What you need to know
- Blizzard Entertainment has reportedly canceled a World of Warcraft spinoff.
- This spinoff was being co-developed with NetEase for mobile devices, and would've been set in a different time compared to the mainline game.
- Blizzard Entertainment and NetEase recently launched Diablo Immortal for PC and mobile devices.
- Parent company Activision Blizzard is currently in the process of being acquired by Microsoft.
Blizzard Entertainment is continuing to branch out into mobile games, but one unannounced mobile project is reportedly canceled.
According to Bloomberg (opens in new tab), Blizzard Entertainment and Chinese gaming company NetEase were co-developing a spinoff of World of Warcraft for mobile devices. Instead of being a port of the full game, it would've taken place in a different time period.
The report indicates that this spinoff, codenamed Neptune, was in development for three years and was canceled due to the two companies disagreeing over terms of the deal. As a result, NetEase has reportedly disbanded a team of over 100 developers working on the project. Blizzard Entertainment and NetEase are longtime partners, and recently launched the co-developed title Diablo Immortal for PC and mobile devices.
This comes as Activision Blizzard financial results for Q2 2022 were down year-over-year, a drop that was primarily attributed to lower engagement with the Call of Duty brand. Blizzard Entertainment is currently working on multiple games, with Overwatch 2 scheduled to arrive on Oct. 2, 2022 as a free-to-play game, while Diablo 4 is set for sometime in the first half of 2023.
Blizzard Entertainment also announced another mobile title set in the Warcraft universe earlier this year. Titled Warcraft Arclight Rumble, it's a top-down strategy game that is set to launch sometime later in 2022. As for its core existing experience, the next big expansion for World of Warcraft, Dragonflight, is currently slated to launch at some point before the end of the year.
All of this comes as Activision Blizzard is currently in the process of being acquired by Microsoft, a deal worth almost $69 billion. The deal is currently undergoing regulatory review and is scheduled to finalize sometime before June 30, 2023.
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