The World of Warcraft Mobile mobile game in development has been canceled by Blizzard.
Blizzard has announced that it has canceled the World of Warcraft Mobile game development project. The game, made in cooperation with Chinese partner NetEase, was in development for three years but was “prematurely dead” in its infancy.
According to Bloomberg, the mobile version of World of Warcraft has a project name of Neptune and is meant to be a mobile MMORPG spin-off of World of Warcraft. After Neptune was canceled, NetEase also disbanded a group of over 100 members working on the game. Only a few of those employees have had the opportunity to work elsewhere at NetEase.
The cancellation comes at a time when Blizzard is making an effort to grow the mobile market through original games for the platform. Back in May 2022, the developer announced Warcraft Arclight Rumble as an “action strategy game on mobile devices”. And in June, publisher Diablo Immortal showed strong and decisive steps to increase value in mobile games.
Blizzard and NetEase have been partners since 2008. The company that co-develop Diablo Immortal, publishes Blizzard games like Hearthstone, World of Warcraft… It’s quite unfortunate that it’s quite unfortunate that Blizzard cancels mobile games under the World of Warcraft brand. when the cause is determined to be related to the terms between the two parties. The game is co-produced with Blizzard’s Chinese partner NetEase.
The scheduled World of Warcraft Mobile release is set in the Warcraft universe but takes place in a “different time period” than the main games. World of Warcraft is itself a spin-off of the Warcraft strategy game series available on Windows and macOS. Additionally, the upcoming expansion World of Warcraft: Dragonflight is scheduled for release in late 2022.
Canceled projects are not uncommon in the gaming industry. Games are always introduced, developed and removed in studios for various reasons. What’s left after production is canceled is often reused for another project. Blizzard’s team shooter Overwatch is the “phoenix rising from the ashes” of Project Titan attesting to that.
A related development is that Activision Blizzard’s financial results for the second quarter of 2022 were down compared to the same period last year, mainly due to lower user and revenue levels with the Call of Duty franchise. Blizzard Entertainment is currently working on multiple games, with Overwatch 2 scheduled to launch for free on October 2, 2022, and Diablo 4 scheduled for the first half of 2023.
All of this comes as Activision Blizzard is currently in the process of being acquired by Microsoft in a deal worth nearly $69 billion. The transaction is currently under regulatory scrutiny and is expected to be completed sometime before June 30, 2023.