Friday, September 22, 2023

‘Diablo Immortal’ Indefinitely Delayed In China Just Ahead Of Its Scheduled Release Date

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was set to debut in China on June 23, but those who have been waiting for the game in the country will have to wait longer. NetEase, which co-developed the game with Blizzard, has postponed the release date indefinitely. It that “the development team is making some optimization tweaks.”

However, there are other factors at play. NetEase found itself in the ill-favor of Chinese censors over a post on its Weibo social media service that seemingly referenced Winnie-the-Pooh, according to the † The cartoon character is used to mock Chinese President Xi Jinping.

In the wake of a screenshot of the post (which read “why hasn’t the bear resigned?”) gaining traction, the official Diablo Immortal Weibo account has been banned from posting anything. Discussions related to the post were also deleted from the service.

Currently, Diablo Immortal has no release date in China, although NetEase still expects to ship the game in the country. It promised players an “exclusive Thank You Pack of Legendary Gear” as compensation for the delay.

The PC and mobile title debuted in other territories this month. According to reports, it topped out within two weeks as a result of its aggressive approach to monetization. China is the largest gaming market in the world and cannot release Diablo Immortal there would likely be a serious impact on the game’s expected earnings. NetEase declined to comment on the Financial times† cafe-madrid has contacted Blizzard for comment.

It’s not the first time a game developer has had issues with Chinese regulators over a Winnie the Pooh reference. Publisher Indievent to sell dedication in China, cutting ties with developer Red Candle Games, including a blatant dig at Xi in the game itself. The studio, which is based in Taiwan, will later release a DRM-free version of dedication on his own floor.

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