Secretive World of Warcraft Mobile MMORPG Cancelled
A secret project being developed by Blizzard Entertainment and NetEase has been cancelled after three years in development. Code-named Neptune, the smartphone mobile game is described as an MMO spinoff set in the same universe as World of Warcraft, but set during a different time period than the ongoing PC title. As
reported by Bloomberg
, the joint project between Blizzard and their longtime Chinese publishing partner was cancelled due to a disagreement over financial terms between the two companies.
Bloomberg's report goes on to question uncertainty over how this cancellation could affect Blizzard's relationship with NetEase, the Chinese publishing partner which has operated World of Warcraft other Blizzard games in China since 2008. That said, the cancellation of one project does not necessarily mean trouble for others, as Blizzard has famously kept several projects hidden away in their secretive "incubation" department, some never becoming public knowledge even years after their cancellation. Other projects have evolved, such as the ill-fated MMO project
, which would eventually be cannibalized to become the first-person hero shooter Overwatch. Despite being decried as some as easy money cash grabs, mobile games are not immune to this either, as we learned the four year in development
Warcraft: GO title was also cancelled
before ever being officially announced.
While a mobile version of WoW pet battles is a surprisingly popular request, Warcraft: GO may never see the light of day.
At the same time, Diablo: Immortal continues to celebrate
installation-milestones and huge profits
, despite public criticism. Although the game's release was repeatedly delayed in China, it quickly became the Number 1 most downloaded app in the country and Number 3 top grossing game on the marketplace. In less than two months, it has now surpassed
$100 million in mobile player spending
across the iOS app store and Google Play, with the United States, South Korea, and Japan ranking top three countries by revenue.
At BlizzCon 2018, Immortal Principle Designer (now Game Director) Wyatt Cheng told us that Blizzard was working on
new mobile titles across all IPs
, with more new products in development than ever before - a sentiment reinforced by the announcement of
Warcraft Arclight Rumble
this past May. While some projects may never finish, the most recent
financial results report
cited a 25% increase in developers over the last year and half a dozen new titles releasing by the end of the year, so it would appear that Activision Blizzard has no intentions of slowing down.
Warcraft Arclight Rumble is
expected to release sometime this year
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