NetEase said that its development team is making some adjustments to provide support to a wide range of devices. It hasn’t disclosed the date of future release for Diablo Immortal.
On Monday, June 20, shares of gaming giant NetEase (HKG: 9999) tanked by nearly 7% in Hong Kong over its plans of delaying the release of Diablo Immortal in China.
As per the earlier schedule, NetEase was set to release the hotly-anticipated game on June 23. The gaming giant now plans to delay the schedule further at an undisclosed date. NetEase is one of the co-developers of the mobile and PC game – Diablo Immortal. Another co-developer is Activision Blizzard, which another tech giant Microsoft is planning to acquire.
There’s no specific reason behind the delay. But reportedly, the developer team is making some adjustments to provide support to a wide range of devices. Besides, the team is also working on several network and performance optimizations as per the game’s official website. As per CNBC:
Diablo Immortal has been plagued by bad reviews by users on the website Metacritic, who have slammed the game for its microtransactions which they claim require large amounts of money to do well in the game.
Overcoming Chinese Regulatory Challenges
Chian has been going hard after its tech monopolies and other companies in the sector since the start of 2022. There’s been a month-long freeze of approvals from the regulators. The recent move from NetEase and Blizzard comes at a very sensitive time for the Chinese gaming industry.
Over the last few months, the gaming industry in China had to go through major regulatory scrutiny. This happened as part of a broader regulatory tightening over China’s domestic technology companies. Diablo Immortal has also faced the heat of this regulatory scrutiny.
China’s own Twitter-like platform Weibo has banned the official account of Diablo Immortal from posting on account of “violating relevant laws and regulation”. However, it remains unclear as to which specific rules Diablo broke.
Both NetEase and Activision Blizzard have declined to comment on the future release of the game. China has emerged as one of the world’s largest gaming markets over the last decade. Diablo is one of Blizzard’s most popular franchises.
After a major slowdown in the revenue growth during the first quarter of this year, this delay comes as a major setback for NetEase. The NetEase stock is down over 11% year-to-date.