Does a full-on mobile World of Warcraft MMO sound intriguing to you? Well, too bad… it’s been canceled. While it was never officially announced, Bloomberg reports that Blizzard and Chinese partner NetEase have deep-sixed a World of Warcraft MMO before it was even announced. A team of over 100 developers devoted to the project on the NetEase side have been disbanded, with some being let go from the company. It’s unknown if any Blizzard employees will lose their jobs due to the cancelation.
Per Bloomberg, the canceled World of Warcraft game was codenamed “Neptune” and was to be a full-on MMORPG. That said, it wasn’t just be a mobile port of the PC version of WoW, but rather, a spinoff set during a different time period.
Word is, the cancelation of Neptune wasn’t a creative decision, but rather, came about because Blizzard and NetEase “disagreed over terms.” That’s a potentially-concerning development for Blizzard, as NetEase publishes their games in China and was the co-developer of the heavily criticized, yet very profitable, Diablo Immortal. On the subject of Diablo Immortal, while the game is raking it in around most of the world, its release has been delayed in China after an official Diablo Immortal Chinese social media account reportedly made reference to the infamous Xi Jinping Winnie the Pooh meme. It will be interesting to see where Blizzard and NetEase go from here, as a divorce would be very costly for both.
Activision Blizzard has faced a series of lawsuits and other legal action on the heels of a suit filed by California’s Department of Fair Employment and Housing (DFEH) alleging widespread gender-based discrimination and sexual harassment at the Call of Duty publisher. You can get more details on that unfolding story here.
What do you think? Would you have played a mobile World of Warcraft? Or is it for the best that this project will never see the light of day?