that have not been consumed in players' accounts with the virtual currencies or game services of other games under the company by means of "compensation packages" and "compensation activities". Therefore, NetEase's refund conditions are quite strong.
In addition, for the players concerned about the refund details, the Internet is also a special explanation. Including: The final refund amount will be based on the actual amount of refundable goods remaining in the player's account after the shutdown, and will not exceed the historical accumulated payment amount of refundable goods in the account; Players can apply for refundable items in the bundle; Virtual currency or game services obtained through free means such as gifts and rewards, and time badges purchased with coins in the game are not eligible for refund.
On the afternoon of January 23, NetEase issued a farewell letter saying that at 00:00 on January 24, 2023, all operations of World of Warcraft, Hearthstone, Overwatch, Diablo III, Warcraft III: Remake, Heroes of the Storm, and StarCraft series products acting as agents of NetEase will be officially terminated in the Chinese mainland market. At that time, Blizzard will shut down the Battle.net login and all game servers, as well as client downloads.
"It's hard to say goodbye after 14 years. We have always known that for every player, including ourselves, all the characters, accounts, equipment and friends list are not just a string of codes, but our youth, our blood, and our good life. So, we will not forget our commitment to our players, and we will still do our best to serve Blizzard China players until the last minute, and we will walk the last mile together." "These beautiful memories will not fade away when we stop taking them. They will shine like gems in our future ordinary life," NetEase said. That's why we sincerely hope that this suspension is not the end of the road for Chinese players, but just a forced pause."