A World of Warcraft mobile game that had been in production for three years thanks to Activision Blizzard Inc. and NetEase Inc. has been canceled, casting doubts on one of the most lucrative corporate partnerships in the sector. The move raises questions about Blizzard’s relationship with China’s No. 2 gaming powerhouse, which gives the US company an important gateway into the largest mobile market in the world. NetEase, headquartered in Hangzhou, publishes World of Warcraft and other Blizzard brands in China. The company is also a co-creator of the recently released Diablo Immortal, which is poised to become a commercial success despite criticism of its in-game purchases.
Activision, NetEase Cancels Warcraft Mobile Game
Furthermore, the sources entail that only a few of the more than 100 developers on the team who were responsible for developing the game’s content have been paid. The initiative, which had been kept secret, was called off as a result of the two companies’ disagreements over terms, according to a source familiar with the deal.
The canceled project was given the codename Neptune. It wouldn’t be a direct adaptation of the well-known online game but rather a spinoff with a distinct historical backdrop. Both companies’ spokespersons declined to comment on the matter.
Since its introduction in 2004, World of Warcraft has remained one of the largest moneymakers for Activision Blizzard and NetEase. Later this year, its upcoming expansion, Dragonflight, is scheduled for release. With games like PUBG Mobile, AFK Arena, and Genshin Impact, Chinese game developers have proven they are skilled at creating international mobile hits.