Millions of players in China have lost access to the iconic “World of Warcraft” franchise and other popular video games, as Blizzard Entertainment’s servers in the country went offline after two decades.
The company’s services in China were suspended at midnight local time on Tuesday, marking the end of an era for fans, after a licensing agreement with longtime local partner NetEase (NTES) expired.
“World of Warcraft,” also known as “WoW,” is a hugely popular online multiplayer game that allows users to fight monsters and journey through expeditions in the medieval world of Azeroth.
Many gamers around the world have grown up with the smash hit, including in China. That was underscored in recent days, as Chinese fans expressed their disbelief over the loss of their longtime pastime in social media posts.
“When I woke up, I still didn’t want to accept [it],” one user said on Weibo, China’s Twitter-like platform, on Tuesday. “I cried all night in my sleep because the game went offline. I dreamed that I was crying in the middle of the class.”