The World of Warcraft license is, without a doubt, one of the best known and most influential in the video game industry and its history. Blizzard has been able to create a unique franchise bringing together millions of players for years to such an extent that a mobile adaptation has been considered. However, the latter never saw the light of day for contractual and financial reasons.
A financial disagreement between Blizzard and NetEase
It’s a Bloomberg article
which details the situation based on the testimony of internal sources, kept secret. We discover that the two giants Activision Blizzard and NetEase collaborated on a mobile MMORPG project, a spin-off from the World of Warcraft universe. Named Neptune during its development, the project sought the help of a team of 100 developers, now completely dismantled.
Concerns already resided internally since only certain employees would have received transfer proposals. The two American and Chinese giants then disagreed on the conditions and agreements of the project, thus pushing them to stop it completely. The day after the Bloomberg article was published, the spokesperson for Activision Blizzard had this to say for the record:
“We continue to have an extremely successful relationship with NetEase, and to suggest that there have been any financial disputes is totally false”
Classic remarks from a group such as ABK. The financial impact of the case was almost immediate as shares of NetEase lost as much as 3.1% in Hong Kong on Wednesday. It will now be necessary to see what overall impact this case may have on ABK’s place on the mobile games market. NetEase publishes World of Warcraft, Diablo Immortals and other Blizzard franchises in the Chinese market.
ABK and NetEase were considering other projects to adapt the World of Warcraft franchise, including Warcraft Arclight Rumble inspired by Clash Royale or Orbis, an augmented reality game inspired by Pokemon GO.
Mobile adaptations are on the rise and represent a real El Dorado for many influential groups in the video game sector. The success of titles like PUBG Mobile, AFK Arena and Genshin Impact is a perfect testimony to this and only time will tell if the relationship between Activision Blizzard and NetEase is close to breaking up.
Bloomberg: Blizzard and NetEase have canceled a mobile World Of Warcraft spin-off game that’s been in dev for 3+ years
The game was a MMO RPG set in the same universe as WoW during a different time period
—Nibel (@Nibellion) August 3, 2022