SHANGHAI, CHINA — April 23, 2015 — Blizzard Entertainment, Inc. and NetEase, Inc. today announced that Sanctuary’s gates have been thrown open to all Chinese heroes, as open beta testing for Blizzard Entertainment's award-winning action role-playing game Diablo® III: Reaper of Souls™ is now live in China. Players throughout China are now able to join the army of nephalem and embark on a challenging journey to save Sanctuary from the demonic forces of the Burning Hells!
An array of new features and highly replayable content is included with the open beta test. The Crusader, a veritable war machine made human, has joined the game’s other five playable classes—barbarian, witch doctor, wizard, monk, and demon hunter. In addition, players are able to unlock Act V, the latest chapter of Diablo III: Reaper of Souls, and embark on a dark and perilous journey through terrifying landscapes; explore the legendary city of Westmarch; and slay countless minions, each hell-bent on bringing their heroic quest to a grisly end—all culminating in a climactic confrontation with Malthael, the Angel of Death. Players can also unlock Adventure Mode, a new game mode that gives players the freedom to go anywhere and slay anything.
“We want to thank our closed beta testers for helping us put the finishing touches on the Chinese version of Diablo III: Reaper of Souls,” said Mike Morhaime, CEO and cofounder of Blizzard Entertainment. “We’re pleased to now be able to welcome players across China into the open beta, and we can’t wait to see everyone in Sanctuary.”
“We’re very excited to be launching the Diablo III: Reaper of Souls open beta test in China, through the joint effort of Blizzard and NetEase and the incredible support of passionate Chinese players,” said William Ding, CEO and founder of NetEase, Inc. “The NetEase team will continue to work closely with Blizzard to ensure that Chinese gamers receive the best experience possible in this truly epic game.”
With the start of open beta testing, players will be able to purchase the Diablo III: Reaper of Souls Premium Package or Digital Deluxe Package for 198RMB or 388RMB, respectively, in the in-game Shop, unlocking the Crusader class, Act V, Adventure mode, and a wealth of in-game bonuses.
The Premium Package contains the Crusader class, Act V, Adventure mode, Face of Death Portrait Frame, 4 additional Stash Tabs, and 8 additional Character Slots. In addition to all the content in the Premium package, the Digital Deluxe Package contains extra in-game bonuses, including Bottled Cloud and Bottled Smoke dye, Angelic Wings, Spectral Hound Minion and Aesthetic Artifacts, a Class Sigil, two World of Warcraft® in-game companion pets: Fetish Shaman and Treasure Goblin pets, a set of StarCraft® II Diablo-themed Battle.net® portraits and Malthael-themed decals, and a playable hero in Heroes of the Storm™: Valla the Demon Hunter.
Chinese players who just want to try out the core game experience will be able to conquer the first four Acts of the Diablo III campaign and level their characters up to 70 for free.
In celebration of the China open beta test, any player who purchases either the Premium Package or the Digital Deluxe Package in the next 30 days will receive a special in-game souvenir—Wings of Valor. The first 10,000 players who purchase the Digital Deluxe Package will additionally receive a limited-edition memorial badge, engraved with a unique serial number, to commemorate the Diablo III China launch.
To learn more details about Diablo III: Reaper of Souls China open beta testing, please visit the Diablo III: Reaper of Souls China official site: www.diablo3.com.cn.
Best known for blockbuster hits including World of Warcraft® and the Warcraft®, StarCraft®, and Diablo® franchises, Blizzard Entertainment, Inc. (www.blizzard.com), a division of Activision Blizzard (NASDAQ: ATVI), is a premier developer and publisher of entertainment software renowned for creating some of the industry’s most critically acclaimed games. Blizzard Entertainment’s track record includes nineteen #1 games and multiple Game of the Year awards. The company’s online-gaming service, Battle.net, is one of the largest in the world, with millions of active players.
About NetEase, Inc.
NetEase, Inc. (NASDAQ: NTES) is a leading Internet technology company in China. Dedicated to providing online services centered around content, community, communication and commerce, NetEase develops and operates some of China's most popular online games, e-mail services, advertising services, mobile applications and games and web portals. In partnership with Blizzard Entertainment, NetEase operates some of the most popular international online games in China, including World of Warcraft®, Hearthstone™: Heroes of Warcraft™, StarCraft® II and Diablo® III: Reaper of Souls™.
Cautionary Note Regarding Forward-looking Statements: Information in this press release that involves Blizzard Entertainment’s and NetEase’s expectations, plans, intentions or strategies regarding the future are forward-looking statements that are not facts and involve a number of risks and uncertainties. These statements are made under the "safe harbor" provisions of the U.S. Private Securities Litigation Reform Act of 1995. Blizzard Entertainment and NetEase generally use words such as “outlook,” “will,” “could,” “would,” “might,” “remains,” “to be,” “plans,” “believes,” “may,” “expects,” “intends,” “anticipates,” “estimate,” “future,” “plan,” “positioned,” “potential,” “project,” “remain,” “scheduled,” “set to,” “subject to,” “upcoming” and similar expressions to identify forward-looking statements. Factors that could cause Blizzard Entertainment’s and/or NetEase’s actual future results to differ materially from those expressed in the forward-looking statements set forth in this release include, but are not limited to, sales levels of Blizzard Entertainment’s titles generally, the popularity of Diablo III among Chinese players and the effect of future expansion sets on the game, shifts in consumer spending trends, the impact of the current macroeconomic environment, the seasonal and cyclical nature of the interactive game market, the risk that Shanghai EaseNet will not be able to operate Diablo III, Heroes of the Storm, StarCraft II, World of Warcraft, Hearthstone: Heroes of Warcraft or other games licensed by it from Blizzard Entertainment for a period of time or permanently due to possible governmental actions, the risk that Shanghai EaseNet or NetEase will be subject to penalties or operating restrictions imposed by governmental authorities in the PRC resulting from the operations of their online games, including suspension of their Internet service or other penalties, the risk that changes in Chinese government regulation of the online game market may limit future growth of Blizzard’s or NetEase’s revenue in China or cause revenue to decline; industry competition and competition from other forms of entertainment, rapid changes in technology, industry standards and consumer preferences, including interest in specific genres such as real-time strategy, action–role-playing and massively multiplayer online games, protection of proprietary rights, litigation against Blizzard Entertainment and/or NetEase, maintenance of relationships with key personnel, customers, licensees, licensors, vendors and third-party developers, including the ability to attract, retain and develop key personnel and developers who can create high quality “hit” titles, counterparty risks relating to customers, licensees, licensors and manufacturers, domestic and international economic, financial and political conditions and policies, foreign exchange rates and tax rates, and the identification of suitable future acquisition opportunities, and the other factors identified in the risk factors section of Activision Blizzard’s most recent annual report on Form 10-K and any subsequent quarterly reports on Form 10-Q and of NetEase’s most recent annual report on Form 20-F and other filings and submissions with the U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission. The forward-looking statements in this release are based upon information available to Blizzard Entertainment, Activision Blizzard and NetEase, as the case may be, as of the date of this release, and none of such parties assumes any obligation to update any such forward-looking statements. Forward-looking statements believed to be true when made may ultimately prove to be incorrect. These statements are not guarantees of the future performance of Blizzard Entertainment, Activision Blizzard or NetEase and are subject to risks, uncertainties and other factors, some of which are beyond their respective control and may cause actual results to differ materially from current expectations.