Activision Blizzard and NetEase torpedo World of Warcraft mobile game



Activision Blizzard and NetEase have scrapped a World of Warcraft mobile project that had reportedly been in development for three years.

According to Bloombergthe two companies — which also partnered to create Diablo Immortal — apparently disagreed over financial terms.

That quarrel looks to have scuppered the project, with NetEase disbanding a team of over 100 developers who had been tasked with working on the title.

People familiar with the matter told Bloomberg that only some of those workers were offered internal transfers, suggesting the cancelation has resulted in talent being cut loose.

The now-scrapped title was reportedly codenamed “Neptune” and was billed as a massively multiple online role-playing game set in the World of Warcraft universe. Rather than attempt to bring the core franchise over to mobile, it would have been a spinoff that takes place during a new time period.

Both Activision Blizzard and NetEase declined to comment on the report when contacted by Bloomberg.

Crisis Mode

It has been a turbulent year at Activision Blizzard, with the company still reeling from a cultural crisis that resulted in numerous allegations of harassment and misconduct being made public and multiple government investigations.

The U.S. publisher has also faced allegations of union busting after QA workers at its Raven Software subsidiary sought to unionize. Eventually, those involved in the process successfully voted in favor of unionizationperhaps encouraging QA workers at Blizzard Albany to follow suit and announce their own unionization plans.

More recently, a number of Activision Blizzard workers staged a walkout in protest of the company’s soft response to the reversal of Roe v. Wade in the United States, which will allow abortion bans to go into effect across the country.

All of that took place while Microsoft pushed ahead with its proposed $68.7 billion acquisition of Activision Blizzard, which recently received the blessing of the Communications Workers of America labor union.



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