World of Warcraft Mobile Game Reportedly Abandoned After 3 Years of Development
Blizzard and NetEase developers seem to be at odds over finances
World of Warcraft is probably one of the biggest and most successful gaming titles on PC, but it seems that success is hard to translate to mobile platforms. According to a report from Bloomberg, Blizzard and its partner NetEase have scrapped a World of Warcraft for mobile project that had been in the works for more than three years due to disagreements over finances.
NetEase is Blizzard’s Chinese distribution partner and is primarily responsible for selling and distributing Warcraft titles in the Chinese domestic market. The company’s partnership also benefits from NetEase’s expertise in mobile games. NetEase is the co-creator of Blizzard’s latest but controversial mobile hit, Diablo Immortal, and the companies have worked together on numerous projects.
Bloomberg quotes people familiar with the matter as saying the companies disagreed on the exact terms of the deal and ultimately decided to shut it down altogether. More than 100 developers working on the project were disbanded, and only a few were able to find other tasks within NetEase. The World of Warcraft project has been kept under wraps this whole time, but is said to be set in the familiar MMORPG world known from the 2004 hit PC game, although it is said to be set in a different era of the fictional world.
Blizzard just launched another mobile Warcraft in May, Arclight Rumble. The strategy game got off to a bumpy start after the widely hated alpha and beta releases, and in our review AP resident gaming expert Matthew Sholtz calls it a pain due to the limited way to earn in-game currency. It’s possible that the controversy surrounding Diablo Immortal and Warcraft Arclight Rumble was one of the reasons development on the World of Warcraft title was halted.
Activision Blizzard itself, meanwhile, was recently acquired by Microsoft. The Redmond-based company hopes to break into the mobile market with some of Blizzard’s hottest titles, so it might not be the end of the road for a World of Warcraft-like title on mobile.