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Blizzard and NetEase cancel World of Warcraft mobile spinoff

Bloomberg reports that Blizzard canceled the World of Warcraft mobile spinoff game NetEase was developing.

The game, codenamed Neptune, spent three years in development prior to its cancellation. According to the report, the decision to end the project came down to an unresolved dispute over financial terms. As a result, NetEase disbanded the team of over 100 developers with only select individuals remaining part of the company in some capacity.

There is (and likely will never be) much information as to what project Neptune would entail. However, we know the game would have been a mobile MMORPG set within the World of Warcraft universe. In addition, it would have been a spinoff as opposed to a direct sequel, since the title would take place in a different time period.

The disagreements between Blizzard and NetEase led some to wondering if their overall partnership is weakening. The two companies first started working together in 2008, with the Chinese gaming giant operating WoW in China since 2009. NetEase went on to publish all Blizzard tiles released in China. With the longstanding relationship, its unlikely we’ll see any drastic falling out.

Another reason this cancelled game likely won’t cause any major rifts is the mobile initiative Blizzard seeks to pursue. For example, despite criticism related to microtransactions, the recently released Diablo Immortal made massive commercial waves. In fact, the company’s dealings with NetEase on the mobile front is one of the leading reasons behind Microsoft’s $69 billion acquisition of Activision Blizzard.

As the now parent company Microsoft continues to further the mobile gaming initiative with Activision Blizzard properties, it will be interesting to see how the partnership with NetEase evolves. However, it seems there will be no mobile Warcraft spinoff for the time being.

But what are your thoughts of the situation? Would you have liked to see the World of Warcraft spinoff come to fruition? As always, let us know what you think in the comments!

Via Bloomberg

Sam Fronsman

A writer with a love for video games, both new and old. A collector of games, CDs and DVDs. Can sometimes be found behind a camera or playing guitar. The X-Men games for SEGA Genesis will always hold great memories.
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