NetEase Delays Blizzard’s Diablo Immortal China launch

Just 3 days before its official release in China, the infamous Diablo Immortal has been delayed indefinitely by NetEase.

The Internet and gaming giant NetEase was responsible for the release of the Chinese version of Diablo Immortal but the company has now come out and announced that the game will be delayed for an indefinite time until they work on improving the game-play experience and conduct “multiple optimization adjustments”.

The move to announce the delay comes right after Diablo Immortal’s official Weibo account was banned on Sunday from making new posts. While announcing the delay, NetEase didn’t address the recent social media ban and it still remains a mystery what triggered the instant response from the developer. 

Diablo Immortal was recently released worldwide on multiple platforms. Since its release, the game has gathered very negative press and reviews for its predatory microtransactions. The game is now the worst-rated Blizzard title ever and its user rating at Metacritic sits at just 0.3.

While the game had a good critic rating for its gameplay and combat, almost every critic ripped Blizzard apart for the inclusion of predatory microtransactions which puts many mobile games to shame. 

For its China release, Activision Blizzard had signed a deal with NetEase. The game’s launch was closely watched by many in China as the Diablo franchise focuses on slaying demons and witches — themes that are seen to contradict Chinese regulators’ dislike of games’ gore and violence. The game already had record pre-registration with more than 15 million users signing up to play the game until last week. 

After the announcement of the delay, NetEase stock opened with negative sentiment and by the end of the day, the stock had slid more than 9% to record lows.