William Ding
Courtesy of NetEase
China
2022

NetEase

William
Ding

Founder / Chairman / CEO

As the No. 2 gaming entity in China after Tencent, Ding’s NetEase is following its rival and expanding its global presence amid its failure to strike a new licensing deal in the region for Blizzard Entertainment’s game library. The online giant already had a presence in North America via its Montreal studio, but in 2022 NetEase announced an expansion into first-party offerings by opening its inaugural U.S.-based studios, Jackalope Games and Jar of Sparks. NetEase also opened Nagoshi Studio in Japan before its biggest move yet: the acquisition of French entity Quantic Dream. Formerly a second-party developer on narrative games like “Heavy Rain” and “Detroit: Become Human” for Sony, Quantic Dream is now working on “Star Wars: Eclipse” with Lucasfilm Games. As acclaimed as it is, Quantic Dream has been embroiled in misconduct lawsuits  for years, suggesting the NetEase deal was a rescue of sorts.  

Career

  • NetEase
  • NetEase Cloud Music

Education

  • University of Electronic Science and Technology of China (China)

Variety Honors

  • 2020 Variety500 Honoree
  • 2021 Variety500 Honoree
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News from Variety

‘World of Warcraft’ in Limbo in China After Blizzard and NetEase End 14-Year Games Partnership

‘World of Warcraft’ in Limbo in China After Blizzard and NetEase End 14-Year Games Partnership

U.S. games developer Blizzard Entertainment and China’s NetEase said that licenses covering the Chinese distribution of games titles including "World of Warcraft," the "StarCraft" series, "Hearthstone," "Heroes of the Storm," "Overwatch" and "Diablo III" would expire in January 2023 and not be renewed. Netease has distributed the titles since 2008.Blizzard said that the two could not reach a deal “that is consistent with Blizzard’s operating principles and commitments to players and employees.” It said that it would look for another deal that brings bthe titles...

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