The World of Warcraft mobile game has reportedly been canceled. Internal disagreements between Activision Blizzard and NetEase resulted in both sides ending the smartphone project three years into development. The WoW mobile title, codenamed ‘Neptune’, was billed as a massively multiplayer online (MMO) role-playing game (RPG) set in the Warcraft universe. According to Bloomberg, the WoW mobile game was a spin-off project that was different from the PC version and had a different timeline. It was to be released on Android and iOS platforms.
To date, the only mobile experience based on the Warcraft universe was in Hearthstone – a tactical card-based game that draws on existing lore. But in March, Blizzard confirmed two new Warcraft mobile games on the horizon. One of them was confirmed to be Warcraft Arclight Rumble, a Clash of Clan-esque strategy game using a vertical screen approach, while the other was touted as the mobile equivalent of the PC version. The unnamed game – now revealed as Neptune – went through three years of development before being canceled.
Chinese games distributor NetEase has laid off more than 100 employees tasked with the development, with only a few members receiving internal transfers. The two companies have been partners since 2008, working on Hearthstone and handling game publishing in China. The cancellation comes at an interesting time, as Blizzard tries to enter the Asian mobile gaming market through its recently launched Diablo Immortal. The game, while replete with a questionable microtransaction model, has managed to maintain a healthy player base from day one – over $100 million (about Rs 793 crore) In-game revenue.
bloomberg report good It also notes a third Warcraft mobile game that got canceled — an augmented reality (AR) title similar to Pokémon Go. The game was called Orbis internally, and had been in development for “over four years”. Bloomberg claims that these cancellations have created uncertainty over the ongoing relationship between Activision and NetEase. Blizzard is also conducting an internal (friend-and-family) alpha test for an early build of Diablo IV right now. “Players are subject to NDAs, but I’m hearing mostly positive discussions,” said game reporter Jason Schreier. said on twitter,
The tower defense game, Warcraft Arclight Rumble, is still on its way to release on Android and iOS devices. Not to mention, the publisher’s next World of Warcraft (PC) expansion is Dragonflight, set to launch later this year.