Ten Square Games’ hit game Fishing Clash will halt distribution in China as Shanghai Online Games Co. who were in partnership to distribute the game, are being shuttered by owner NetEase.
The termination of the contract will see Fishing Clash become unavailable to players in China, a fact that Ten Square Games have stressed will not cause any undue loss of revenue or profit from the region. However, it does indicate that the knock-on effect of NetEase publicly falling out with developer Blizzard has had a major effect on their business, as noted in the Ten Square announcement attributing the closing of Shanghai Online Games to an unspecified termination of another deal between NetEase and an unnamed party.
“Due to the termination of cooperation with another large publisher for the distribution of games on the Chinese market, NetEase closed a subsidiary providing these services, also for Ten Square Games. As a consequence, the servers where Fishing Clash China is available will be closed. On March 22, 2023, the possibility of making payments by users in the game was already blocked.
“NetEase obtained a government licence to distribute Fishing Clash in China in June 2021 and, under the previously concluded agreement, Ten Square Games transferred the rights to distribute the game on this market to the partner. The company was responsible for the development of the game, and its partner - NetEase - for marketing activities and user acquisition.”
Sea the problem?
Although Blizzard is not named directly, the “large publisher for the distribution of games on the Chinese market,” is most likely referring to the World of Warcraft and Diablo publisher. The falling out between the two companies was very public and Blizzard was noted as being unprepared for the deal ending when they requested an extension of the remaining time on the contract. NetEase suffered a similar impact, however the ceasing of distribution for Fishing Clash indicates that the knock-on effects even for unaffiliated studios is still ongoing.
Even though it’s hardly an ideal situation for Ten Square Games, the company does stress that, “the scale of revenues generated by Ten Square Games due to its presence on the Chinese market is not significant from the financial perspective for the Company.” They note that revenue from the title had been falling since its introduction to the Chinese market.