Time to placed on the hairshirt. Yesterday it was reported by Chinese language media that NetEase was suing its former companion Blizzard, whose video games it revealed for 14 years, for round $43.5 million. That report was incorrect, and primarily based on a Chinese language court docket doc that for causes but to be defined named NetEase in error.

This is what’s true: Blizzard is being sued in China. However regardless of the court docket docket saying it was NetEase suing Blizzard, it’s actually one indignant man referred to as Yang Jun, who in some way included NetEase as an appellant. Numerous copies of the court docket submitting (turned up by WoWhead) on Chinese language public data web sites title NetEase and Yang Jun because the appellants in opposition to Blizzard Leisure and defunct former licensing companion The9.

It is the presence of The9 right here, which NetEase subsumed over a decade in the past, that ought to maybe have raised the crimson flag. Basically these court docket filings, mistakenly or in any other case, indicate that Yang Jun is appearing alongside or for NetEase. However he is not: The man’s a serial litigant who has no affiliation with NetEase (and has actually sued them too).

The filings have now been up to date to replicate that the fits are coming from Yang Jun alone, with NetEase’s title disappearing solely. What’s extra curious is the quantities concerned and the broader context of a much-publicised fallout between two former companions: It appears to be like an terrible lot like this swimsuit was an try to suit into that narrative and mislead the general public into pondering it was part of it. 

Yang Jun’s earlier try at this, a case in opposition to NetEase and The9 in 2019 looking for a refund for World of Warcraft gametime, was dismissed.

So we’ve got an faulty court docket doc saying NetEase was suing Blizzard, which at the moment has been modified, and a complete bunch of Chinese language and western media reporting on that foundation. Was this simply bureaucratic error? In that case it is an awfully massive one, and has led to numerous journalistic error besides.

Blizzard instructed PCG in an announcement “We haven’t acquired the lawsuit but, however we’re assured we aren’t in breach of any licensing agreements.” Nicely, it have to be double assured now. Blizzard goes on to say “we’ve got loved practically 20 years of constructive experiences working in China, and stay dedicated to serving gamers and defending their pursuits.” Although, for one Yang Jun, I am certain it could make an exception.