That NetEase lawsuit against Blizzard turns out to have been a… bizarre clerical error?

There's a lawsuit, but NetEase has now been scrubbed from its list of plaintiffs

Fight for something, probably, whatever.

Yesterday, we – and just about everyone else in the industry – picked up a Wowhead story about a lawsuit being lodged by NetEase against Blizzard in a Shanghai court to the tune of $43M, sourced through a legitimate Chinese financial website. But the story is far weirder than that, as it turns out, as that financial website – Sina Technology – has a follow-up that suggests the filing was inaccurate.

Sina’s update states that another Chinese outlet, Jiemian News, published a baffled response from Blizzard that denied even receiving a lawsuit and says it believes it hasn’t violated any licensing agreements. “These continuous behaviors make us feel disappointed and confused,” Blizzard says through the amusing filter of Google Translate. (Same, though.)

In any case, Wowhead went digging through the Chinese docket and now argues that the filing may have been erroneously issued under NetEase’s name. Apparently, the actual plaintiff is somebody named Yang Jun, though in the lawsuit he’d been listed as “NetEase and Yang Jun” for unknown reasons, and he was suing Blizzard and NetEase’s predecessor, The9. It gets weirder, as Yang Jun is apparently a “disgruntled gamer” who has another failed lawsuit against this conglom of companies over refunds to his name.

Within the day, the lawsuit filing was amended to remove NetEase’s name as a plaintiff. As Wowhead puts it,

“Somehow that first docket was in error, making it seem as though Yang Jun was someone associated with NetEase – perhaps legal council of some sort. More importantly, it specifically named NetEase against Blizzard Entertainment. Based on this, it’s not at all surprising that Chinese media reported NetEase was suing Blizzard… because that’s exactly what the initial filing said.”

Of course, it’s not entirely clear why Chinese media also reported that the contents of the lawsuit involved suing for prepayments and deposits and licensing agreements, as this individual would’ve had no standing to claim funds from any of that even if it were true. Nor does it explain how a single gamer could fancy himself entitled to $43M in damages.

Either way, for now, the NetEase vs. Blizzard drama de-escalates back down to “merely” threats of government corruption, destruction of statues, sunsets for millions of gamers, and snarky drinks. No lawsuit here. Well, except the one from Yang Jun, and… yeah, good luck getting that $43M, dude.

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