There is water in the gas between the American publisher Blizzard and Chinese gaming giant NetEase. A recent article from the site of journalists Zheping Huantg and Jason Schreier published on Bloomberg claims that an ambitious mobile game Warcraftin development for three years at NetEase, would simply have been cancelled. At issue: disagreements in financial terms between the two parties…
Little information has leaked out about this mysterious game, codenamed Neptune. Bloomberg suggests that it would be a massively multiplayer game, an MMORPG for mobile platforms, adapted from the universe of World of Warcraft. Although directly inspired by the universe of the Horde and the Alliance, Neptune would not be a port of wowbut a spin-off expressly developed for the occasion, taking place “in a different chronological period” from that of the PC MMO.
Also according to the article, the cancellation of this project would have led to the dissolution of a team “of more than 100 developers responsible for creating its content”. Some of these employees were able to take advantage of internal job transfers at NetEase, while others were dismissed outright. We do not know much more about the reasons behind the abandonment of the game, except that it would have been caused by disagreements in financial terms, without further details. We do not yet know Neptune is the “mobile content” briefly mentioned by Blizzard during its last annual financial review, but the abandonment of Neptune is a very, very blow to its mobile ambitions.
Should this be seen as the end of the collaboration between Blizzard and NetEase ? As Bloomberg recalls, the two video game giants have formed a long-standing partnership that has an impact on both the local Chinese market and internationally. NetEase is responsible for publishing Blizzard games in China, but has also been responsible for the development of Diablo Immortal, the spin-off of the action-RPG license recently released on mobile devices and PC.